Seminar explores the power of mapping, geography across disciplines

Seminar explores the power of mapping, geography across disciplines

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People often think of maps as a tool to find the nearest Starbucks, but improvements in technology have made geographic information systems (GIS), maps, and GPS valuable tools in a range of academic studies. In recognition of GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History will host a special GIS discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, as part of its UI Explorers Seminar Series.

The free public lecture will be held in the museum’s Biosphere Discovery Hub on the third floor of Macbride Hall. Refreshments will be provided.

Three speakers will explore the importance of GIS in a variety of disciplines:

  • Rick Havel, Johnson County GIS coordinator, will discuss “Geodesign: the use of GIS in urban and regional planning.”
  • UI history Professor Colin Gordon will present on “Digital Johnson County: an on-line platform for archiving historical geospatial data and imagery.”
  • Adam Skibbe, GIS administrator for the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, will focus on “Where, and when, the buffalo roam: Using GPS to track bison through the tallgrass prairie.”

The talks will be followed by time for open discussion and Q-and-A from the public.

The Department of History and the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences are units in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this seminar or for more information on the UI Museum of Natural History and the Explorers Seminar Series, call in advance, at 319-335-0606 or email


Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606


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