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Become Involved As A GeoMentor
Posted on January 7th, 2016

Dear GISP community,

We would like to inform you of an important mentoring need and opportunity to help improve K-12 GIS education in the US. GISCI encourages you to participate in the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and Esri  GeoMentors program designed to support the U.S. Department of Education's ConnectED Program, for which Esri has agreed to donate free ArcGIS Online software to all K-12 schools in the U.S. GeoMentors play a pivotal role in improving GIS and geography education by helping schools and teachers introduce GIS and geographic concepts into classrooms across the country. AAG, Esri, and GISCI urge current and aspiring GISPs to volunteer as GeoMentors. Not only is this an opportunity to contribute to the future of GIS use and innovation, but it is a service opportunity that can help fulfill the professional service requirements of the GISP. Through your GeoMentor volunteer efforts, you will earn points towards your GISP certification or renewal. To learn more, visit the  GeoMentors program website or  sign up directly online today.

Who can be a GeoMentor?
From GIS practitioners in the public and private sectors, to professors, students, and geographic information scientists, the entire GIS and geography community is invited to volunteer their skills and experience as GeoMentors. Members of the GISP community, both current and aspiring, are well-suited to be great assets to K-12 classrooms. The GeoMentors program provides numerous curriculum training materials through its  program website.

What do GeoMentors do?
As a GeoMentor you can engage in a range of roles depending on your expertise, interests, and the needs of schools and teachers. Opportunities include: advocating GIS adoption and helping schools get their free software; demonstrating available GIS classroom exercises to teachers; sharing information about careers in GIS; or assisting teachers with tailoring GIS activities for their specific subject, grade, and/or project. You can work with your local community schools or with schools and educators across the US. The variety of outreach opportunities is as diverse as the application potential of GIS!

How do you get started as a GeoMentor?
  1. Register. Sign up online to be a GeoMentor!
  2. Visit the program website.  Learn more about the program and review available resources, including curriculum materials specifically designed for the GeoMentors program and for teachers to introduce GIS into classrooms (covering subjects such as human geography, earth science, and history).
  3. Get involved. Find a school or teacher who is ready to collaborate! Another great starting point is to help build the GeoMentor community by recruiting your peers as fellow GeoMentors and by  recruiting new schools to sign up for free GIS software.
  4. Join the online GeoMentor community. Learn about program news, participate in discussions, and meet fellow participants by joining the  GeoMentors GeoNet Group. You can also follow the program on Twitter @AAGGeoMentors.

You will receive a program certificate for your records (a useful document for your GISP certification or renewal) and GeoMentors staff may even create a case study from your experience to help encourage others to get involved in the program.

Attached please find an informational flyer for the GeoMentors program and the latest GeoMentors Community Newsletter. By participating in the GeoMentors program, the GISP community has a wonderful opportunity to promote GIS in K-12 education and thereby help inspire and mold the next generation of GISPs.

Thank you for your continued contributions to the GIS community,
Bill Hodge GISP
Executive Director, GISCI



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