Mississippi Public Universities
IHL Press Release
EIGS PARTNERS WITH IHL GEOSPATIAL COUNCIL TO SPONSOR HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY GIS PROJECTS
1/23/2007 - Jackson, Miss.

The Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS) and the Geospatial Council of the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) are pleased to announce the establishment of a geospatial high school adoption program with five Mississippi high schools.

The official kick off for the program is Friday, January 26, 2007, from 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., in the 7th Floor Conference Room of the Mississippi Automated Resource Information System (MARIS), located at 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, Mississippi. Invited speakers include representatives from the State Board of Community and Junior Colleges; the Institutions of Higher Learning; the Mississippi Department of Education; and the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). Additionally, representatives from EIGS industry companies will address the critical workforce needs facing the geospatial industry as well as the key geospatial information science and technology (GIS&T) skills in demand by private industry.

The program, named the Mississippi Area Remapping Strategy (MARS) by one of the participating high schools, includes teachers and students from Water Valley, Batesville, Cleveland, Enterprise, and Claiborne County high schools. Volunteering their time and expertise are five members of the IHL Geospatial Council, including Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jones County Community College, Northwest Mississippi Community College, and The University of Mississippi.

During the spring of 2007, the selected high schools will work with university and community college partners to design and complete a community-based GIS&T project. The participating high schools will receive computer hardware and software, technical support and training, global positioning system units, and resource books to support the projects.

"A key component of the pilot program is the involvement of the community and the focus of the project on a community need that GIS technology will help address," stated Joyce Brasell of Northwest Mississippi Community College, the statewide coordinator for the pilot project. "The projects will address a diverse array of community needs such as using geospatial technology to address school bus routing in an effort to develop more efficient routes to save time and fuel and cut down on pollution."

Contact Steve Walker, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Operations Manager, MARIS, at (601) 432-6149, or e-mail swalker@ihl.state.ms.us, for more information about the program.

Under the leadership of the Board of Trustees, IHL governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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About the Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions: Since 1998, the State of Mississippi has nurtured the growth of a cluster of high-tech companies in the geospatial technology industry. The Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS) is the program that coordinates the activities of this cluster. EIGS works with private companies as well as university research programs, state agencies, and other related organizations to support geospatial business development and research with the primary mission of growing the research-based, world-class geospatial technology industry in Mississippi. For more information, visit www.eigs.olemiss.edu.

About the IHL Geospatial Council: The Geospatial Council was established in 1999 by Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning to organize, coordinate, and promote educational activities in geospatial technologies in the state of Mississippi. The Council includes faculty and staff from all Mississippi's public universities and community colleges as well as several state agencies. Additionally, the Council provides oversight and maintenance of the statewide geospatial software site license program. For more information, visit www.remotesensingms.org.