If you have some space in your home between June 14 and July 7 (or even a part of that time), and you enjoy getting to know people from around the world, please consider helping host one or two of the Society for Conservation GIS scholars (SCGIS)!
This summer between 17 and 25 young adult international visitors will be coming to Davis to attend specialized GIS training provided by the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS). These international scholars (usually between the ages of 22 and 40) were selected from a global pool of applicants. They will be in the US for about five weeks, and for three of those weeks they will need housing in Davis. This will be the fourth summer that the Davis community has hosted the SCGIS scholars.
Scholars will be in class at UC Davis (in a computer lab) 8-10 hours per day, sometimes including Saturdays, and will often eat meals together after class. SCGIS will provide them with funds to cover the cost of their food, but because of a limited budget, SCGIS cannot afford hotels. After leaving Davis, the scholars will be attending the Esri International User Conference in San Diego (July 8-12) and then the Society for Conservation GIS annual conference in Monterey (July 14-18). Most will then head home.
This is a fantastic opportunity for cultural exchange. Lifetime friendships often develop between host families and scholars, and these often include invitations for host family members to visit and stay with the scholars in their home countries. The countries represented by scholars this year (tentatively) include: Uruguay, Laos, DR Congo, Nigeria, Brazil, China, Mexico, Armenia, Philippines, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Argentina, Zambia, Japan, South Africa, and Indonesia. There are also at least four advanced scholars who may be coming from one or more of these countries: Russia, Cameroon, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Madagascar, China, Argentina, and Canada.
It is best if scholars can stay in a guest room (1 or 2 scholars per room), but even a sofa bed in the living room can work if that’s what you have. Your commitment beyond a place to stay is minimal, but there will be opportunities to join the scholars for some meals and parties throughout their stay.
If this sounds interesting to you, please contact Steve Blum (email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 916.715.4597) or Karen Beardsley (email@example.com). They will be happy to discuss this in more detail, so please let them know if you have any questions! Also feel free to pass this along to others you know who may be interested.
On Saturday, March 2rd thirty-four community members and stakeholders met to tour the project and discuss the new design. Participants broke into two groups and toured the future California Native Plant Garden (located between the east end of the Arboretum and the Davis Commons parking lot) and a portion of Putah Creek Parkway (which goes under the railroad tracks and connects north and south Davis). The group then gathered to provide feedback on the proposal. And, as often happens here in Davis, a lively discussion ensued! Both pedestrian and cyclist interests were well represented, as were concerns about circulation connections, long term maintenance of the site, project signage, wildlife diversity, and ongoing community involvement. Overall, participants were excited about the proposed improvements and eager for the process to get underway.
For those of you who were able to make it to the meeting, thanks for your feedback! It’s an invaluable part of the design process and a resource that we will continually return to as we finalize the construction documents.
Look for construction of the California Native Plant Garden to begin this summer!
Notes and exhibits from the meeting:
To read more about this project, CLICK HERE.
Jack Dangermond, president and founder of Esri, shares vision and launches pilot project with Arboretum and Public Garden
(Readers: please note that this article was used as a promotional piece/press release and refers to a talk that has already taken place.)
Remember when you used to need 10 cents to make a phone call outside your home? The nostalgia of questions like this and others is no longer reserved for older generations. The advent of digital books and music, smart phones, and social media have opened our world to whole new professions, networks of communication, ease of access to media and information that were unheard of just 5 years ago. What technology will change our lives next? Jack Dangermond, president and founder of Esri, one of the world’s foremost geographic information system companies, is going to let us know.
In an extraordinary talk—arranged in partnership with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science’s (CAES) Agriculture Sustainability Institute (ASI) and Information Center for the Environment (ICE), and as part of the Arboretum and Public Garden’s commitment to inviting thought leaders to campus—the UC Davis community of students, faculty, researchers and staff are invited to take a guided tour of a new ecosystem of tools available to GIS (Geographic Information System) users Friday, April 26 from 3-4:30 pm in the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Ballroom.
Dangermond’s talk titled, “GIS as a Platform: What it Means for GIS Users,” will inform the audience of recent and transformative changes to GIS technology. Not familiar with GIS? Think you are not a GIS user? Don’t allow yourself to be thrown off by a technical abbreviation. Once the domain of highly trained technical experts, GIS tools, as well as the once difficult to locate data necessary to explore interesting and important questions, are now available anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. If you’ve used a mapping program via the internet, used a smart phone to access location-aware content, or tracked a Fed Ex package…you are a GIS user. GIS is a tool that integrates hard data like a location or an address, with new ways to manipulate that data so it tells a story. Your story might be how you get from point A to point B, or, your story may be infinitely more complicated, like communicating the effects of climate change.
If you’ve got a story to tell and you understand the power of location in telling that story, then this talk is for you. You will leave this engagement with ideas for communicating to your audience in ways you did not think were possible without a team of technical experts and data entry specialists, and that is just the beginning.
Visit to serve as launch of Esri-UC Davis pilot project
Dangermond’s UC Davis visit will also serve as the launch of a ground-breaking Esri-UC Davis pilot project. Dangermond’s passion for supporting conservation science combined with the Arboretum’s leadership and wide-reaching effort to bring GIS tools and education to public gardens, parks and zoos worldwide, has led to Esri selecting UC Davis and its Arboretum and Public Garden as the site to build a suite of cloud-based mobile GIS tools to manage their organization and campus collections. The new tools that result from this work will be shared with botanical gardens and zoos around the world, to help them understand and protect the earth’s biodiversity as well as educate their 50 million visitors about critical issues in conservation science.
“Over the past 10-years, the UC Davis Arboretum’s curatorial team has secured over $850,000 from a variety of federal grants and donations—not only to map and manage our own collections—this funding has enabled our team to become a leader worldwide for educating other public gardens about the advantages of adopting and integrating this technology into their work flows,” cites Kathleen Socolofsky, assistant vice chancellor of the UC Davis arboretum and public garden. “We are thrilled that this work has highlighted our operation and that our effort will lead to the development of a new suite tools designed to assist our campus to harness the power of GIS.”
“With this commitment, Esri is not just supporting the development of tools for UC Davis and its Arboretum and Public Garden. Their goals are much larger,” Mary Burke, director of collections, UC Davis arboretum and public garden, “One of the world’s largest engineering and software development firms is now taking on the cause of public gardens. We are thrilled! The suite of tools that they develop here will be used to support the entire public garden community and one day, we hope, national park conservation efforts.”
Dr. Steven Greco, associate professor of landscape architecture, has taught multiple graduate seminars on GIS and assisted in the Arboretum’s effort to secure their GIS-focused federal grants adds, “We’ve accomplished a great deal, but there’s so much more to be done. With UC Davis at the forefront of the development of this powerful suite of tools my hope is that urban planners and ecologists everywhere will be better-equipped to devise ways for natural systems and humans to co-exist equitably and prosperously.”
A team from Esri is scheduled to begin this project in May. We will keep you updated on its progress and outcomes as the pilot is currently scheduled for completion this summer.