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URISA Webinars & Virtual Education

Free opportunities for URISA International Members:

GIS in the Coastal Zone: Spatial Prioritization Widget and the Florida Coastal Mapping Program
Friday, June 21 at 3:00 PM Eastern

Globally, there is a lack of resources to survey the vast areas of the seafloor in need of even basic mapping data. Consequently, smaller areas must be prioritized to address the most urgent mapping needs. To address this, NOAA developed a systematic, quantitative approach and Web AppBuilder widget to gather mapping suggestions from a group of stakeholders. Inputs are standardized into a GIS framework using a grid overlaid on the area and through pull-down menu choices that enable participants to convey the types of mapping products that they need and the rationale used to justify their needs. This enables different groups of respondents to identify common interests and potential collaborations and more effectively invest limited mapping funds to achieve common goals. The approach can be easily scaled and customized to accommodate much larger geographic areas and numbers of participants.

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP) is an adopter of this approach. FCMaP was initiated in 2017 as a coordinating body of Florida State and Federal partners with a goal of achieving consistent, state-wide, high-resolution seafloor data for Florida’s coastal zone in the next decade. These data will provide critical baseline information to support a range of applications. An inventory of existing high-resolution elevation data collected on Florida’s coastline and shelf was undertaken by a technical team comprised of FCMaP partners. To complete a gap analysis, the Florida peninsula was separated based on geomorphological characteristics into six regions: Panhandle, Big Bend, West Peninsula, Keys, Southeast, and Northeast. FCMaP is soliciting input from managers, planners, and decision-makers to prioritize coastal and seafloor mapping needs. NOAA’s spatial prioritization widget was adapted for Florida and is being rolled out region-by-region via a series of stakeholder workshops.

Moderator: Xan Fredericks, GISP is the Associate National Map Liaison to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands for the USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP) and is the Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources Program (CMHRP). She is a GISCI-certified GIS Professional (GISP) and has been active in URISA since 2015, currently serving as the Associate Chair of the Professional Education Committee. Xan is also active in ASPRS, serving as GIS Division Director and Vice President of the Florida Region.


Dr. Cheryl Hapke is a coastal geologist with Coastal Science Solutions and also holds a research professorship at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science.  She spent 20 years as a research scientist with U.S. Geological Survey and her research continues to build on why and how coastlines change over multiple time and space scales. She received her PhD in Coastal Geology from the University of California Santa Cruz, an M.S. in Geology from the University of Maryland, and her B.S. in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh. She has applied her expertise to understanding coastal change in a large variety of geomorphic environments throughout the world. Cheryl is currently the Coordinator of the Florida Coastal Mapping Program, a Federal-State partnership to provide modern, high resolution seafloor information for all of Florida’s coastal waters in the next decade.

Ken Buja is a senior GIS developer with NOAA’s National Center for Coastal Ocean Science. For over 25 years, he has worked with marine biologists, oceanographers, and statisticians creating applications and websites to collect, analyze, and disseminate data, models, and media.

This event is free for URISA members, but registration is limited so sign up early!  We often have waiting lists for URISA webinars so we ask that you do not sign up unless you are committed to attending. Thank you!

Online Registration 

GIS for Government: Answering the Big Questions
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 

Whether you are a decision maker trying to determine how GIS can bring value to your community, or a practitioner that already uses GIS to support community services, you may be seeking answers to important questions that will guide how you leverage GIS now and in the future. For example, what are the boundaries between data privacy and the public good? How can GIS be effectively leveraged alongside other technological advancements including social media, open data or IoT? Are there differences in how GIS is applied in support small communities vs large metropolitan areas, regions or states? Is the effort to develop and maintain GIS capability worth the cost?

GIS technology is used to support a vast array of government services including economic development, property and infrastructure management, disaster response and social services. GIS is also increasingly being used by governments to support the collection and sharing of information with constituents such as home and business owners.

At 2:00 pm Eastern on May 29, URISA is hosting a special opportunity for GIS practitioners and decision makers to hear from and interact with a panel of experienced decision makers and GIS managers that can speak to each of these questions and more. This event is free, but registration is limited so sign up early!

