A Geospatial Workshop for Virginia Community College Faculty

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  GIS Summer Institute for VCCS Faculty: July 24th - July 30th, 2010  
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Workshop Information for VCCS Faculty

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program has provided funding through the Geospatial Technician Education through Virginia's Community Colleges (GTEVCC) project to provide an intensive workshop for selected community college faculty who are interested in integrating geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS) and remote sensing into their curriculum and course offerings.

Geospatial expertise continues to be in high demand by Virginia’s employers. The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) is well poised to support this growing demand. Virginia Tech and the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program (VGEP) are providing VCCS faculty with hands-on training and a broader understanding of these tools through an intensive workshop during the summer 2010.  This workshop is one component of the GTEVCC project. 

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), three Community Colleges (John Tyler Community College-JTCC, Tidewater Community College-TCC, and Virginia Western Community College-VWCC), and the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program (VGEP) at Virginia Tech are partners on the GTEVCC project.  The VSGC is administering the program on behalf of the VCCS.

Who should apply? 
This is an introductory workshop.  No experience or familiarity with GIS, GPS or remote sensing is required.  However, attendees must have basic familiarity with desktop computers (moving, creating files, saving files, making folders, etc.) and be a fulltime VCCS faculty member.  One goal of the workshop is to increase the proliferation of these tools throughout various disciplines, so you do not have to be a techie!

When is the workshop and where will it be held?
The workshop will be held from Saturday, July 24th (1:00 pm) through Friday, July 30th (noon), 2010. It will be held on the campus of Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, VA.

What is the cost of the workshop?
Workshop expenses will be covered for fifteen selected VCCS faculty members.  Each participant will receive:

  • a $1,000.00 stipend,
  • lodging in Blacksburg over the course of the workshop,
  • meal and incidental expenses (per state rates),
  • instruction and exposure to new and exciting mapping and spatial analysis tools,
  • an array of books, data, software, and other free educational resources.

A follow-up workshop will be held during the summer of 2011 (the expenses listed above will be provided to participants for BOTH workshops [$2000 total stipend]). Participants are expected to attend both workshops. It is expected that the information presented in the workshop to be applied in the classroom. 

The only expense not covered by the Workshop is transportation (to and from Blacksburg).  Arrangements should be made by workshop attendees with their respective community colleges to reimburse transportation expenses. 

How do I register for the workshop and the stipend?
Participation at the workshop will be limited to 15 Community College faculty.  Each of the 15 faculty participants will receive a stipend.  To apply for the workshop, we ask that you complete a short, online application form. You can access the application form here: . Please submit your workshop application before October 22nd, 2009.  All applicants will be notified by November 4th, 2009.  

workshop.jpgWhat topics will be covered at the workshop?
The format of this workshop will include short presentations, followed by hands-on exercises.  Participants at the workshop will work with GIS, GPS, remote sensing, as well as other geographic mapping tools and software applications including:  GoogleEarth, Photo2GPS, DNR Garmin, and Trimble software.  We will explore a wide range of business, educational, and recreational applications associated with these tools and applications.  

Participants will also be exposed to field work exercises (be prepared to go outside) and will meet on-site with local government, state agency, and private sector geospatial employers to gain a better understanding of industry trends and demands for geospatial technicians.

In addition, community college faculty who are already integrating these tools into their curriculum will be on hand throughout the workshop to share their valuable knowledge, experiences, and to assist with instruction.  Workshop participants will be provided with an overview and instruction of the new VCCS Geospatial Webportal, which is being developed to support geospatial course marketing efforts, and to facilitate the sharing of resources and expertise among VCCS member institutions. And finally, we will hold a geospatial resources fair, where workshop participants will be able to examine and review geospatial educational resources and curriculum to support the integration of these tools in their specific discipline.  

How do I obtain additional information about GIS/GPS in general or the workshop?
If you have general questions about geospatial tools (how they can be integrated within your field or discipline), or would like to have additional information about the workshop, then please contact:

John McGee, Ph.D.
The Virginia Geospatial Extension Program, Virginia Tech
(540) 231-2428