SCGIS 2013 Scholarship Program

Here you will find information about our 2013 scholars. This group is selected by our chapters in 10 countries and regions around the world. We encourage all SCGIS members to find candidates doing work or needing help relevant to what you do, and to reach out and contact them, introduce yourself, see how you can help them. Those wishing to donate can do so at the official SCGIS site.       (Click here to read about the proposed new specialist training program)








Mr. Gaston Bhu Wung, WWF Cameroon
Ms Mariana Ríos Balletto, Vida Silvestre Uruguay
Mr Takoukam Kamla Aristide, Cameroon
Dr Andres Rey, Conservación Patagónica, Argentina
Ms Bridget Chitalu, Scgis Zambia Chapter
Ms Mei Kobayashi, Waseda University, Japan
Ms Fahiema Daniels, South African National Biodiversity Institute
Mr Askarinta Adi, Conservation Community – WARSI Indonesia
Mr Zhiwen Zhu, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) China Program


Mr Claudel Tshibangu Lukusa, Frankfurt Zoological Society, DR Congo
Msc Janaina Barbosa Pedrosa Costa, Carbon Cajari Project Brazil
Msc Lyn Ohala Santos Rodríguez, Amigos de Sian Ka’an A.C., Mexico
Dr Marine Arakelyan, Yerevan State University, “Biodiva” NGO, Armenia
Ms Maria Eva Sison Budong, Philippine Assn for Intercultural Development
Ms Ela Šegina CIPRA Assn for Conservation of the Alps, Slovenia
Ms Herivololona Mbola Rakotondratsimba, Association VAHATRA, Madagascar
Ms Alexandra Loshkareva, Non-profit Partnership "Transparent World", Russia
Mr Javier Lenzi, Centro de Investigación y Conservación Marina - CICMAR, Uruguay
Mr Andre Luis Torres Baby, Secretaria de Estado do Meio Ambiente – SEMA/MT , Brazil
Mr Alejandro Coca Castro, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia
Ms Nadezhda Kecheva National Inst of Archaeology, Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

name: Ms Mariana Ríos Balletto Marina
.email address: maririos34 at
job title or role in the organization: General coordinator
interest keywords (please see instructions): conservation, protected areas, biodiversity, envir education, sustainable development, advocacy
*-Organization name: Vida Silvestre Uruguay
*-Country: Uruguay
*-Work phone with country and area code: (00598) 29025853
*-Work fax with country and area code: (00598) 29022362
*-Main email:
*-Organization Web site URL if any:
*-Organization subject keywords (please see instructions): conservation, protected areas, biodiversity, envir education, sustainable development, planning policy, envir law, advocacy

*-Describe your current GIS capability/expertise: ArcGIS 9.2, which I am currently using to perform GIS analysis. I have some experience on how to work with vectors, points, lines, polygons and grids, and certain basic analysis such as joins, clips, unions and other vectorial analysis, but all the time I feel that I can do everything much easier and faster, and mainly that I can do MORE. I know much less on how to work with raster, which would be very useful in some of the tasks I need to perform. I know little in teledetection and image analysis. I find things I need to do take ages to finish because I take the long path or I need to do many “useless” steps when performing my analysis.

*-How are you currently learning GIS? Currently I am learning GIS mainly by asking to other colleagues who know more on how to use the programs and approaches to GIS analysis. My main “teachers” are Philip Miller and Lucía Bartesaghi, and most recently María Szephegyi who also attended to your course. I also use tutorials and forums on-line to learn more about suitable approaches for the tasks I need to perform on GIS.

*-What GIS training are you interested in? : I would like to learn the raster “world” and decision-support (scenario) tools to aid in decision-making for conservation planning and environmental management. For instance, currently I am working in developing scenarios for expanding Uruguay’s National System of Protected Area, trying to apply optimization techniques to identify protected areas networks that maximize conservation objective in the least amount of land. I would like to get to know tools to help in this type of analysis integrating decision involving many criteria/objectives. In addition I would like to learn more about the Model builder tool, which I have used a few times and think might be very useful when doing some of the analysis I often have to*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK: Please describe the work that your current organization does:Vida Silvestre Uruguay (VSUy) is a non-profit Uruguayan organization created in1995. We are an IUCN member since 2010 and at the national level we are members of the national network for environmental NGOs. It vision is a Uruguay were people values Nature as a key element for the country development and people´s well being, and where species and ecosystems are conserved for future generations.
Its mission is to conserve Nature in Uruguay through the protection of species and ecosystems, promoting scientific research, advocacy and management of landscapes and protected areas for a sustainable development of Uruguay. Depending on the project, we work together with local and national governments, other NGOs, research institutions such as National Universities, and mainly with local partners around Uruguay trying to find together solutions for the environmental problems they face.
At national level our main goal is to implement protected areas, helping to find suitable places to create new areas, as well as taking part in their design and planning and later on their management. We also work with endangered species promoting national and regional conservation programs. Regarding ecosystems, we are currently working with regional partners (including IUCN) in the conservation of temperate grassland, a highly endangered bioma. We also work with land owners to improve management practices for cattle-rising and tree plantation, to promote sustainable production. Although our website is only in spanish I invite you to have a look at our work at


Name: Mr. Gaston Bhu Wung, GIS and database officer
*-Organization name: WWF, Cameroon Country Program Office (CCPO)
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): BP 6776 Yaoundé, Cameroun
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
phone number(s): +237 77458353
email address (es): GBuh at
Photo of Scgis Cameroon (Gaston is at far left)
More about Gaston and Scgis Cameroon, see this Esri Blog linkscgcameroon

*-Describe your current GIS capability/expertise: I work relatively well with ARGIS 9.3, still to be introduced into ARCGIS 10 interface
*-How are you currently learning GIS? Self; I have been making personal effort to learn by doing, our local chapter members of SCGIS has been very helpful over the years and my previous participation in this same program also greatly improved on my skills

*-What GIS training are you interested in? To improve on my database management skills, and develop capabilities of web mapping, capable of sharing our local work with the international community.Please describe your personal role in the organization: the title of my job speaks for itself about the role I play in my organization. Generaly I am tasked with the following assignments;

*-ROLE IN THE LOCAL SCGIS CHAPTER: I am one of the national coordinating team members for SCGIS in Cameroon and have been an active member since the inception of this local chapter in 2007. I have been very instrumental with undertaking outreach events over the years and organization of some GIS training classes to members of the ministry of forestry and also some local staff members of NGO.Working for WWF CARPO, provide me another opportunity to further apply knowledge gain through SCGIS toward effective conservation in Cameroon and other countries within the Congo basin. I am currently working as the GIS and Database officer with everyday activities ranging from providing geospatial services to the different conservation work in the different WWF field based sites within Cameroon and beyond. Considering the continued advancement in this technology, it makes sense for me to seek further opportunity to be trained and therefore continue to provide this necessary service as required. The assistance through SCGIS helps me to contribute to the objectives and values of SCGIS in the world by acting locally in my local community while thinking globally through the SCGIS goals and objectives. We are just entering another dimension of conservation through the REDD+ process. MRV is an important component of this process that requires adequate skills in geospatial technology. I am greatly involved in this process and feel that I should update my knowledge and get more prepared towards delivering required results that meets international standards requirements. As a former scholar, I do strongly believe that through further participation, my skills cannot remain the same, but just the right time to get improved knowledge and face the new challenges to measuring carbon emission and from forest degradation and deforestation.


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compilation : Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program, May 2007 & 2020
Send your comments to: ecp2 at esri dot com