June 2016 GeoMentor Spotlight
Nazgol Bagheri, Assistant professor of geography at the University of Texas, San Antonio
What was your favorite class in K-12? Physics. I always saw myself as a nuclear physics scientist; but ended up in architecture and urban planning and finally founded peace in geography, the art and science of understanding spatial phenomena and their relations.
How did you first learn about and/or use GIS? My background is architecture and urban planning in which working with AutoCAD and GIS is a must. During the summer of 2004, I took a GIS workshop at the National University of Iran, Tehran. Since then, I have moved several times across the geographical boundaries so does my love to learn more about the GIS. GIS is like an never-ending ocean.
Name one thing you love about GIS and/or geography: As an ethnographer and feminist geographer, I use GIS in a more nuanced approach to visualize and analyze qualitative data. The diversity of tools and the fact that we (or at least, I )still do not know all the worlds GIS can help us think of and understand is what I love the most about GIS.
Why did you want to volunteer as a GeoMentor? I have been an active member of the Texas GIS Forum and the University of Texas GIS learning group. I have organized several GIS related events on and off campus in order to connect the academic dimensions of GIS to the professional ones. I have introduced GIS and the ESRI online resources to a diverse group of potential users such as middle school kids as well as neighborhood residents in San Antonio. A decade of teaching and practicing GIS has taught me that we learn the most by applying GIS concepts and tools to everyday life experiences. As a GeoMentor volunteer, I will continue promoting GIS usage to the public and non-specialists who can learn from and enjoy exploring the spatiality of our everyday life.
What kind of GeoMentor volunteer opportunity and experience are you looking for? I am very much interested in training non-geographer colleagues at UTSA and Texan teachers to take advantage of the ArcGIS resources online. Since there are few female GIS experts/professors, I also see myself as a role model to my students. In short, I see myself as an active GeoMentor promoting GIS and ESRI online resources to minorities and community activists who benefit from this powerful tool.
If someone asked you why they should learn about GIS and/or geography, how would you respond in one sentence? We live in a global world that geography matters more than any other time in the history. The more mobile things are, the more important their locations become.
Email address: Nazgol.Bagheri@utsa.edu
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.