Yuma, Arizona - Anytime you search for a location on mapping applications like Google Maps, you’re using geospatial technology.
Geospatial applications can be used in a variety of disciplines from redrawing district lines, to looking for and predicting crime patterns, to evaluating crop health and irrigation – just to name a few examples.
Arizona Western College recently added Geospatial Technology and Unmanned Aerial Systems certificate programs to their list of Career and Technical Education offerings for Fall 2018. These programs will prepare students for employment in the rapidly growing geospatial workforce as well as create additional educational opportunities for those with existing training and experience in the geospatial technology field.
Coordinated by AWC Professor of Geology Fred Croxen and an advisory committee of Yuma industry professionals, some of whom will be course instructors, the program will allow students to earn Geospatial Technologies Specialist, Geospatial Technologies Technician, or Unmanned Aerial Systems certifications with an opportunity to also receive an Associate in Science transfer degree in Geography. Geospatial technology is recognized at the master’s and doctorate levels of higher education as well.
The curriculum for the program was developed by AWC Professor of Geography Todd Pinnt and local Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialists in addition to the National Geospatial Center. Pinnt represents AWC at the statewide Geography Articulation Task force that consists of Arizona’s state universities and community colleges.
There will be a potential for internships through the program to meet the certificate’s capstone project requirement. Croxen shared that they plan to set up internship partnerships with agencies such as the City of Yuma, Yuma County, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Yuma Proving Ground, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Arizona Game and Fish.
To help introduce high school students to the subject, AWC will be offering a free GIS & Informatics Summer Camp on the AWC Yuma Campus, 2020 S. Avenue 8E, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday July 23 to Thursday July 26.