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Cooperative Extension's Geospatial Technologies Training Center Receives National Award

August 20, 2008

Environmental Systems Research Institute, of Redlands, California, has honored UNH Cooperative Extension's Geospatial Technologies Training Center with its 2008 Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award.

According to ESRI, the Center "has demonstrated vision and leadership using ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) technology to better serve the world."

"We're very excited to be recognized by ESRI for our geospatial outreach and training efforts," said Extension's geospatial technologies specialist Shane Bradt, who directs the center. "We were one of only four university-based programs to receive the special achievement in GIS award in 2008, highlighting the importance of our programs on a national, even international, level.

"We very much appreciate the acknowledgement of our work in such a public forum and look forward to expanding and enhance our training center in the future. Our program is especially strong because of our extensive collaborative efforts with other agencies and departments," Bradt said.

GIS combines computer hardware, software and data to capture, manage, analyze and display all forms of geographic information. Almost any information can be linked to a geographic location, allowing users to see that information as part of a complete picture to be analyzed and applied to a problem or issue.

Extension's Geospatial Training Center offers a wide variety of instructional workshops, which range from two-hour introductory sessions to 10-day intensive courses. The goal of the center is to provide educational outreach programs that help community organizations, government agencies, and ordinary citizens make more informed decisions.

"As two of many examples, the technology is used to identify areas of natural resource importance in coastal communities, and to track and analyze the forestry management plans of privately owned forestland, which accounts for 80 percent of New Hampshire's forestland," Bradt said.

"At ESRI, we are always deeply impressed by the innovation of our users," said Jack Dangermond, ESRI president in announcing the awards. "We want to recognize the efforts of these individuals with our Special Achievement in GIS Award. This recognition is well deserved for how they've applied geospatial technology to address the needs of their industries and communities. They are defining GIS best practices."

The award recognizes the contributions of former and current Cooperative Extension and UNH staff who served as workshop creators and instructors at the center since the late 1990s: Nancy Lambert (Strafford Rivers Conservancy,) Shane Bradt (UNH Cooperative Extension,) Sharon Hughes (UNH Cooperative Extension,) Fay Rubin (NH GRANIT,) Jennifer Lingeman (NH GRANIT,) Anne Deely (Neatline Associates,) Brad Anderson (independent,) Byard Mosher (Lake Shore Consulting,) and Jeff Schloss (UNH Cooperative Extension).

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