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Volunteer Opportunities

Top Ten Reasons to Volunteer on a URISA Committee or Task Force:

  1. Enhance your leadership, team-building and communication skills
  2. Earn valuable Contributions Points toward your GISCI certification or renewal
  3. Strengthen your network with industry experts and thought leaders in the field
  4. Elevate your professional brand
  5. Develop programs and products
  6. Contribute to solving industry issues
  7. Increase your organization's visibility
  8. Work collaboratively with your peers
  9. Give back to the profession
  10. Have fun!

URISA's promise to provide exceptional experiences, a vibrant community, and essential tools is possible as a result of the time and energy volunteered by members like you.

We realize that work and family responsibilities come first, so volunteer time commitments vary widely. Volunteer to write an article for the newsletter (2 hours); participate with a team to develop a best practice (an hour or two a month for six months); or serve as a committee leader for a program you are passionate about (3 years). Committees usually meet via teleconference monthly and most of the work is done electronically via an online collaborative tool (Podio). 

URISA Committees

Each committee and task force is briefly described below with accompanying volunteer opportunities.

Professional Education Committee (PEC): Oversees the development and maintenance of URISA-approved professional educational materials. It also establishes guidelines for the development, review, and publication of URISA approved professional educational materials. The PEC ensures that these materials are developed and presented in accordance with URISA policies, membership interests, and Board strategic goals. The committee also coordinates the URISA portfolio of educational materials, identifying gaps, resolving overlaps, and assessing balance. 

Membership: Open to any URISA member.

What We’re Working On: The PEC current currently has over a dozen active workgroups that are creating podcasts, webinars, FAQs, workshops and more.   Workgroup topics include guidance for young professionals, preparing for GISP certification, social justice and GIS, GIS and Ethics, NextGen911, GIS management, and more.  We are always seeking new ideas that fit within URISA’s mission.

Volunteer Opportunities: PEC is constantly producing new educational products and is always seeking volunteers interested in furthering its goal to support the GIS profession.  Most of our work involves content development, review and presentation.  Time commitments can range from an hour to many days depending on your interest and availability.      

Do you have experience in one or more of the topics we are currently pursuing?  Is there some other topic that you know about and that you are willing to help us inform others about?   Do you like to write material, review material others have written or present to others?   If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions we want to hear from you now!   

Contact: Chair: Kevin Mickey, GISP  or  Co-Chair: Xan Fredericks, GISP

Annual Conference (GIS-Pro) Committee: The Committee is charged with producing the Association’s annual educational conference.

Specialty Conference Committees: Additional conference committees are charged with producing specialty conferences such as the URISA Caribbean GIS Conference, GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference, GIS in Transit Conference, and the GIS in Public Health Conference. On an as-needed basis, other committees may be formed, or individuals designated, to develop and deliver regional and special interest conferences to meet the needs of the membership.

Chapter Development and Relations Council: The Chapter Development and Relations Council promotes the health and growth of URISA chapters and facilitates communication, and support by and between URISA and its chapters.

Exemplary Systems In Government (ESIG) Awards Committee: This Committee is charged with the development, administration and selection of awards for recognition of exceptional achievement in the application of
information technology that has improved the delivery and quality of government services.

GISCorps Core Committee: Plans and directs the work of the GISCorps. The GISCorps coordinates short term, volunteer based GIS services to underprivileged communities and for humanitarian relief. The GISCorps Core Committee solicits and assigns volunteers to provide GIS services.

GIS Management Institute (GMI) Committee: Develops, manages, and implements professional GIS management products, and services, necessary to assess the maturity and capability of GIS operations. It coordinates administrative activities that support, market, and provide GMI products and services as performed by URISA headquarters staff and volunteers.

Leadership Development Committee: This Committee is charged with recommending a slate of candidates to serve on the URISA Board of Directors in accordance with the Association’s Bylaws and to propose candidates to serve in the post of Whistleblower Policy Compliance Officer. This Committee also identifies people for future leadership roles.

Marketing Committee: This committee is charged with developing and implementing programs to: market the organization; advertise its activities, events, programs and
initiatives; and attract and retain URISA members.

Past Presidents Council: The  Council provides advice to URISA’s Board upon request, and may, at Board request or with Board approval, take up specific matters for the good of the Association. In addition, each year the Council reviews and makes recommendations to the Board on nominations for the GIS Hall of Fame.

Policy Advisory (PAC) Committee: Charged with recommending formal policy positions on matters that:

  • Pertain directly to URISA’s mission
  • Do not involve partisan political lobbying or direct support for a political party or candidate
  • Are raised and reviewed, and the position recommended, in accordance with the established procedures of the Committee.

Special Awards Committee: This committee is charged with developing awards that recognize members for their contributions to the association and community at large.

URISA GIS Leadership Academy Committee: Produces the GLA, a one week leadership and management course for developing GIS leaders. It focuses on GIS leadership and management techniques, strategic planning, team development, organizational capacity building, program investment and justification, change management, and ethics and professional challenges, among other topics.

Vanguard Cabinet: Established to provide the means for young professionals to receive encouragement and to have a stronger role in the guidance of URISA. The  Cabinet’s mission is to collaborate with the URISA Board of Directors in creating and promoting programs and policies of benefit to young professionals.

Vanguard Steering Committee: Charged with oversight of the Vanguard Cabinet (VC). Direct responsibilities of the Vanguard Steering Committee are to annually select new members of the VC, annually select a Young Professional of the Year and to mentor members throughout their tenure on the VC.

URISA Task Forces

URISA's NextGen 911 Now Task Force was established to leverage the GIS voice of URISA with the emerging technology of Next Generation 911 (NextGen 911) via participation in the NextGen 911 NOW Coalition.

URISA's Community Resilience Task Force was established to discuss and produce knowledge about the role of geospatial data, technologies, policies and associated best practices related to community resilience.  



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