Environmental Studies graduate student, Ms. Anna Mika, was selected to provide a presentation on how she uses GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technologies and tools throughout her graduate career.
In February, I got to speak at the Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington D.C. as part of their Student University Program. I gave a morning presentation on how I have utilized GIS throughout my student career, and gave a few examples of the cool things I’ve been able to work on. I primarily focused on stressing the importance of science communication, and how GIS can be a great tool for visualizing data and making information more user friendly for the general public.
I gave an example of this by showing the work I had done for the Richmond City Office of Sustainability, who are currently working on a project called RVAgreen 2050 that aims to create a strategic sustainability plan for the city. I assisted in their Climate Vulnerability and Risk Assessment as the first step to putting together their sustainability plan. I created two online mapping applications that can be utilized as educational tools for the public, and help inform the community on the impacts they may face. These are also useful tools for the city itself, in regards to which communities are more vulnerable to climate change and will be in need of more resources and aid. These applications can be found here and here.
I also gave a presentation during an Analytics Workshop on a project I had done on flood risk and sea live rise in Norfolk, Virginia. I used GIS to spatially analyze which built assets would be at the greatest risk in Norfolk in the even of sea level rise. My presentation can be found here, and the website I created that explains this project in detail can be found here.
This was an amazing experience for me that opened a lot of new doors to opportunities. If you have the chance to attend conferences like this one for the work you are interested in, DO IT. Make the most of it. And ALWAYS apply to be a speaker, you never know where it can take you!”