The BayGeo GeoEducators Summit hosted in downtown San Francisco October 14th was a wonderful opportunity to mix academia and industry and explore the evolving role that GIS plays in natural resources and the environment. Educators and industry representatives presented curricula and shared ways of integrating elements such as programming, computer science, and machine learning to help students transition their studies into skills that provide value in urban and environmental planning, agriculture, and conservancy.
Said Rick Kos, faculty member in San Jose State University’s Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program – and organizer of the summit – “I am thrilled that 35 attendees from all across the spectrum of geospatial attended the summit. We shared ideas for strengthening our work in the classroom and enjoyed glimpses into the future of innovative geo tools thanks to presenters from TerrAvion and others. The mix of educators from all levels as well as industry leaders conducting exciting work emphasized the “symbiotic” relationship that we share in preparing workplace-ready students eager to help the Bay Area geo industry grow.”
In group breakout sessions, presentations by industry representatives and conversations with panels of industry experts gave us an opportunity to share challenges and opportunities their teams face, and offered insight in how curricula can be further tailored to real world skills to better prepare students to start successful careers.
TerrAvion’s aerial imagery platform gives students opportunities to explore wildfire restoration, wetland mapping, land trust compliance monitoring, rangeland surveys, invasive species management, and rangeland research. In this capacity, GIS skills are married with key issues in agriculture and conservancy, fostering cross-disciplinary exposure. In this respect, we rely on an open channel of communication with educators to integrate the skills learned by students and apply them to our field of work.
For students, this is an opportunity to expand their portfolio of GIS and agriculture work and gain a better appreciation for the challenges and opportunities that farmers and conservationists face when tackling issues such a global food security, promoting sustainable farming practices, and protecting the lands that we love for future generations.
TerrAvion is proud to support the agriculture and conservation communities by promoting robust partnerships with academic institutions. Academic partners have access to our API and receive free weekly imagery in locations of their choosing. Students with GIS or programming experience who are interested in the intersection of agriculture and big data are encouraged to apply for internships and job listings here.
For more information on BayGeo GeoEducators, follow them on Twitter @sfbaygeo or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.