As the field of geographical information systems continues to rapidly grow, so does Fort Hays State University's annual GIS Day.
Celebrating its third year on the FHSU campus, GIS Day, Nov. 20 promises to be more elaborate than the previous two. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. in Tomanek Hall, room 125, and will branch out into the Black and Gold Room, Teal Room and Stouffer Lounge in the Memorial Union.
FHSU began GIS Day in 2000 in conjunction with National GIS Day, a grassroots global event introduced in 1999 to enhance public awareness of the substantial contributions of GIS technology.
"In the last five years, geographic information systems have evolved from an esoteric industry into the mainstream of information technology," said Dr. Richard Lisichenko (lissuh-chaink-o), assistant professor of geosciences and co-coordinator of FHSU's GIS Day.
"GIS technology is integrating into our daily lives at an amazing rate," he said. "Examples of this can be seen on the Internet, cars and cell phones. More examples will be presented at GIS Day."
GIS Day will welcome several new events with past favorites.
A highly anticipated presentation on cyber crime will be given by FBI agents. Due to FBI policy, the agents' names cannot be printed.
"We are very excited that the FBI agents are coming to Fort Hays State University," said Lisichenko. "They will present the manner that the FBI utilizes GIS technology, as well as addressing the issue of confronting cyber crimes. GIS technology in criminal investigations has recently come into the spotlight regarding the D.C. sniper case. There, a technique known as 'geographic profiling' incorporated GIS and
traditional investigative methods to help apprehend the perpetrators."
In with conjunction the cyber crime presentation, Carol McCoy from the City of Olathe will give a presentation on criminal justice.
Mark O'Connor, a representative for the Intergraph Corp., will be presented with a plaque by President Dr. Edward H. Hammond for Intergraph's generous software donation to FHSU's GIS program.
"This year Intergraph awarded Fort Hays State with a $127,500 software grant," Lisichenko said. "Recently, Intergraph has designated our university as a Registered Research Laboratory and will present FHSU with a $122,050 software grant."
Following his reception, O'Connor will present "The Importance of GIS in the Modern Corporate Environment."
Other presentations will include:
The FHSU Department of Geosciences advanced GIS students will present the basic principles of global positioning systems and give a hands-on series of demonstrations.
"Spartial Technology--Creating the Future" will be presented for middle and high school students and teachers. The presenters will include Dr. Thomas Schafer, Dr. John Heinrichs, and Lisichenko, assistant professors of geosciences, and Dr. Ken Neuhauser, professor of geosciences.
The afternoon portion of GIS Day will include several guest speakers from campus and surrounding counties, as well as a GPS training seminar.
The day will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Tomanek Hall's GIS Lab, room 125. Following the lab will include opening ceremonies and a brief session on the meaning of GIS at 9:30 a.m. From 9:30 to noon there will be several events including Mark O'Connor's reception and presentation.
Attendees are invited to have lunch with GIS presenters in FHSU's Teal Room in the Memorial Union. Also included in the lunch session will be a GIS training session for the public.
Afternoon presentations will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will include the cyber crime presentation at 1 p.m. Included in the afternoon session will be a GPS training seminar for the public with certificates of completion. Each training session will have room for about 40 participants, who will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Events will continue until 4:30 p.m. and will include many informative and interactive presentations. A 3:30-4:40 p.m. closing reception for the presenters will end the day.
"I hope people understand that GIS is a powerful information systems tool, utilized in a wide variety of ways in our society," said Lisichenko. "Anyone can learn the basics of GIS and, with a little imagination, use it to solve problems and explore our world."
FHSU and the Geosciences Department invite all to attend the activities on campus including educators, students and the business community.
All events are free of charge and require no pre-registration.
For more information, call the FHSU Department of Geosciences at (785) 628-5389 or visit the Web site at www.fhsu.edu/geo/GIS.html.