The Society for Conservation GIS 2010 Intl Program:
CALL FOR HELPERS! (Please respond by Dec 15th 2009)

As you all know, SCGIS is an international society. The power of sharing an
inherently integrative tool like GIS naturally supports a society of many countries,
and cultures. Supporting high technology in developing countries,
where a lot of the world's biodiversity is, is a difficult task. You probably also
know that that task has been the focus of Charles' and Sasha's work with the
SCGIS international committee for the past 15 years. They developed a way
of funding scholars to come together with Dr. Mike Hamilton at the James
Reserve and the SCGIS and ESRI Conferences, which expanded to 65 people
during one of the Moore-foundation funded years. However, the resources and
capacities that that centralized training depended upon have been lessening
and we think it's time to re-invent our program. After all, when we began there
was essentially no ArcGIS, no world wide web, no cell phones, no personal GPS,
especially in developing countries. When you think of all the technology changes
that have happened in that time, any programs that were created out of the needs
of 15 years ago have to be re-examined and re-invented, just to stay relevant.

In examining what made SCGIS compelling way back when, one constant
theme is the great people and personal interactions we got to have with folks
from many other countries and organizations. In re-inventing our international
program we would like to try to return to those core values and central roots
of SCGIS, the kinds of small, intimate, fireside talks and interactions that we
sprang from. At the same time we don't want to lose the group bonding
experience that our scholars get when we all get to be together in one place.
The design we are propopsing below for 2010 is a prototype, to try it out and
see if it stikes the right chord with our members and scholars. If we do this
right it will re-invigorate SCGIS and make it more fun for everyone. If we miss
the mark on this first idea and no one wants to get involved, we'll just keep
trying until we get it right. We are all in this for the long term, rest assured.

Regards, Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program







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