This Year, Our Meetings Have Moved to the Fourth Tuesday of the Month

 After an extended winter holiday that almost everyone we know seemed to have taken, we decided to move our meeting day to the fourth Tuesday of the month , keeping the time that seemed to be convenient for most people. We started the year with an Intro to QGIS workshop held by our member Ryan Lennon . In February, we had the joy and privilege of hosting Derek Masaki 's presentation of USGS' s latest dynamic topographic mapping platform that is scheduled to be launched in the fall. At the end of the meeting, some of us stayed on Zoom for a debrief that developed into bragging about our latest specialty reads - turned out that we had quite a collection of exciting map-related books to tell each other about! We have been toying for a few months with the idea of having our own book club, and organizing a book show-and-tell seemed like a good start. So there it is ! We have ten slots of five minutes available. Three or four of us organizers will hop in with our finds in case there

Virtual Holiday Party

We are getting together on Zoom , in mid-December, for a final 2020 Meetup - an informal online event to wrap up an extraordinary year that has forced us (and most everyone else) to retreat into virtual realms. If the future of GIS is in the cloud and the future of commute is the telecommute, these surreal times seem to have vastly accelerated the trend and, hopefully, weakened our resistance to change. It's something on which we would be wise to work constantly since the world seems to change increasingly faster. With the worrisome positive feedback loops of climate change, perhaps Moore's law extends beyond computers. We can discuss similar topics and others, preferably less heady and more cheerful, during our online meeting. We have made new friends, started new jobs, new projects, despite or due to what's going on. Because we have an amazing community . Let's celebrate it! P.S. Last year I made  these whimsical dymaxion holiday ornaments ... Why not try your hand at

If it's November, it's GIS Day

This month we are celebrating GIS Day on November 17. Our event is scheduled to be featured on the GIS Day website . During our meeting, Melissa Albino-Hegeman, who is  the Marine Fisheries Data Manager at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Marine Resources, will share her experience in designing GIS tools. Her presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Connection details will be shared on the day of the event.

October Online Meeting

Last month we discussed a project that made use of LiDAR data collected in order to map potential vernal pools in the North-East of the US, courtesy of North-Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative . This month,  the NY/NJ chapter will celebrate World Space Week (even if a few days late) with  a conversation around this year's theme, "Satellites Improve Life”.   There will be a 5-10 minute presentation, then we will discuss the advances in environmental science and conservation that were made thanks to satellite technologies, and about the growing need for specialists in the satellite data processing field. Everyone whose research benefited from satellite-collected data or who is interested in incorporating these data in future projects is welcome to weigh in. If you are interested in presenting at our upcoming online meetings, please use  this form . The online meeting link will be posted on the day of the event.

August Meeting

 Our chapter continues its monthly meetings with the August edition, which is scheduled on Tuesday, August 11, as usual at 17:30. We plan to have a presentation at each meeting. This month, Alec Ayers, PhD, one of the newest members of our chapter, will present his thesis, which is based on the use of remote sensing for tracking prey-predator interactions. Connection details are available on our Meetup event page .

Online Meetings

We have moved our meetings online since last month. On April 14, we held a Google Meet on the subject of GIS freelancing, to which sixteen people participated, most of them SCGIS members from outside our chapter. We had a great time sharing our experience as freelancers. All our resources and links were gathered in a Google Doc that was made available to the participants. We are holding this month's meeting on May 12 from 5:30 PM . We will be focusing on the topics of online learning and mapping projects of current interest. Participants are free to add any other relevant topic.

Why You Should Start Learning to Code TODAY

Originally published here I am writing this article for the members of the  Society for Conservation GIS NY/NJ Chapter  who are at the beginning of their careers, but all those who want to add coding skills to their resumes can benefit from reading it. I have been an advocate for STEAM education my entire life. Coming from a family of educators, and being a nerdy kid, it was not exactly hard to be convinced of its enormous value early. Most recently, I have been extremely worried to observe how a lack of education is undermining democracy itself. I am talking about STEAM education, not just STEM. Meaning that the Arts should always be part of the package. They are much more important for modern civilization than you might think. More important than science? Just as important, and equally important to physical education, in my opinion. I will detail this on another occasion. I am not only an advocate of STEAM education. I am an advocate of life-long learning. And one of the skills y