From the Chair
By Sarah Schrader, 2011 Chair
Fall Conference and Workshops
The 2011 Fall Conference and Workshops are just around the corner and on-site registration is still available! I hope you will join us October 5-7 in St. Cloud where the conference will be held at the River’s Edge Convention Center and the workshops will be held on the campus of St. Cloud State University. Visit our website to register and to view more information including the preliminary program listing sessions, workshops and exhibitors.
Board and Committee Participation
We are a volunteer-run organization and always need more people, new energy and fresh perspectives. Consider giving some of your time and skills to help with the Consortium’s work, either by serving on the Board or on a committee. Open board positions this year are Chair-Elect, Secretary, Higher Education, Conference Chair-Elect, Local Government and At-Large. You can nominate yourself or someone else interested in supporting the GIS/LIS community anytime until November 4 using the online nomination form. Please contact any Board member to ask questions about their position, find out how much and what kind of work is required and decide if a Board position is something in which you’re willing to invest some time. New Board member terms begin in January.
While board positions are elected, there are many other opportunities for you to volunteer and make a difference without having to run for office. Please see the list of committees that would welcome your help along with contact information for each committee chair.
The scholarship endowment is over $29,000 and continues to grow. The Board’s goal is to increase this account to $100,000, at which point the interest will then become the primary source of funding for the Consortium student scholarships. Thank you to those individuals and organizations that have contributed so generously to this fund. If you would like to donate, see the form on the Consortium website, or donate directly at the GiveMN website.
In addition to an information-packed website, the Consortium also maintains a presence on both Facebook and LinkedIn. These two sites are a great way to network and stay in touch with other Consortium members throughout the year.
Would you like the opportunity for your geospatial business to reach the hundreds of Consortium members? The Consortium website now has section for advertisements. Click here to view the website advertising form for more information.
All members are invited and encouraged to submit articles to firstname.lastname@example.org about GIS projects, activities and events. Please consider submitting an article or encouraging others to contribute a piece about an interesting project or topic. Suggested length of articles is a few paragraphs with related links and/or supporting graphics. The Consortium is a member-driven organization and relies on the greater community to distribute informative and timely information. The newsletter is published three times per year. More information can be found here.
Event Grants Available
Each year the Consortium Board sets aside funds to assist GIS/LIS-related activities or events in Minnesota such as the University of Minnesota’s GIS Student Organization’s annual Career and Networking Fair. The Consortium can provide limited funding for printing costs, mailing costs, meeting room rental fees, food services, speaker fees and advertisements. For details and an Event Grant application, click here.
Membership with the GIS/LIS Consortium is FREE and all you need to do is go to our website and sign up. Membership is required to register for the conference or any workshops. Members include GIS/LIS professionals as well as students in the geospatial fields. Please forward this information to non-members you feel would be interested. If you are already a member, I encourage you to review your member profile and update it if needed.