Each month we'll feature at least one GeoMentor volunteer, learning more about them and the wonderful and enthusiastic talent available in our GeoMentor community to assist K-12 schools with GIS and geography applications for their classrooms. Read about our currently featured member of the community below, or check out previously featured GeoMentors by using the navigation links on the right. If you are interested in being featured, go here for more information. We are excited to learn more about our GeoMentor community members!
If you aren't a GeoMentor yet, we'd love to have you participate!
April 2016 Geomentor Spotlight
Jonathan Adams, Western Illinois University
Position/ Affiliation: Graduate Student in Department of Geography at Western Illinois University
What was your favorite class in K-12? My favorite classes in school were social studies and the science classes such as earth science and physics. I loved learning about different places in the world, the earth processes that occurred at various places all over the world and the science behind those processes.
How did you first learn about and/or use GIS? I first learned and used GIS in my first year of college at Western Illinois University. GIS is a major tool that many of the professors used and thus was placed in the curriculum from the start. I found it gratifying to create my own maps and display data in a visual way to make it more understandable.
Name one thing you love about GIS and/or geography (I know, just one!): One thing I love about GIS/Geography is the way that everything in the world has a spatial component, and being able to identify and understand the spatial relationships is very important to understanding many natural and social phenomena.
Why did you want to volunteer as a GeoMentor? I volunteered as a GeoMentor to reach out and teach younger students the importance of GIS and spatial thinking. GIS has various applications in many fields, and introducing students to these can potentially spark their interest in one of them. The GeoMentor Program is also a huge part of the WIU Student Society of Geography’s mission to promote interest and awareness of the discipline of geography.
What kind of GeoMentor volunteer opportunity and experience are you looking for? GIS is such a great tool to have in your bag, so to say, and so I hope that my mentoring of K-12 students provides them the interest and understanding of GIS, giving them an advantage over others when they move on to college and beyond. Additionally, I hope my mentoring shows teachers that GIS is means to enhance their curriculum.
If someone asked you why they should learn about GIS and/or geography, how would you respond in one sentence? Understanding geography and GIS not only allows you to answer questions about where things happen but goes one step further to allow you to answer why things happen where they do.
Email address: Adams.JonathanA@gmail.com
Interested in being featured? Go here for more information. We are excited to learn more about you!