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GIS-Pro 2019 Student and Young Professional Opportunities

University & Young Professional Competition 

K-12 Poster Showcase

Student Volunteer Opportunities Apply by August 30

Meet-Ups and Networking

Young Professional Scholarship Competition 

Sponsor Young Professional Activities in Conjunction with GIS-Pro 2019

In addition to meet-ups and networking events , URISA's Vanguard Cabinet of Young Professionals has teamed up with leaders in the education community to organize a valuable program track titled "Inspiring the Future of GIS".  

The track begins with a full-day workshop focused on "Preparing for GIS Certification".  The sessions are designed to 1) share GIS Education experiences and innovations across a variety of formats and 2) support young professionals and students in their geospatial career development. The student and YP sessions will provide opportunities to learn about and develop the skills and relationships that will advance their understanding of professional pathways and keys to success in the geospatial workplace.  

Further, they are sponsoring a K-12 Poster Showcase and a University and Young Professional Digital Competition! Note that Student and Young Professional members also receive significant discounts on registration!

2019 University Student and Young Professional Competition

Overview:  URISA’s Vanguard Cabinet is proud to host a Digital Competition to promote the GIS profession and attendance of young and emerging professionals at GIS-Pro 2019 in New Orleans. This competition will be held virtually on Friday, June 28, 2019 with the top three presenters awarded GIS-Pro registration and a travel stipend.

Fantastic response to this inaugural competition! We cannot wait to see the winning presentations during the GIS-Pro 2019 Lightning Talks session in New Orleans:

Jeremy Mullins, Student, University of West Florida:  Harmonizing the Past with the Future: Data Synchronization between an ArcGIS Online Feature Layer and a SQL Database

Taylor Esco, Student, Auburn UniversityWho is Socially Vulnerable in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi to Tornadoes & How do Planning Practices Influence Safety?

Safa Ridene, Young ProfessionalShadow Detection and Correction Using a Combined 3D GIS and Image Processing Approach

Key Dates:

  • Abstracts due by Friday, June 7, 2019 
  • Selection by Friday, June 14, 2019
  • Presentation due by Friday, June 21, 2019
  • Present during Digital Competition on Friday, June 28, 2019 at 12:00Noon Eastern
  • Awardees selected by Wednesday, July 3, 2019
  • Confirmation for award acceptance and attendance at GIS-Pro by July 19, 2019
  • Registration for GIS-Pro required by Wednesday, July 31, 2019
  • Present at GIS-Pro 2019 on Tuesday, October 1, 2019


  • Must be a University student at a post-secondary educational institute – OR – a recent graduate (Spring 2019 or Summer 2019) OR Must Be a Young Professional with less than 5 years of experience in the Geospatial field
  • Submit a current resume
    • University students must indicate graduation date or expected date
    • Young and emerging professionals must indicate GIS related work experience
  • Must be able to attend GIS-Pro 2019 in New Orleans, LA
  • Meet submission and selection deadlines
  • Project must be from an individual (no group presentations or projects)


All presenters will receive one year of URISA Student membership (if currently enrolled) OR one year of URISA Young Professional membership


  1. The top 3 presenters will receive a travel stipend up to $1,000 to travel to GIS-Pro in New Orleans, LA.
  2. Presenters will present winning presentations during the GIS-Pro 2019 lightning talks session on Tuesday, October 1, from 3:15-5:00 PM.

Travel stipend may cover the following:

  1. Airfare
  2. Hotel accommodations
  3. $50 per day in meals, not including alcohol

*Note: Presenters will be reimbursed for these expenses with receipts after attendance and presentations given at GIS-Pro

Scroll down for sponsorship information.

K-12 Poster Showcase

For the past few years, with GIS becoming more popular in secondary education, we’ve been honored to showcase local GIS classes at our conference. In fact, we even hosted a middle school class at the CalGIS conference in Fresno, California!

Typically, the students are invited to attend one day or a part of a day at the conference (whatever works best with travel schedules and workload), set up their posters to discuss their projects with GIS professionals in attendance and have the opportunity to learn about career paths and opportunities as they progress through their school years. They can attend sessions and wander through the exhibit hall to check out the latest technology being offered. It’s been quite fulfilling to watch. One of the 9th grade presenters at GIS-Pro 2017 is coming back this year to do a formal presentation! We are certain she will have a long and successful career in GIS!

The conference will be at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside and the best days to participate would be Monday or Tuesday, September 30 or October 1. The conference agenda is detailed online

Interested in showcasing your class? Please contact Wendy Nelson at your earliest opportunity.   

Student Volunteer Opportunities

A limited number of volunteer slots are available for students currently enrolled in a college or university (or just-graduated). In return for devoting 8 hours of volunteer service (serving as a workshop monitor, helping out at the registration desk, etc.) selected volunteers will receive a free registration to GIS-Pro 2019. Note that travel and lodging is not included. 

In addition to taking advantage of the professional education and opportunity to explore various career paths at the event, you'll be able to network with people who may be interested in hiring you in the future or who might serve as your professional mentor!  Priceless!

Please complete the volunteer form for consideration by August 30, 2019.

Young Professional and Student Meet-Ups and Networking

Be sure to take advantage of the events planned by URISA's Vanguard Cabinet while in New Orleans.  You'll make new friends and valuable professional connections and have a great time! Also learn about Cabinet programs and activities and how you can apply.