Our Panelists:

Steven J. Steinberg, Ph.D., GISP - Geographic Information Officer (GIO) for Los Angeles County, California
In collaboration with a team of highly skilled GIS professionals, Dr. Steinberg guides the geospatial strategy for more than 10 million residents and 100,000 county employees across 37 departments. He is a self-titled “geospatial evangelist” passionate about the use of technology to solve real problems of people and their environment. Prior to joining LA County, he served as Principal Scientist and Department Head for Information Management and Analysis at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority (SCCWRP) and over a decade as a Professor of Geospatial Science at Humboldt State University, California. Dr. Steinberg continues teaching as an Adjunct Professor and has co-authored two books on geospatial science applications. Dr. Steinberg is actively involved in geospatial leadership positions and professional organizations including URISA, ASPRS, and CGIA. He is the Immediate Past President of the Southern California URISA Chapter.

Jim Sparks, Director - Geoinformatics for The Polis Center at IUPUI
A highly-experienced geospatial information professional, Jim has spent the majority of his career working with geospatial information. Prior to joining Polis, he served as Indiana’s first Geographic Information Officer which entailed coordinating the statewide geospatial efforts and integrating, creating, and distributing geospatial data.
Previously, Jim was integral to the development of the Indianapolis Mapping and Geographic Infrastructure System (IMAGIS), serving as project manager for the data conversion component. This substantial effort converted paper and digital data into GIS layers to create a geographic information system for Marion County, Indiana. Upon completion, IMAGIS was recognized as noteworthy for its size, complexity, and the level of benefit that it delivered.

Cindy Domenico - Former Commissioner, Boulder County, Colorado
Cindy was first appointed to the Board of County Commissioners in July 2007 to fill the seat left vacant when County Commissioner Tom Mayer passed away in June 2007. In 2009, she was chosen by Colorado Counties, Inc. as “Commissioner of the Year” out of 219 commissioners and council members from 64 counties for her dedicated work on initiatives that helped benefit small and large counties alike. Domenico served as Boulder County Assessor from 1997-2007. Cindy also served as the 2005-06 URISA President. A member of both URISA and IAAO (International Association of Assessing Officers), she has long been a champion for GIS at the local government level.

Previous Webinars:

FEMA and GIS: The Role of Technology and Data in Disaster Management - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

In 2017 the United States experienced some of the most significant disasters in its history.  FEMA is the key federal agency tasked with addressing disasters.  In recent years they have made it a strategic priority to develop GIS data and cutting edge technologies that now enable them to more effectively support communities before, during and after disasters.  In this presentation, you will see demonstrations of the tools and resources currently available from FEMA and learn how they are being used around the nation.  You will also learn about several exciting initiatives that are currently underway to develop GIS resources that quantify hazard risk and impact to support rapid and accurate decision making.   There will be a question and answer session at the end of the presentation.

Chris Vaughan – Chris Vaughan serves as the FEMA Geospatial Information Officer where he champions and coordinates geospatial technologies across multiple response and recovery programs.  In order to meet strategic goals and priorities, Chris works effectively across federal, military, state, local, and tribal communities to promote geospatial programs, technology, and institutional structures and share best practices. In addition, he is committed to identifying, mentoring, and developing the next generation of geospatial leaders. Mr. Vaughan has a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Lee University and is a graduate of American University’s Key Executive Leadership Certificate Program. Thank you for the fantastic presentation! Download Mr. Vaughan's slides here.

Learn about URISA's GISCorps Webinar
June, 2018

We're all extremely proud of this URISA program, founded in 2003, which connects GIS expertise with underserved communities an in response to emergencies around the globe. Take some time to learn about the amazing missions that GISCorps volunteers have contributed to and learn how you can participate. #GISgivesback

Preparing for GISP Certification Webinar - April 3 & 4, 2018

The GISP has become a respected and in-demand indication of your skills as a GIS professional. If you are pursuing the GISP credential, or are thinking of doing so, join us on April 3 and 4, 2018 for a six-hour, two day virtual event, as a group of talented GIS experts share valuable information that can increase your chance of success.

