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The University of Alabama

UA’s Geospatial Information Sciences Awareness Day Set for Nov. 15

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Individuals interested in a career in geospatial sciences will have an opportunity to learn about the science and its applications during The University of Alabama’s Geospatial Information Sciences and Technologies Awareness Day Nov. 15.

The event is sponsored by the UA College of Arts and Sciences and The University of Alabama Libraries. All activities will take place in the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library on the UA campus.

Geospatial sciences are those sciences that involve measuring, modeling and mapping physical locations on the earth’s surface.

Throughout the day, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors can view posters created by students who entered the campus-wide Geospatial Information Sciences and Technologies contest. They will be on display in the J. Wray and Joan Billingsley Pearce Grand Foyer on the second floor of Gorgas Library.

Geospatial Technologies are computer-based systems that allow visualizing, querying, modeling and analyzing location-based information. They include geographic information systems, remote sensing, computerized cartography, and global positioning systems.These technologies are used in a wide variety of fields, including geography, urban planning, environmental sciences, biology, geology, anthropology, engineering, medicine, sociology, criminology, social work and education.

Such technologies are evident in everyday applications, including interactive or web-based maps and GPS devices in cars and phones.They are also used to locate spatial patterns, such as where concentrations of avian flu occur, and to model events such as which coastal areas will be most impacted by a certain category of hurricane.

At 12:30 p.m., the authors of the posters will be available to explain how they used geospatial sciences and technologies in their projects and to answer questions. Winners of the poster contest will be announced during the afternoon session, and cash prizes will be awarded. At the conclusion of the program, the winning students will be available in the foyer beside their posters to answer questions.

A drop-in session in the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (Gorgas 109A) will begin at 10 a.m. where visitors can see map-making demonstrations using Geographic Information Systems software. Information will be available about academic programs that teach geospatial sciences and technologies and careers that require geospatial skills, which are essential for some of the fastest growing career paths today.

UA faculty, geospatial faculty from the University of North Alabama and Auburn University and guest practitioners from the public sector will give brief presentations during an afternoon session that will begin at 1 p.m. in Gorgas, room 205. The presentations will highlight some of the many applications of geospatial technologies, such as disaster preparation and mitigation, engineering, geology, biology, political science, geography and urban planning.

All events are free and open to University faculty, students, staff and the general public.

UA’s College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

Since 2003, University Libraries has moved from 97th to 65th among the top 115 private and public university libraries in the United States and Canada which qualify for membership in the Association of Research Libraries.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Kelli Wright, communications specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,
  • SOURCE: Linda Watson, director, Placenames Research Center, department of geography, 205/348-6028,