Keynotes

A picture is worth a thousand words: How do I show climate change?
Opening Keynote by Dr. Dominique Bachelet

After 20 years of simulation modeling of climate change effects, one day I asked myself how I could make better use of the terabytes of data our modeling group had generated. Reports were stacked on shelves, ignored. My goal was to find out how to make climate change information usable instead of just useful. In 2007 I was lucky enough to work with Chris Zganjar and Barry Baker at the Nature Conservancy. They had a vision for a web site that could deliver climate projections to the land managers who were asking for it. Those were the baby steps of the climatewizard, the grand vision, the lofty goals, TNC supported that effort. But there was much more to do. I then joined another group of visionaries at Conservation Biology Institute. Their goal was to make readily available all sorts of data that conservation practitioners could use. In my mind I translated their goal into making available not just climate projections but also the simulation results showing the response of a variety ecosystems to these various climate projections. It's been 5 years, progress has been made but the challenges are still looming large. I will touch on the power of maps over numbers, the constant worry of misinterpretation, the outright fear of policy ramifications, but also the joy of pattern discovery, the explosion of creativity, the need for collaboration, the need for thinking out-of-the-box.

Dr. Dominique Bachelet, Senior Climate Change Scientist at the Conservation Biology Institute and Associate Professor in the Dept. of Biological and Ecological Engineering at Oregon State University.  She was the Director of Climate Change Science for the Nature Conservancy for a couple of years.  She is a broadly trained ecosystem scientist with over 35 years of combined education and work experience in ecology in the USA.  Her research has focused specifically on global climate change issues since 1988. Since 1995 she has participated in the development of one of the first dynamic global vegetation models MC1 and is contributing to the development of MC2, its successor. She has gathered an extensive knowledge of the various ecosystem and dynamic global vegetation models through several model intercomparison exercises. A few years ago, she started focusing on science information delivery and communication. Dominique initiated the creation of the climate wizard (climatewizard.org) at the Nature Conservancy with Chris Zganjar. She is now bringing climate and climate impacts simulation results to Data Basin (databasin.org) the on-line database and data manipulation web site created and maintained by CBI to ensure that climate change awareness are integral to conservation planning.


Credentials in Geospatial Education and Practice
Closing Keynote by David DiBiase

Credentials like degrees, certificates, licenses, and badges are tokens of credence - of the belief in the truth of something. Credentials are conferred and inspected at seemingly every turn in modern life – from when we are named as newborns until we empower our successors to handle our affairs after we’re gone. In this session we'll try to make sense of the variety of credentials we encounter as we make our livings in the geospatial professions. We'll consider the proliferation of geospatial credentials in light of the changing nature of work and the evolution of the geospatial enterprise. And finally we'll peer into the future, perhaps to glimpse the convergence of educational, professional, and technical credentialing.

David DiBiase leads the Education Team within Esri’s Industry Solutions group. The Team promotes and supports GIS use to enrich teaching and learning at all levels, in formal and informal settings, domestically and internationally.
Before joining Esri, David founded and led the Penn State Online GIS Certificate and Masters (MGIS) degree programs. Though September 2011, these and related online programs attracted over 13,000 enrollments by 4,000 adult learners, and produced nearly 2,000 graduates. Penn State’s certificate program earned Esri’s “Special Achievement in GIS” award in 2004, and the MGIS program earned the Sloan Consortium's "Most Outstanding Online Program" award in 2009. According to David, “one of my proudest achievements at Penn State was the University’s first open educational resources initiative, through which the lion’s share of its online GIS courseware is freely available to educators and learners worldwide.”

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NWGIS is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for training, exchange of knowledge, techniques, and data among the users of ESRI software and related GIS products and services.

 

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