Wednesday, 2 March 2011

New Student Chapter and Forum in the Potomac region

A new ASPRS Student Chapter and Forum in honor of Dr. Frederick Doyle at George Mason University (GMU) was initiated in December 2010. Following is an announcement from their group:

Northern Virginia and the broader Washington D.C. area is a locus of advances in remote sensing and geospatial sciences in the United States, and we at GMU are fortunate that there are many nearby government, corporate and academic institutions which are active in this field. We, the students of the Geography and Geoinformation Science Department at George Mason University, felt that it would be appropriate to establish an ASPRS student chapter at our university so that we may be more active participants in this exciting field.
The process of establishing the chapter/forum began in fall 2009 and by the start of fall 2010 all the necessary paperwork was ready for the new organization. We are grateful for the support and assistance we received from our faculty and the board of directors of the ASPRS Potomac Region.

Although we were officially recognized by the university in December, we had already begun our activities in September. We have held monthly meetings, and helped promote student attendance at the GeoTech conference organized by the ASPRS Potomac Region. We participated in the 2010 GIS Day at George Mason University with a booth promoting our organization, and we had several students sign up as new members. Currently, there are more than fifty student members participating in our Chapter/Forum.

Our plans for future activities include meetings, research seminars, technical tours, maintaining a wiki website, technical workshops, and networking with students and faculty from outside of our department and university who share the same interests. We are planning research seminars where graduate students and/or those who have already graduated may present their research, dissertation or thesis topic whether it is finished, in progress or in the idea stage. In addition to participating in the technical tours organized by the Potomac Region ASPRS, we plan to organize technical tours to nearby industries and government agencies. Technical tours are an exceptionally valuable opportunity for students to gain knowledge about their field of interest and to network with potential employers. We have created a wiki website where all our members can add valuable information about research interests, activities, data sources, and information that helps us all succeed in research and academia. Since many of the GMU student are employed full-time and commute to classes after their workday has ended, a wiki website is a valuable option for student and faculty to communicate with one another and share their common interests in research, academia and industry. We are in the beginning stages of creating this wiki site therefore all constructive ideas and information are welcome and highly appreciated. We always encourage new ideas that will enhance our organization.

Katarina Doctor
PhD Student
Earth Systems and Geoinformation Science

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