Geography Awareness Week activities

Monday, November 16, 2015 - 1:00pm to Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 8:00pm
Pattee and Paterno Libraries and other locations

Too many young Americans are unable to make effective decisions, understand geo-spatial issues, or even recognize their impacts as global citizens. National Geographic created Geography Awareness Week to raise awareness to this dangerous deficiency in American education and excite people about geography as both a discipline and as a part of everyday life. Read more about GAW.

What is GIS?

GIS stands for geographic information systems. GIS applications use a combination of hardware, software, and people to enhance understanding of geographic data to create better informed decisions and explanations for the phenomena and events around us. GIS Day 2015 is Wednesday, November 18, 2015. GIS Day is the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week in November each year. It is a day to raise awareness and enhanced understanding of GIS. GIS Day Events are during the week.

Event Schedule

Monday, November, 16, 2015
• Workshop Mapping Applications: Getting to Know PolicyMap, SimplyMap, and Social Explorer
Location: Paterno Library, Room 302
Time: 1:00–2:30 p.m.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015
• Maptime Chapter Event
Location: New Leaf Initiative
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.



Wednesday, November 18, 2015
• Poster Display
Location: Franklin Atrium of Pattee Library
Time: 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Print posters will be mounted to large foam board. Possibe poster sizes include: 24" x 36," and 36" x 48."


Interested in bringing a poster, let us know via this online form
(If participating in the poster display, please bring all posters to 208 Paterno Library by Friday, November 13, 2015.)

• Information Fair
Location: Leisure Reading Room, Pattee Library
Time: 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m
Information fair participants: University Libraries, Department of Geography,  Geodesign graduate degree programs, Online Geospatial Programs, Office of the Physical Plant, GIA Core, Envirobotics Research Group, PASDA, ESRI, HERE Maps, and NWS (State College)

• Speakers and Lightning Talks
Location: Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library

Morning Session
11:15-11:45 a.m.
Joseph Kerski(Education Manager, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.–Esri) 5 Converging Forces: Geoawareness, geotechnologies, geoenablement, citizen science, and storytelling are combining to make this the most exciting time ever for GIS in education and society. Find out about these forces, why they matter,how you can get involved, and what they mean for your career pathway. Kerski will also speak in the afternoon session.
Lightning Talks

  • Jack Swab, Undergraduate student, Geography and History
  • Kelleann Foster, Associate Professor, Director of the Stuckeman School, GIS + Design Showcased via a MOOC
  • Doug Miller, Professor, Department of Geography, UAS: Transforming the future of GIS
  • Joe Americo Gamarra Pacheco, recent MGIS graduate
  • Juliana Lo, recent MGIS graduate

Afternoon Session

HERE maps
Joseph Kerski: Telling your story with Esri Storymaps: Combine audio, video, photographs, sketches, narratives, and other multimedia to present the results of your research, to teach, and to communicate your OWN story, using Esri’s easy-to-use yet powerful storymapping web applications. 3:00-3:30
Lightning Talks

  • Kiersten Hudson, Undergraduate student, Geography
  • Sterling Quinn, Graduate student, Geography, A peek at the crowd behind OpenStreetMap in a small American city
  • Karen Schuckman, Senior Lecturer, Geography
  • Justine Blanford, Research Associate, Geography
  • Christian John, Graduate student, Ecology, Using UAV Remote Sensing in Arctic Ecological Research

• Networking Reception
Location: Mann Assembly Room
Time: 4:00–5:30 p.m.
Drawing of a $75 Amazon Gift Certificate from Geographic Research, Inc. producer of SimplyMap


Thursday, November 19, 2015
Open Street Mapathon
Location: 13 Pattee Library (Located across from the Donald W. Hamer Maps Library entrance)
Time: 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Missing Maps mapathon using OpenStreetMap. Open to all experience levels.


This event is sponsored by the University Libraries and the Department of Geography.

Members of GIS Day Planning Group: Beth King (Online Geospaital Programs), Tara LaLonde (University Libraries), Dan Meehan (E Learning Institute, Arts & Architecture), Linda Musser (University Libraries), Heather Ross (University Libraries), Nathan Piekielek (University Libraries), Jodi Vender (Geography), Michelle Zeiders (Online Geospatial Programs)

If you are interested in giving a lightning talk or displaying a poster related to geospatial information, GIS, or mapping for the GIS Day event, please e-mail Tara LaLonde at tll38@psu.ed