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The Esri team is gearing up for the 2019 UC in San Diego, and we're proud to host a series of events that explore how GIS can empower movements for diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


Our colleague, Madeline Schueren, wrote an ArcGIS blog post that details the events at this year's UC and provides additional resources to help you plan your stay. 


Other Things to Help You Plan your UC


See you all in San Diego!



Meg, WeCan Lead


“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -- James Baldwin

Happy Women's History Month! Over the last few weeks, the Women's Empowerment and Career Advancement Network (WeCan) at Esri posted stories, resources, and more to help you learn about and participate in WHM. To honor women in GIS this month, here's a review of a recently-published book from Esri entitled Women and GIS: Mapping Their Stories. From census experts and ecologists to human rights advocates and more, these women solve global problems through GIS.


To preface, I'm scratching the surface with this book review. Everyone should read the book in its entirety--it's definitely a good kick start to continue your own professional evolution. To pick up a copy on Amazon, click here.


Deep Thoughts 

I can't say enough good things about this book. Yes, I'm an Esri employee, but I'm also a bibliophile dedicated to honest book critiques. This book is easy-to-digest (great for working professionals), and the case studies cover a breadth of disciplines. I wasn't reading a single narrative applied narrowly, which reinforces the beauty of GIS; you can solve many problems with geospatial solutions. 


More importantly, the lessons are universally applicable. Gender is important and it's crucial to keep the conversation of gender equity alive, but this book is not just for women in GIS. As such, I encourage you to share this book with your circle of influence. When everyone is aware of the problems and part of the solutions, we're closer to collective success. 



What's a good book without some inspiring takeaways to write on a sticky note? Here's what I learned: 


  • Overcome Adversity

How many of y'all have heard STEM is too hard for women? I have, and it's an unfortunate opinion that's cuts across cultures and generations. Overcoming adversity isn't a uniquely female experience, but the women in this book use challenges as learning opportunities, not deterrents.


Wan-Hwa Cheng, a GIS and data analyst dedicated to green sea turtle research and conservation, was told GIS is hard. She said, "...growing up in Taiwan, I did encounter people who think men are better than women and [that] women should not receive higher academic degrees but be more marriage-minded." She overcame these challenges and followed her passion to become a celebrated researcher and champion for environmental sustainability. 


  • Be Creative

Even if you think there isn't a strong place for creativity in science, these women refute that notion. Dr. Catherine Ball, an innovator, entrepreneur, and advocate for #dronesforgood movement, always has an artist at the decision-making table. In the book, the authors reference Leonardo da Vinci: " is creative, and scientists always do better work when they approach their problems creatively." 


  • Lift as You Climb 

These women could sit back and revel in their success, but they pay it forward. Miriam Olivares, a GIS research evangelist at Yale, dedicates herself to guiding and educating those who seek to make a difference through GIS and geospatial technology. Her efforts, along with many others highlighted in this book, make it easier for all women in STEM to succeed. 


To pick up a copy of Women and GIS: Mapping Their Stories on Amazon, click here.



News About Women and GIS: Mapping Their Stories

Women and GIS: Mapping Their Stories | Esri Press

Esri Recognizes Women’s Contributions to GIS in New Book | Business Wire  

Esri Press Releases Women in GIS: Mapping Their Stories | GIS Lounge  


Story Maps for WHM

WeCan @ Esri  

Women in GIS: Helping Map a Better World - A story map by Morgan State University 


Other Cool Blog Posts for WHM from Esri 

Happy Women's History Month! 

Happy International Women's Day  


Share how you celebrate Women's History Month in the comments below!



Meg Singleton | WeCan Lead

In a 1983 Washington Post article, Coretta Scott King explained,


“The holiday [Martin Luther King Day] must be substantive as well as symbolic. It must be more than a day of celebration…Let this holiday be a day of reflection, a day of teaching nonviolent philosophy and strategy, a day of getting involved in nonviolent action for social and economic progress.”


To achieve her vision and help you honor Dr. King’s legacy on MLK Day, we’ve compiled a list of resources and events. This list is nowhere near comprehensive, so please link any other resources or events in the comments section.


Maps about MLK

Learn about MLK’s Life and Legacy

Do Something

*Since Esri is close to LA, we chose events around LA. Look up events in your area and share in the comments section!


“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.”
–Coretta Scott King

November is Native American Heritage Month, and part of WeCan's mission at Esri is to promote inclusion, especially for women of color in GIS. To further that goal, we would like to share some resources that can help you honor Native American Heritage Day on Friday, November 23, 2018 (and year round, too).   


The list below isn't exhaustive, so we encourage you to conduct your own research and share what you find in the comments section. 


See Cool Maps 


Educate Yourself


Do Something


"Snowflakes, leaves, humans, plants, raindrops, stars, molecules, microscopic entities all come in communities. The singular cannot in reality exist." - Paula Gunn Allen

October 11th was International Day of the Girl and to honor the next generation of geogeeks, we're proud to share a blog written by young map enthusiast Ari Walsh. Her and her sister Kana (who's also a map enthusiast) recently visited Esri to meet the team and learn more about the Science of Where! 


Read more here: 

My Day at Esri – Girls Can Map  


We're always inspired by the next generation of women in GIS--they help us further geospatial understanding to meet our current and future challenges. If you know any other young women in GIS like Ari and Kana, please share their stories on the Women's Geospatial Forum.


Further Reading:



Megan Singleton, WeCan Leader 


dayofthegirl womeningis gis mapping

When you want take your passion for women's empowerment offline, go to the Women's Geospatial Forum calendar! This is the place where you can post new events, see past events, or learn more about upcoming events posted by other community members. 



  • I'm not sure if my event is relevant--which events should I post?

If your event seeks to further the success of women in the geospatial and/or STEM community, post it! For Esri internal events, please use the calendar found on the Compass WeCan page. 


  • What kind of events have been featured on the calendar in the past?

Examples of past events include the Dolores Huerta Movie Screening and Discussion, A Redlands Forum event featuring famed hiker Teddi Boston, the User Conference WeCan presentation series, and more. 


  •  How do I create an event?
  1. On the Women's Geospatial Forum homepage, click the Actions drop-down option.*
  2. Select Event. 
  3. Complete the fields, and select any relevant tags that could help spread the word. 
  4. Click Create event. 
  5. Your event now displays on the calendar found on the Calendar tab. 


*Note: You must join the Women's Geospatial Forum group on GeoNet to post events. 


Thanks for working with us to empower women in GIS--this is a grass-roots effort, and we couldn't be successful without your support!



Megan Singleton, WeCan Leader 


Events Women's Geospatial Forum

women in geospatial women womeninstem womeningis #women events and activities #events