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WKU geoscience student interns at GIS international conference

A WKU geoscience graduate student was selected for a scholarship to participate in the 34th Annual Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) International User Conference in San Diego this year. This marks the 12th year in a row that a student from the Department of Geography and Geology has been awarded the scholarship.

Luke Miles of Nashville, Tenn., was awarded the scholarship in March 2013 and is completing his master’s thesis titled Remote Sensing Techniques for Terrain Analysis in Nepal. His interests in geographic information systems (GIS) are raster analysis, enterprise GIS and web mapping development. Esri selects 60 graduate and fourth-year undergraduate students from a pool of applicants for the competitive scholarships from universities and colleges throughout the United States. The scholarships require students to work half-days for a week at the conference in exchange for their conference registration, workshops, meals and lodging.

More than 15,300 attendees from 118 countries attended this year’s Esri User Conference in San Diego, Calif. Esri is the largest vendor of GIS software and hosts the biggest GIS conference for GIS users to meet, share ideas and discuss the latest technologies and innovations in GIS. There were more than 900 sessions, 300 technical demonstrations, and 275 exhibitors at this year’s conference.

Five of the department’s former GIS students work for Esri in Redlands, Calif., and in St. Louis, including recent GIScience graduate Matt Payne, who received the Esri scholarship last year. Also attending the annual GIS User’s conference was Kevin Cary, WKU’s GIS Center Director.

“GIS is the dominant spatial analytical technique globally, with business, planning, transportation, resource, military and exploration applications,” noted Dr. David Keeling, head of WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology. “Congratulations to our GIS teaching team of Kevin Cary, GISP, Dr. Katie Algeo, Dr. Jun Yan, Amy Nemon and Scott Dobler who offer a very high level of instruction. The department plans to offer a GIS-focused Master’s in Professional Studies starting in 2014-15 to meet the growing needs of business and industry.”

For information about applying for an Esri student assistantship, or about GIS, WKU’s GIS programs and GIS applications in business and industry, contact Kevin Cary in WKU’s Center for GIS at (270) 745-2981 or kevin.cary@wku.edu.

Contact: Kevin Cary, (270) 745-2981.

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