Photo address of University of Maine at Machias
Tora Johnson (standing), the GIS Service Center administrator at the University of Maine at Machias, instructs a apprentice during a chic for a UMM Geographic Advice Systems course.
Photo address of University of Maine at Machias
By accumulation several layers of geospatial abstracts from the towns of Machias and East Machias, UMM apprentice Christopher Frederico was able to actualize the abstract Development Suitability map on the larboard in the GIS Service Center at UMM. The analysis, accurate by a admission from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be adapted with association ascribe to advice analyze areas best ill-fitted for development.
MACHIAS — Jobs anticipate acceptance enrolled in the GIS programs at the University of Maine at Machias.
In fact, the job appeal is so great, “we would adulation to accept added acceptance in our programs,” said Tora Johnson, GIS Service Center administrator at UMM. “The activity bazaar is boxy everywhere, abnormally in Maine, but these abilities accord our graduates an edge. In the accepted bread-and-er market, bodies with GIS abilities on their resumes are out-competing added job seekers.
“Many bodies in the geospatial industry in Maine will be backward over the aing 10 years and will charge to be replaced,” Johnson said.
Geographic advice systems (GIS) is a technology begin everywhere from a car’s GPS-based onboard aeronautics arrangement to a laptop’s Google Earth. At UMM, “we advise added than carefully GIS,” Johnson said. “We advise and advance GIS geospatial technology and geospatial science.”
Geospatial technology and science alloy GIS, GPS, and abstracts mapping and analysis, according to Johnson.
“Initially GIS was acclimated about alone in ecology technology and land-use applications,” she said.
But “geospatial technology has been growing exponentially over the aftermost 12-14 years” as government and industry “are absolutely ramping up their use of GIS,” she said. Geospatial technology has broadcast into such fields as geospatial intelligence and abomination and emergency management.
“There is a growing charge for workers. Those fields are acquainted a atrocious charge for bodies who accept GIS and how to use it,” Johnson said. “Employment has aloof taken off. Geospatial technology was accustomed six to eight years ago by the Department of Activity as amid the top 12 fastest growing groups of occupations.
Growth in GIS-related technology “has been acquired by broader accessibility of the tools,” abnormally at the customer level, and additionally by “faster computers, [and] broadband Internet,” Johnson said.
To advice adapt acceptance for GIS-related employment, the University of Maine at Machias offers:
• Two GIS amount programs: a accessible of science in ecology studies with a GIS absorption and a accessible of science in abyssal assay or ecology amusement and tourism administration with a GIS minor.
• A GIS affidavit affairs advised abnormally for advisers who charge to advancement their job skills. “That is by far the majority of appeal for GIS in the workforce. Administration absolutely charge these skills,” Johnson said.
“We accept been responding to that charge by developing programs that are attainable to bodies who are in the workforce and charge to amend their skills,” she said. “You don’t charge to abdicate your day job to complete our GIS certificate.”
According to a civic survey, added than 50 percent of acceptance enrolled in agnate GIS affidavit programs accept academy degrees. “They’re abacus to their accomplishment sets,” Johnson said.
• In affiliation with Washington County Association Academy in Calais, an accessory amount in GIS technology.
At the University of Maine at Machias, the GIS Service Center is amid in Torrey Hall. Acceptance do not absorb all their chic time acquirements theory, however; “we focus on activated learning,” with acceptance alive on specific projects that account businesses, government agencies, and municipalities, Johnson said.
“Students accretion this real-word acquaintance either in chic or as paid interns in our GIS Service Center,” she said.
“Our focus is primarily on Washington County, on architecture mapping-and-planning accommodation for the rural communities about us,” Johnson indicated. “We accept done assignment in Hancock County.
“We accommodate mapping and mapping-analysis casework that advice municipalities accomplish decisions added finer and inexpensively,” Johnson said. “We accommodate our audience with maps and added casework that abutment decision-making, and our acceptance get hands-on experience.”
According to Johnson, GIS acceptance accept digitized tax maps in best Down East municipalities. “Tax mapping has been a absolutely important allotment of work,” she said.
With GIS-based software, UMM acceptance can “layer altered kinds of data” to “create maps that accommodate borough admiral with a lot of information,” Johnson said. For example, tax maps layered “with accustomed ability data” can acknowledge on whose acreage “critical wetlands or hawkeye nests” are located, she explained.
“With this information, a boondocks can accomplish affairs to assure those resources,” Johnson said. In affiliation with the Maine Department of Ecology Protection and the Washington County Council of Governments, “we accept created shoreland zoning maps for abounding Washington County towns, at a amount of alone hundreds [of dollars] per town,” she said.
“This has helped them actualize their own ordinances and abstain a state-imposed ordinance,” Johnson said.
A few years ago, Johnson and UMM’s GIS acceptance formed with the Hancock County Planning Commission and the Washington County Council of Governments “to advance a Down East Coastal Region Account of Scenic Resources,” Johnson said.
The activity “combined GIS assay and fieldwork to accept which places bodies were absolutely absorbed to and to amount … which are the important places to conserve,” she said. That account is now accessible at the HCPC and WCCOG Web sites.
“We additionally accept developed in the southern bisected of Washington County a Down East Regional Conservation Priority Map,” Johnson said. This activity “also complex accumulation mapped advice with advice from surveys area bodies were asked to vote for their best important priorities” in agreement of accustomed appearance that should be preserved.
Students accommodating in these assorted projects accept “gained invaluable experience” in fieldwork and in allegory abstracts and creating digitized maps, according to Johnson. That acquaintance translates to “additional abilities that are adorable to employers,” she said.
“The acceptance who accept GIS training and are admission from UMM today are accepting full-time jobs,” Johnson said. Classes are currently breach about analogously amid men and women; “there are added women activity in to the field,” she indicated.
“It’s a growing application field. The University of Maine at Machias is a abundant abode to learn,” Johnson said. “Our acceptance alum with real-world acquaintance that administration want.”
To apprentice added about the GIS programs at UMM, log assimilate http://www.umm.maine.edu/gis-program.html.
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