Check this space for updates and invitations and follow @URISAVC 

Scroll down for sponsorship information.

2019 URISA Dr. Marilyn O'Hara Ruiz Young Professional Scholarship 

This scholarship fund was introduced last year and honors Dr. Marilyn Ruiz who passed away unexpectedly in 2018. During Dr. Ruiz's  career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she provided her undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students with excellent research experiences in her laboratory which helped them to have successful careers in academia, government and industry. Marilyn was passionate about her role as a mentor of graduate education.  The scholarship fully supports young professional participation in the conference, fostering their professional connections and educational development.  

Jack Dangermond meeting our first-ever Marilyn O'Hara Ruiz Young Professional Scholarship winners: Fikriyah Winata and Bryan Ferri

A core strategic goal for URISA is to support GIS professionals at all stages of their careers. URISA has established a number of programs to support young professionals and has active participation through programs such as GISCorps with abundant, diverse and rewarding volunteer opportunities, the URISA GIS Leadership Academy, and the Vanguard Cabinet which collaborates with URISA leaders and committees to create programs and opportunities geared toward other young professionals.

URISA established the Dr. Marilyn O'Hara Ruiz Young Professional Scholarship program which selects up to three young professionals (35 years old or younger) to attend GIS-Pro 2019. The participants in this program will have the opportunity to attend a one-of-a-kind geospatial super-event in New Orleans and experience cross-discipline sessions covering the most up to date and emerging GIS technologies, processes and applications, strengthen professional connections through networking with key URISA and industry leaders, and connect with and get involved in local, national and international initiatives and activities, all while obtaining valuable professional/continuing education credits.

  • Deadline to Apply: July 15, 2019 
  • Scholarship recipients will be notified: August 1, 2019 (need a couple more days... August 5, 2019)

Eligibility and Attendance Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be a URISA member in good standing (join to apply)
  • Be a first-time attendee at this annual event
  • Work directly in GIS or working with GIS in a closely related geospatial field (surveying, planning, engineering, etc.)
  • Be available to assist in the Vanguard Cabinet booth during the Exhibit Hall Social
  • Have confirmed ability to secure travel to/from the conference (costs will be reimbursed)
  • Attend the opening keynote address (September 30), a minimum of 3 Vanguard Cabinet sponsored events and/or moderate a session, attend a full day workshop (September 29) AND a minimum of one session from at least 3 of the program tracks below:
      1. Community Resiliency and Sustainability 
      2. Social Justice and Equity Implications of GIS
      3. GIS Supporting Health and Human Services
      4. Data Management and Analysis
      5. Geospatial Technology Innovations
      6. Inspiring the Future of GIS and Education
  • Summarize your conference experience and incorporate how you will incorporate this experience and knowledge into your own career path and professional development by November 1, 2019 to be included in a URISA newsletter. The summary must be received prior to expense reimbursement.

To Apply:  

Complete the application.

Send your resume, a letter of employer support on letterhead (if applicable) and a professional reference/recommendation familiar with your work. All materials must be submitted directly to wnelson@urisa.org with the subject line: URISA Young Professional Scholarship Recommendation

Selection Criteria

  1. Demonstrated work and/or research within the GIS (or related) industry
  2. Quality of responses to essay questions
  3. Impact of work, contributions to the GIS field
  4. Letter of recommendation

Selected Scholarship winners will receive ($1850 Value + professional growth and networking experience!)

  • Free registration to GIS-Pro 2019 in New Orleans
  • 5-night hotel single/double room accommodations
  • $500 expense reimbursement towards meals and travel
  • Obtain professional continuing education credits for GISP, AICP and others!
  • Opportunities to meet and network with other young professionals, Vanguard Cabinet, URISA leaders and key national and international industry leaders

 to support this scholarship fund!  

The scholarship fully supports young professional participation in the conference, fostering their professional connections and educational development. Sponsors receive ample acknowledgement. 

Sponsor Young Professional Activities at GIS-Pro 2019

Sponsorship of URISA Vanguard Cabinet activities is a great way to show your organization's support for young GIS professionals. Consider supporting the Digital Competition Winners, the YP Scholarship Recipients, or even the YP meet-up at the conference. Every $ counts and is greatly appreciated!

To sponsor the Dr. Marilyn O'Hara Ruiz Young Professional Scholarship, click the big DONATE NOW button above or fill out the sponsor form below.

Young Professional Meet-Up: This event has grown into an event that young GIS professionals look forward to! It’s typically scheduled in a venue that is near the hotel and the networking is second-to-none. Your much-appreciated sponsorship will go towards appetizers for the group. - SPONSORED

University Student & Young Professional Digital Competition Sponsorship: Demonstrate your commitment to the next generation of GIS leaders by sponsoring the URISA Vanguard Cabinet’s annual competition. The competition will be held virtually this summer with the top three winners receiving GIS-Pro 2019 conference registration, a presentation slot on the program, and travel support. The sponsors will receive ample acknowledgement during the conference!  


Childcare Sponsorship:  We will again be subsidizing onsite childcare services for those attendees who have babies/young children and wish to attend GIS-Pro. Show your support for these GIS professionals and co-sponsor the service! Tremendous “feel good” sponsorship with appreciation from the entire community!  

Reserve your Young Professional Sponsorship Opportunity Today:

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