Rocky Mountain URISA

The Association for GIS Professionals

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Presidents Corner: April 2011

First of all, I'd like to thank our outgoing president, Matt Krusemark, for his excellent stewardship of the organization, and to the rest of the RM-URISA board as well.  Everyone on the board donates their time and experience to help guide the growth of GIS in our region.  I've only been on the board since 2008, but this is the first year I've seen every single board member return from last year.  I think that says something about the enthusiasm of our board, and hopefully about the satisfying results that we've been seeing.
A question I've been asked more than once is, what exactly is RM-URISA, and is it the same thing as URISA International?  The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) was started in the 1960's as an association concerned with the application of information systems (think mainframe computers) to urban and regional planning.  Obviously, it has evolved from there.  Newer themes include the increasing use of GIS and geographic-based data; GIS as a profession; and data/data management costs.  URISA Int'l offers renowned annual events such as its Leadership Academy, Addressing Conference, GIS-Professional Conference, GIS in Public Transportation Conference, and more.  It also has started the GIS Certification Institute for advancing professional certification, and GIS Corps, for providing volunteer GIS support for underdeveloped countries and at natural disaster scenes.
Another change since URISA’s inception was the introduction of regional chapters as a way of better keeping in touch with members.  Rocky Mountain URISA (RM-URISA) is one of 28 chapters of URISA Int'l, which are spread across the US, Canada, and the Caribbean.  We maintain separate membership rolls from URISA Int'l; you can be a member of either or both (RM-URISA is free again this year and URISA is offering an intro membership for only $20).  RM-URISA is your more local connection to the GIS community, with multiple workshops and seminars each year (only in Denver, but we’re working on addressing the rest of our region) on specific GIS topics or applications.  We also have annual scholarships for deserving students, and are a co-sponsor of the popular GIS in the Rockies conference, going on its 24th year.  Both URISA Int'l and your Rocky Mountain URISA strive to be primary professional development organizations for GIS professionals.
We already have a good start on lining up some quality educational opportunities for you this year.  Hopefully we'll see you at one or more of these events, or at one put on by one of our sister organizations such as GITA or ASPRS.
Thank you and have a great year,
John W. Shramek

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