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University of Minnesota Featured at the 2018 Esri User Conference Plenary Session

July 12, 2018

The University of Minnesota was featured as a “spatial university” during the 2018 Esri User Conference Plenary session highlighting its contribution to innovative GIS research, teaching, and workforce development. The group representing the University was led by Len Kne (MGIS 2009), Associate Director of U-Spatial, and also included Coleman Shepard (current MGIS student; BS in Geography), Kevin Ehrman-Solberg (MGIS 2018; current GES doctoral student), Dr. Somayeh Dodge (GES and MGIS faculty member) and Dr. Tom Fisher (Professor and Director of the Minnesota Design Center).

Each member of the group discussed how the University is playing a role in GIS research, teaching, operations, and outreach. Len Kne provided an overview of GIS use on campus including examples from University Services, the Polar Geospatial Center, and the use of ArcGIS for research and teaching. Coleman Shepard discussed how he applies spatial thinking and techniques to practical problems through his work on Kilauea volcano mapping and earthquake analysis. Kevin Ehrman-Solberg explained the cutting-edge work he is doing as co-founder of the “Mapping Prejudice” project, which serves as an excellent example of how GIS can support work in social justice. Somayeh Dodge illustrated how she uses geovisualization and big data analytics to better understand movement in natural and human systems by showing examples of her Galapagos albatross and tigers in Thailand research. Tom Fisher concluded by describing how geodesign and spatial thinking can help local communities to thrive in the future and calling the GIS community to action.

So proud of our students, grads, and faculty for a great job presenting the impressive GIS work being done at the University! Go gophers!