Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join
Community Search
2008 Conference Keynote Speakers
Share |

18th Annual Conference Keynote Speakers

Click here to download the 2008 MN GIS/LIS Preliminary Program.

Talbot Brooks
Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University
8:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 2nd, 2008
Todd Foster and Scott Miller
Hudson Bay Expedition
12:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3rd, 2008

Talbot Brooks is Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University, a GIT Branch Chief for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Deputy Chief of Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Department. His career started in 1987 with the Wareham Fire Department where he worked as a paid/call firefighter for 3 years. He left Wareham to pursue a college degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology through an Army ROTC scholarship and to serve as a volunteer firefighter/EMT in upstate New York. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. He was then hired by the US Dept. of Agriculture’s US Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, AZ to work as a research technician developing remote sensing technologies for agriculture for use investigating the effects of climate change on agriculture while finishing graduate studies in plant biology with an emphasis in environmental physics. He left USDA to pursue a career as a research scientist for the Department of Geography at Arizona State University. During his tenure there, he focused on the application of geospatial technologies to public safety, homeland security and community development. He left ASU in 2005 to join Delta State University in Cleveland, MS where he continues these activities.

Navigating the Disaster: The Application of Geospatial Technologies to Emergency and Disaster Response

Standardization within the emergency preparedness community is a
National priority exemplified through Federally mandated use of the
Incident Command System, the National Response Plan, interoperable
communications systems, incident and intelligence reporting (e.g., NCIC
and NFIRS) and activities of a similar vein. This standardized approach allows for more effective information capture and dissemination, analysis and coordination of actions such as the use of external resources when local capabilities are overwhelmed by an event, through the provision of a common operating picture.

Integration of geospatial information technologies can allow for improvement of services and capabilities by facilitating a shift from this view to a standard, spatially-based operating picture that improves communication and cognition among both decision makers and responders engaged in planning, mitigation, response and recovery activities. An open dialogue between the geospatial professional and emergency preparedness communities is required to grow this concept into an effective, cohesive and consensus driven effort centered on standardization of geospatial products and services. This presentation will highlight key starting points such as coordinate system and map symbol use drawn from similar problem sets and their subsequent successes.


Todd Foster is from St. Cloud, Minnesota. He t was heavily influenced by his family’s love of the outdoors and the Boy Scouts. Todd is married to Molly and has two wonderful daughters, Rebecca and Caitlin. He is currently pursuing a Law Enforcement degree from Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minnesota. Todd and his family live on the banks of the Sauk River in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Scott Miller was born and raised in Maple Grove, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. He was influenced early on by his father’s love of the outdoors and camping and leadership experiences with the Boy Scouts. He graduated from St. Olaf College and worked running both a summer and a winter camp for the Scouts. He has lived in Minnesota, Germany, Scotland, Manhattan and Delaware and has spent, cumulatively, over 3 years of his life sleeping in a tent. He is currently studying alternative health and enjoys taking walks near his home on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

From the Prairie to the Sea

On May 1st, 2005, as the season’s last snow fell, Scott Miller and Todd Foster carried their canoe 100 feet from Todd’s garage to the river in his backyard. Thus began a 2,000-mile journey from the farmland of St. Cloud, Minnesota to historic York Factory on Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada.

For the first 330 miles, they fought to paddle upstream against the powerful current of the flooding Minnesota River. When finally they reached the continental divide and could go downstream at last, Todd was forced to leave the expedition. Fortunately, a young, inexperienced-but-enthusiastic replacement named Matt Lutz joined Scott to complete the journey.

Over the course of one summer, the paddlers traveled through many beautiful places, met dozens of wonderful people and had one heart-pounding adventure after another. Scott’s and Matt’s downstream trip was not easy — the Red River of the North was flooding, too. After entering Canada, the paddlers spent three weeks sailing across gigantic, remote Lake Winnipeg and then negotiated dozens of treacherous wilderness rapids before reaching the sea. Along the way, the group met an astonishing variety of kind and quirky characters, including Norwegian bachelors, Indigenous officials, farmers on jet-skis and a 300-pound tortoise named Snoopy Escalator Casper.

The book, From the Prairie to the Sea, explains what such a trip was like in 2005 compared to 1930 — the year two young men took a trip on the same route. Those men were Eric Sevareid and Walter Port. Readers of From the Prairie to the Sea will surely also enjoy Mr. Sevareid’s book about his 1930 trip, Canoeing with the Cree.

The story of this historic canoe trip is brought alive through video, music, pictures and wonderful storytelling. Scott and Todd share their journey in a way that invites the audience to participate in the journey, allowing them to experience the trip for themselves.


Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal