Congratulations to Mr. Ian Ward, who is the recipient of this prestigious University-wide award. Ian is primarily involved with teaching Major World Regions and Physical Geography courses as part of our undergraduate program, and the award acknowledges his commitment to providing his students meaningful and significant learning experiences. Mr. Ward has been offering undergraduate courses for many years at GGS, and we certainly hope that he will continue doing so for many years to come. His regional focus is Latin America with over 17 teaching experience.
The GGS Department is happy to report that Mike Tischler is the new Director of the National Geospatial Program of the US Geological Survey. Mike is a PhD candidate in our Department, and is scheduled to defend his dissertation and graduate next month. The soon to be Dr. Tischler is completing his dissertation on the ‘Assessment and Optimization of a Multiple Reference Spatial Similarity Model”.
Congratulations to Michael Resig (first place) and Sam Mull (second place) for winning the Map-Off competition held on 27 March. When interviewed, this is what each had to say about their experience.
“I had the opportunity to apply my GIS skills overseas for three seasons during and following my undergraduate studies. I was the GIS Specialist and Architect Surveyor for the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon (archaeological excavation). This experience for me was, by-far, the most influential aspect of witnessing and integrating the power of GIS and mapping. During this time I realized that the application of GIS was only limited to the imagination and experience of the user. GIS can be used for, and improve, almost any application.
I began working for Northrop Grumman as a Geospatial Engineer/Analyst in 2009. My time as a GIS professional within the defense-contracting world has been a fantastic opportunity to experience more of the GIS world. While working at NG I was introduced to the GGS program at GMU and jumped on the opportunity. I recently finished my Masters in Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence from GMU, and I’d have to say it was a fantastic, essential, educational program regarding my career and interests. Over the years I have gravitated towards open-source solutions, and Open Street Map was a significant discovery for me. I became involved with volunteering for OSM through the Ushahidi Haiti Project in 2010. Ever since then I have periodically contributed towards mapping relief projects, such as MapGive’s Map-a-thon for the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Utilizing and contributing to OSM is an important element to my character and professional outreach. Making geospatial information available to the world and agencies for humanitarian aid is essential. Geospatial information and mapping are incredibly powerful toolsets that can be applied to almost any field. Acquiring even a basic knowledge of the advantages of GIS can improve the relevance and usefulness of a situation.
Thank you for hosting the Map-Off! It was a great chance for a lot of people to contribute towards a good cause, and I look forward to next time.” -Michael Resig, First Place Mapper
“My first experience using open street map was in high school following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. I was a senior enrolled in my first GIS class when the earthquake occurred and my teacher at the time had mentioned that local mappers were convening in Washington DC to assist with mapping the area. While at the conference we were given a workstation with up to date satellite imagery showing the destruction to the countries infrastructure. My task was to look at areas where buildings had fallen into the streets and blocked the roadway and mark those areas online. Since then I have pursued the study of GIS and related fields and I should be graduating next fall.” -Sam Mull, Second Place Mapper
We are very glad to report that our graduate student Zhenlong Li has accepted an offer to join the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina as tenure-track Assistant Professor, beginning August, 2015. Mr. Zhenlong will be defending his dissertation on April, and he is an advisee of Prof. Phil Yang. The soon to be Dr. Li will thus become the 7th member of our student community who is successfully transitioning from Mason into an academic career. Congratulations Zhenlong!
Jack Dangermond stopped by our EXPO booth at the 2015 ESRI Federal User Conference to chat about the academic programs at GGS and Mason’s Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Sciences. We are glad to see him enjoying our departmental winter hat and t-shirt. (from left to right: Sven Fuhrmann, Jack Dangermond, Jeff Peters, and Jeanne Spencer).
Terry is a great match for this position as he is well known to the OGC community through his past activities. Most recently, he participated in OGC activities while with a US federal agency. Previously, Terry served as Initiative Director of the OGC Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative while he was on loan to OGC staff from BAE Systems. Terry has rich experience in geo-information and remote sensing technologies. He received his Doctorate in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences from George Mason University, in 2012.
The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 475 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT.
*Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (http://bit.ly/1oILgTc), with a Mason GGS paper at the #1 spot: Yang, C., Raskin, R., Goodchild, M., & Gahegan, M. (2010). Geospatial cyberinfrastructure: past, present and future. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 34(4), 264-277.
* Transactions in GIS (http://bit.ly/1olDmj6), with a Mason GGS paper at the #5 spot: Crooks, A., Croitoru, A., Stefanidis, A., & Radzikowski, J. (2013). # Earthquake: Twitter as a distributed sensor system. Transactions in GIS, 17(1), 124-147.
* Geojournal (http://bit.ly/1ohlQ0a), with a Mason GGS paper at the #6 spot: Stefanidis, A., Crooks, A., & Radzikowski, J. (2013). Harvesting ambient geospatial information from social media feeds. GeoJournal, 78(2), 319-338.
* International Journal of Digital Earth (http://bit.ly/1wXWRUc) with a Mason GGS paper at the #2 spot: Yang, C., Goodchild, M., Huang, Q., Nebert, D., Raskin, R., Xu, Y., … & Fay, D. (2011). Spatial cloud computing: how can the geospatial sciences use and help shape cloud computing?. International Journal of Digital Earth, 4(4), 305-329.
We are very proud to be a leading force in shaping tomorrow’s geoinformation science!
Organization: Fairfax County Department of Transportation
Title: GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM TECHNICIAN
Location: Fairfax, VA USA
Application Deadline: 2014-07-11
$43,095 – $71,825 Job # 14-00828
Creates, develops, and maintains GIS data, associated attribute information, and metadata. Performs quality control checks on GIS data and attribute information. Utilizes GIS to analyze data and creates presentation quality maps and cartographic material for staff, high-level County officials, and the public. Responsible for undertaking and managing projects with little supervision. Collects field data using GPS, performs data post-processing, and incorporates data into the county’s enterprise GIS. Assists in installing and maintaining GIS-related software and hardware. Also assists in training and supporting staff in the use of GIS and related practices. Duties are performed under direction of the department’s GIS Coordinator.
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS: Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to a high school diploma or G.E.D.; plus one year of work experience in one or more of the following disciplines: automated cartographic production, civil engineering, cadastral map drafting, thematic color separation, GIS data maintenance, geography, or related areas, or GIS production environment, or specialized training in areas such as ArcInfo, ArcView, AutoCAD, etc.
NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check to the satisfaction of the employer.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of GIS data layer development and management using ArcView 10.x or higher. ArcSDE version editing, Trimble GPS, and Adobe Illustrator and/or Photoshop experience a plus. Must have a customer service oriented attitude and excellent communication skills. Works well independently and in a team environment.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Work requires the ability to operate key board driven equipment. Occasional field work required, ability to operate a motor vehicle and use of GPS field equipment.
TO APPLY: Apply online at agency.governmentjobs.com/fairfaxcounty by 5:00 p.m. on July 11, 2014. Fairfax County is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veterans’ status or disabled veterans’ status. Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance; TTY 703-222-7314. Minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. EEO/AA/TTY.