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PCC Faculty Attend National Geographic Institute

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Geographic Information Systems is one of the fastest-growing fields in the country, according to Portland Community College instructor Steve Levy. "Employment opportunities outpace the supply of qualified applicants," he said.

Levy and Larry King, both instructors of geography at PCC, recently participated in a National Science Foundation-sponsored institute with community college instructors from across the U.S. Theme of the institute was "Geographic Information Systems (GIS) For The 21st Century."

King, a Tigard resident, teaches at the Rock Creek Campus; Levy, who lives in Southwest Portland, teaches at the Sylvania Campus.

NSF and corporate leaders are stressing the application of GIS in the input, management, manipulation, analysis, modeling and display (maps, images, spreadsheets) of data to solve a wide range of problems. GIS applications can include selection, land-use planning, emergency management, market analysis, resource management and many others.

Institute participants came from various fields of study and were introduced to GIS systems, curriculum design and the related technologies of remote sensing and Global Positioning Systems. During this academic year, participants will develop projects to implement GIS in existing classes or complete programs.

The institute will reconvene next summer for another three-week session. Participants are now sharing information and data through the Internet and a web-site at Indiana State University (http://www.indstate.edu/geogis).

GIS will be incorporated into the new Environmental Science Program at the Rock Creek Campus and introduced in geography classes at the Sylvania Campus, with the hope of offering a stand-along course or program in the future.

There are GIS applications for nearly every subject taught at PCC, including biology, real estate, business, engineering, anthropology, geology, criminal justice, landscape technology and others.

For more information contact Steve Levy at 244-6111, ext. 3251.

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