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Published by: runneals on Nov 10, 2009
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Fifth-graders atParksideElementarySchool,Lawrenceville, Ill.,learn to useArcExplorer JavaEdition forEducators.At the 2008Richland CountyFair in Illinois,youth were givenGPS receivers andinstructions fortheir use. Theirmission was tofind their favoriteplace on thefairgrounds, markthat way pointand return. Theythen downloadedtheir way points
Web Exclusive: From ABC to GIS
 by Esther Worker
Posted: April 1, 2009
 
ESRI 4-H grants help kids map the road to success.
As the African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise achild.” But ESRI and GIS professionals are taking thatconcept even further by showing 4-H youth across the UnitedStates how to support their local communities—and maptheir own road to success—with geographic informationsystem (GIS) technology.For more than 100 years, 4-H has been helping America’s youth learnleadership, citizenship and life skills through camps, after-school programs andclub meetings. In 2007, more than 6 million 8- to 18-year-old boys and girls of all ethnicities from urban, suburban and rural areas across the country wereenrolled in 4-H programs. As 4-H entered the 21st century, the traditional 20thcentury programs were expanded to add high-tech programs that includerobotics, video photography, Web programming—and geospatial technologies.Engaging youth in learning through its Science, Engineering, and Technology(SET) programs is the 4-H 21st Century Mission mandate.
Exploring Spaces, Going Places
 The 4-H Exploring Spaces, Going Places geospatial curriculumwas created by a team of 4-H youth development educationspecialists to introduce 4-H youth to spatial thinking byexploring the world of geospatial science. 4-H programsintegrate a large component of service learning, and inaddition to learning about technology and gaining skills,Exploring Spaces, Going Places enables 4-H youth to use GIStechnology in their service projects in their own communities.As a result, citizens attending county and state fairs areintroduced to GIS technology through the maps and GISprojects on display, which are created by the 4-H youth.Often, the fair judges are local geography educators and GISprofessionals.The range of 4-H GIS projects is as wideand diverse as the geography landscape of the United States. New York State 4-H
4/6/2009 http://www.pobonline.com/copyrightpobonline.com//BNP_GUID_9-5-201/5
 
A map withseveral waypoints andsymbols chosenby participantsusing a layoutmap designed byone youth.Invasive weedmapping at SnowCanyon State Parkin Utah createdby the Dixie Tech4-H Team in Utah.er way ponsto an aerial photoof thefairgrounds, gaveit a symbol andsaved it.
youth mapped healthy places to eat at theNew York State Fair. In the west, 4-Hyouth mapped tribal lands that were hit bywildfires and talked to tribal membersabout how to better prepare tribal propertyto avoid fire destruction in the future. InSouthern California, 4-Hers mapped the aftereffects of wildfires, and in 2008, the National 4-H GIS Leadershipteam’s service project involved working with the San DiegoAnimal Shelter (SDAS) and San Diego Humane Society(SDHS) to prepare a map of San Diego County showing whereanimal shelters are located. This information will be used bythe SDAS and SDHS for evacuation situations in the future. 4-H youth in Utah,Colorado and Iowa worked with local natural resources professionals in theidentification and mapping of invasive weeds at state parks, conservationlands and county right-of-ways. Plans were made for the ongoing treatment of invasive weeds and 4-H youth will be involved in the annual monitoringprocess.
Alert, Evacuate and Shelter
The National Geographic Foundation funded a series of nationwide trainings sessions in 2007 to enable 4-H to usegeospatial technology (GIS and GPS) for emergencypreparedness at the community level. The 4-H Alert,Evacuate and Shelter (AES) program identified and trainedyouth and adult teams from selected communities to usegeospatial technology to enhance local emergencypreparedness efforts.4-H youth, GIS professionals and emergency managementofficials from 12 states and 46 counties were represented atthe 4-H AES trainings in 2007 and 2008. Selected applicantsfrom Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana and Texasattended one of the five trainings offered. The teams spent three days learningabout GIS and GPS technology and how GIS technology was used inpreplanning and post-recovery natural-disaster efforts by federal, state andlocal governments and private companies. A tabletop exercise gave everyoneinvolved an opportunity to experience a mock disaster and what happens at anEmergency Operations Command Center.The teams then returned home with the task to identify their communitymapping needs pertaining to emergency preparedness. The 4-H youth areworking side by side with their local professionals to improve their community’semergency preparedness while learning about community, careers andtechnology. “We are locating fire hydrants, fill pumps and main valves usingthe GPS units,” said one team leader from Florida. “We want to provide
4/6/2009 http://www.pobonline.com/copyrightpobonline.com//BNP_GUID_9-5-202/5
 
A map of thecurrent ESRI GISProgram for 4-Hparticipants in theU.S.
emergency management, water and sewer, fire departments—and anyone elsewho would use it—a map.” Other teams are working to build community support and relationships withtheir emergency managers and agency officials. In Florida, 4-H youth madeconnections at the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE)Hurricane Expo, which was attended by almost 4,000 people. “At their planningmeetings, information about us was brought up, which allowed us to makecontact with the county GIS person,” said a 4-H team leader from Florida. “Wegave him a pamphlet, and he took it to his bosses who gave him permission todo whatever is needed to help us. The county commissioner has given fullsupport, and he and the EOC chief officer have written letters for grantsupport.” In Georgia, the Glynn County 4-H Pirates received the ESRI 2008 SpecialAchievement in GIS recognition for the use of GIS in their environmentalprojects, their collaboration with the Glynn County emergency managementofficials in the creation of a hurricane evacuation map for their county, and forbeing the youth trainers in the 4-H Alert, Evacuate, and Shelter (AES) project.
ESRI 4-H Grants
ESRI supports the 4-H geospatial curriculum through itsannual GIS Grant for U.S. 4-H program. The grants equip 4-Hclubs with ESRI’s ArcView and ArcPad software for use inlocal geospatial projects. ESRI offers three levels of grantsto 4-H organizations: Getting Started with GIS and GPS,Introduction to GIS for 4-H, and Intermediate GIS for 4-H. Todate, 4-H youth in over 700 counties across the U.S. havebeen introduced to GIS and spatial thinking through the 4-Hgeospatial program and the ESRI software grants. “The ESRI4-H grant program has allowed our youth to exploreprofessional skills that they had not been aware of, enhancetheir work ethic and sense of collaboration, and connect with other youth andtheir communities by creating projects that actively benefit the community,” said Sarah Cofer, an Oregon 4-H SET faculty member.The Getting Started grant introduces youth and their leaders to the concept of spatial-thinking concepts and basic GIS skills. Utilizing ESRI’s ArcGIS ArcViewand ArcPad software products, 4-H youth perform a service-learning projectusing GIS technology and create a community atlas for ESRI’s U.S. CommunityAtlas project. K-12 students and youth define “the nature of their community” and create 10-20 community static maps and descriptions. The presentationsare combined on the Web atwww.esri.com/communityatlasand can besearched by characteristic and explored for similarities and differences.Intermediate level clubs can use ArcGIS extensions to utilize specialized
4/6/2009 http://www.pobonline.com/copyrightpobonline.com//BNP_GUID_9-5-203/5

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