Celebrating Success in GIS Education

07-31-2023 09:25 AM
Esri Contributor
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Each year, Esri founder Jack Dangermond recognizes outstanding work with a Special Achievement in GIS Award.  The roughly 200 organizations that receive awards are selected from over 300,000 Esri customers worldwide and represent excellence in applying GIS to make smart decisions and design a more sustainable future.

We congratulate the 2023 recipients of Special Achievement in GIS Awards from the Education community, including the Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies, the University of Maryland, the American University of Beirut, and Clark Magnet High School (La Crescenta, CA).

Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies

The Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies provides several services to support geospatial scholarship at Clemson University, including training and consulting across all academic disciplines, CyberGIS infrastructure to support advanced research in a high-performance computing environment, and student-led GIS programs that provide experiential/project-based learning. The Center for Geospatial Technologies serves over 3,000 people and teaches over 20 workshops per year to introduce GIS methods to students and researchers across disciplines. It also provides access to specialized equipment including drones, lidar sensors, and 3-d printers to support projects.

The Center also co-teaches courses in disciplines such as architecture, sociology, and forestry to bring a deep geographic perspective to departments that may not have GIS expertise in-house but would benefit from a geographic perspective.

The Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies stands out for its student-led programs, including Clemson Mappers, an affiliate of Youth Mappers, a group that addresses community development and humanitarian issues around the world; and Drones for Good, a student-led drone training and rental service.

Learn more about Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies

Special Achievement in GIS Award Profile

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University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is a spatial university that has adopted a geographic approach to both campus administration and scholarship and was among the first universities to develop an enterprise approach to GIS.  Several departments including Facilities Planning, Facilities Management IT Services, Transportation Services, Public Safety, Administration and Finance, Conference and Visitor Services, and the departments of Geographical Sciences and Computer Science came together to create an enterprise GIS plan a decade ago. The Facilities Business Operations is currently implementing ArcGIS Indoors within the McKeldin Library for internal wayfinding, book tracking, and space utilization. This pilot project is part of a larger phased ArcGIS Indoors implementation across all of UMD Facilities Management.

In addition, the Department of Geographical Sciences has always been an early adopter of GIS and remote sensing technologies, working closely with NASA and other government agencies to collaborate on research.  They offer several degrees and certificates based on modern GIS tools and patterns, along with advanced analysis and programming concepts and are a member of the Esri Innovation Program. Furthermore, GIS instruction and research support for multiple disciplines are provided through the McKeldin Library’s GIS and Spatial Data Center.

Learn more about University of Maryland

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Beirut Urban Lab, American University of Beirut

The Beirut Urban Lab is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research space that analyzes urbanization in Lebanon and its region's natural and built environments. The Beirut Urban Lab builds on a legacy of urban research initiatives starting in 2006 and works towards a vision of just, inclusive, and viable cities.

The Lab grew out of the Post-War Reconstruction Unit in which faculty of the Urban Planning graduate programs conducted research, studio teaching, and workshops to influence post-war recovery with inclusive, participatory processes in several locations across the country. This work established the path for interdisciplinary collaborations at the Department of Architecture and Design.

Central to all the Lab’s projects is the deployment of mapping as an analytical research method and faith in the map as an apt communication tool. An innovative approach to studying urban transformations and advancing inclusive cities have thus progressively consolidated from these projects, one that believes in the democratization of academic knowledge, while recognizing the importance of engagement with critical edge contemporary thought and techniques.

Learn more about Beirut Urban Lab

Special Achievement in GIS Award Profile

Beirut Urban Lab

Clark Magnet High School

The mission of Anderson W Clark Magnet school is to provide ethnically diverse students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a highly competitive technological world. Students integrate standard academic coursework and career and technical education through project-based learning.  Every grade 12 student in the GIS program completes a custom senior project with research, fieldwork, internship or volunteer work, and presentation.

Learn more about Clark Magnet School

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About the Author
Esri Education Manager. Promoting value of Geo in learning and research to improve decision making. Firm believer that a map is worth a thousand words (at least). Midfielder. Chocolate fiend.