Nineteen URISA GISCorps Volunteers Deployed

Des Plaines, IL (October 10, 2011) – URISA is pleased to announce that nineteen GISCorps volunteers have recently been deployed to three new missions and one existing mission.

GIS database specialist is assisting the American Red Cross with a project in Haiti
The American Red Cross (ARC) requested the assistance of a GIS volunteer to help organize the information for their Haiti Assistance Program (HAP) into an Access database and link it with relevant administrative shape files in one or many separate Geodatabases.  The recruitment resulted in selection and deployment of Saskia Cohick, a GIS professional from Pennsylvania. She is now in contact with the ARC representatives.

Volunteers assist in a pilot project in Haiti
The Institute for Conscious Global Change, Inc. (ICGC) requested the assistance of two volunteers to perform several GIS related tasks for a pilot project. ICGC is a US based nonprofit organization dedicated to the goal of assisting in eradicating physical, emotional, and mental poverty from the planet through educational and economic means. To this end, ICGC plans to offer a visual solution to the eight Millennium Development Goals using GIS. Their first initiative is to offer virtual but tangible solutions to three countries from the 48 Least Developed Countries by developing three prototypes, one from each of the three regions of Asia, Africa and the Caribbean (Haiti). Volunteers will be working on converting, generating, and standardizing various GIS datasets for Haiti, the first prototype. They will also explore ArcGIS Online as the platform to publish the collected datasets. Two volunteers were recruited for this project. They are Dan Christiansen from Seattle, WA and Nathan Label from Birmingham, Alabama; they are both Senior GIS Specialists.

Two GISCorps volunteers are recruited for a project in Oklahoma
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge was established in 1901 to protect wildlife species in danger of extinction and to restore native species. The goal of their Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) Invasive program is to find high risk invasive species on the Refuge and eradicate them before they become established. In order to achieve that goal, they needed additional GIS assistance. A job description was developed and after a thorough search, two volunteers were recruited for the project. The volunteers are: Gericke Cook who works as a GIS Specialist for the USDA in Colorado and Lacey Mason, also a GIS Specialist who works for the University of Michigan. The tasks includes: geo rectification of 38 aerial images from the 1930's, digitization of five features from the old images, and conducting change detection between the old and new images.                                                       

The fourth recruitment for DPRK mission resulted in deploying fourteen volunteers
The original request for volunteers came from the World Food Program  (WFP) and the Information Management and Mining Action Program ( iMMAP). Volunteers are charged with the task of digitizing 400 map sheets and will create several data layers such as: settlement points, transportation (roads, foot path, and railroads), rivers and lakes. The 4th recruitment for DPRK mission resulted in deploying 14 new volunteers who will be joining the existing team of 20 volunteers. These volunteers come from four countries (US, Italy, Nigeria, and Tanzania) and are now in contact with the management team.

With these efforts, GISCorps has had a total of 79 projects with 247 deployed volunteers. For more information about GISCorps projects, visit

GISCorps will also be presenting, exhibiting and recruiting volunteers during GIS-Pro 2011 in Indianapolis.



Wendy Nelson
Executive Director - URISA

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