Information presented in this webinar was designed to help professionals who have extensive GIS education and experience, but need to know what topics to review prior to taking the exam.   It also helped individuals with some GIS experience that may be lacking in one or more areas covered by the exam and that need to know where to find additional resources to study.

Earning the GISP credential requires successfully completing an exam as well as a number of other application requirements. 

  • Day one (Tuesday, April 3) explored the reasons that the GISP credential is worth pursuing as well as what is involved in completing each part of the application. 
  • Day two (Wednesday, April 4) explored the topics that you need to be familiar with for each of the knowledge areas covered by the GISP exam.

URISA webinars really are uniquely fantastic!" — Jay Clark, City of Shoreline, WA (URISA webinar attendee)

URISA Connect is the virtual component of URISA’s educational offerings.  With a revitalized Professional Education Committee, watch this space for additional activity and offerings.

Webinars that connect you to the cutting edge in technology and management lessons for the GIS industry are at your fingertips. From single presentations to multi-part workshop offerings, URISA Connect webinars offer the opportunity to:

  • Learn about GIS best practices from trusted experts.
  • Delve deep into topics important to your professional development.
  • See the latest technical and management advancements.
  • Ask questions, share ideas, and collaborate on today’s big issues.

Are you trying to find ways to increase your industry knowledge and learn new skills without a budget for travel? URISA Connect is an effective way to develop your professional skills and even work towards GISCI Certification Education Hours. (URISA Webinars count towards the EDU-2 section of the application.)

Archived Webinars

Previous URISA Webinars:

November 2014: Asset Management: Planning, Strategy, and Implementation - URISA Certified Workshop
Jason Amadori, GISP, Data Transfer Solutions, Orlando, FL

October 2014: An Overview of Open Source GIS Software - URISA Certified Workshop
Sara Yurman, GISP, Spatial Focus, LLC

September 2014 - GIS Capability Maturity Model (GISCMM) - URISA Certified Workshop
Greg Babinski, GISP, King County GIS Center, Seattle, WA

August 2014 - Building an Address Repository using the FGDC Standard: Implementing Quality and Data Sharing- URISA Certified Workshop
Martha Wells, GISP, Spatial Focus, University Park, MD

June 2014 - Introduction to GNSS- URISA Certified Workshop
Keri Brennan, GISP - URISA, Des Plaines, IL

March 2014 - Deploying Mobile Solutions: What to Consider - URISA Certified Workshop
Tripp Corbin, MCP, CFM, GISP, eGIS Associates, Atlanta, GA

February 2014 - Exemplary Systems in Government Award Winner Showcase
"Show Me My House" for Snow Ordinance Searches - Anna Whipple - City of Des Moines, IA

November 2013 The Proper Care and Feeding of Metadata
Ryan Bowe, Photo Science , Lexington, Kentucky 

November 2013: The GIS Management Institute and the GIS Capability Maturity Model (GISCMM): updates, overviews and implementations.
Greg Babinski, GISP, King County GIS Center , Seattle, Washington

October 2013: Expanding Broadband Mapping in Economic Development and Planning Initiatives
Ashley Hitt, GISP, Connected Nation, Louisville, Kentucky

Link to On Demand Content




Benefits of sponsorship of a URISA Connect webinar include direct marketing of your webinar to the entire URISA Membership and beyond.  As well, URISA will promote your workshops online, in the URISA Digest and in other online publications.  As an added benefit, your webinar will be hosted by URISA, for future viewing for 12 months following the webinar.

Working directly with you and your team, URISA staff will ensure a professionally presented online experience.  

Understanding that marketing is a valuable component to your business, and that the costs of marketing is ever increasing, the need to get your message to as many people with the best return on investment, the URISA Connects sponsored webinar series will help to attain these goals.

If you are interested in hosting a sponsored workshop please contact Wendy Nelson.

URISA Connect Cancellation and Refund Policy: All cancellations must be received in writing (via fax, email or regular mail) at URISA Headquarters no later than 72 hours before the event in order to receive a refund, minus a $10 processing fee. After that time period, cancelled registrations will not be refunded nor applied to future events. URISA is not responsible for any technical issues caused by Adobe Connect that may prevent or limit access, recorded or live, to the webinar by attendees, and will not be able to offer refunds should these issues occur.


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