Mission: Geospatial

Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Dates: July 14th-25th

Cost: $1200

Have you heard of the “Geospatial Revolution”? Chances are you’re already a part of it. If you’ve ever used a smartphone, you have had the ability to communicate with satellites in space to pinpoint your location on earth. Every call, every text, every photo can potentially be geotagged and mapped.

In this module, you will learn how geospatial technologies work, will take field trips to see the technology being used by professionals, and will get hands-on experience using geotech tools yourself. You will collect data and make maps using various types of equipment like GPS receivers, cameras, cell phone apps, unmanned aerial vehicles, and computer mapping software.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use these various technologies to help create a campus basemap of UAF that will eventually become part of the World Topographic Layer in ArcGIS Online, a map layer seen and used by countless people worldwide. In other words, you can help put this part of Alaska on the map…literally.

Source: Jeynel Cebeci


Katie Kennedy

Katie Kennedy is the Education and Outreach Coordinator of the University of Alaska Geography Program, Coordinator of the Alaska Geographic Alliance, and partner in managing Alaska's K-12 GIS license.

A former classroom teacher based in Fairbanks, Katie conducts outreach activities throughout Alaska aimed at improving geographic literacy. She helps pre-college teachers and students learn how to use geospatial technologies like GPS, Google Earth, and ArcGIS Online. A self-described map geek, Katie is passionate about geography, mapping, geospatial technologies, and place-based exploration. She is thrilled to be involved in the Campus Basemap “mission” to put UAF on the map, for all to see.

Matthew Balazs

Matthew Balazs is a Ph.D. student in UAF the Geology Department's Remote Sensing section, where he uses GIS, GPS, and other remote sensing technologies to study natural hazards in Alaska. He is an avid traveler, and spends his free time seeking out the roads less traveled in the far corners of the globe. While he is working in Fairbanks, Matthew often finds the tools he uses in research double as a way to continue his travels.

“For me, remote sensing and map making is another way to explore the world we live in. When I get lost looking into a map or satellite image, I often get the same feeling as when I visit a foreign city for the first time."

Matthew is excited to share how we can use a range of technologies ranging from everyday tools, such as a smart phone and handheld GPS, to high tech instruments, like UAVs and satellite images, to map our surroundings. He can be contacted at mbalazs@alaska.edu.

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