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MN GIS/LIS Conference Outstanding Keynote Speakers!
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MN GIS/LIS Conference Outstanding Keynote Speakers!

Two dynamic speakers will address this year's conference.

• 8:30 a.m. Thursday, October 5, 2006 - Jerome E. Dobson, Professor of Geography, University of Kansas and President of the American Geographical Society

Jerry Dobson has been a participant and keen observer of the GIS movement since the mid-1970s. He is a visionary, but one who gets things done. In 1983, he envisioned the future of GIS in his landmark article on “Automated Geography.” When skeptics complained that universities didn’t have resources to fulfill the promise, he proposed a National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis and led the successful effort to get it funded.

In 1997, Dobson foresaw how emerging global databases could be used in humanitarian crises worldwide and subsequently led development of the LandScan Global Population Database, now the de facto world standard for estimating populations at-risk in disasters as diverse as tsunamis, hurricanes, airborne contaminants, wars, and terrorist attacks.

Today, he applies that same zeal to the worldwide plague of land mines, testing a new system for mapping mine fields without walking on them and promulgating a new world standard for cartographic representation of mines, mine fields, and mine actions (technical survey, clearance, etc.). Most recently, he expressed concern over America’s foreign intelligence crisis and now leads two foreign projects to demonstrate the value of geographic “expeditions” combining GIS, open-source intelligence, and good old-fashioned fieldwork. Dobson will share his concerns for the public image of GIS and geography. “What,” he asks, “will it take to move them to the forefront of public understanding?”

• Noon Friday, October 6, 2006 - Dan Hackbrath (and Students), 12th Grade Social Studies Teacher, St. Francis High School in Anoka County

Dan Hackbarth is one of 45 Minnesota educators trained in using the Firewise in the Classroom (FWC) curriculum. FWC introduces students to GIS through a series of lessons that show them how to use GIS to help protect their homes and community from the threat of Wildfire or other natural or man-made disasters.

Hackbarth is a pioneer in the development of Firewise in the Classroom. He has completed six Firewise projects and has introduced GIS/GPS technologies to more than 600 students in the last three years. Using the latest aerial photography his students have rated over 20,000 homes. Using spatial analysis capabilities of GIS, students create Density Surface Models that identify clusters of high-risk homes, or wildfire risk “hotspots.” With the help of DNR staff, a fire chief and parents as chaperones, between 80 and 120 students board school buses to conduct Level 2 Firewise assessments of designated hot spot neighborhoods. Students identify the exact location of each home with a GPS receiver and complete a fire risk questionnaire that results in a fire risk rating for each home. All data gathered by the students is imported into a GIS data base and is used to create wildfire risk assessment maps that become part of a community report.

Hackbarth and his students will share their experiences using GIS tools that encourage students to ask and answer real life geographic questions that impact real people.

Call for Papers PDF
Conference at a Glance
Conference Sessions
Directions to the Conference
Exhibitors Information
Final Program PDF
General Information
Hotel Information
Keynote Speakers
Online Registration
Poster Gallery
Preliminary Program PDF
Registration Fees
St. Cloud Visitor Info.
Conference Workshops

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