Provide GIS Training in Afghanistan/2008
My mission was to provide GIS training for faculty and students from Kabul Polytechnic University and Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan. The mission went very well with the use of a translator. We also went through datasets available for Afghanistan and discussed applications and teaching methods with the faculty. They were very warm and appreciative of the course and hopefully we were successful in training the trainers who will be the ones to build their long term geospatial capacity as a country. They understood the importance of using geospatial technology and the importance of sharing this knowledge with the students.
When I started using GIS in graduate school for community and regional planning, I immediately understood the importance of how effective it is to make informed decisions and to communicate with partners and the public. Since that day, I have been using GIS. I have always volunteered for activities which include boy scouts, coaching, and the US Peace Corps so the GISCorps was a very easy decision for me. It brought home two things that are important to me, GIS and public service. Over the last two years, I have traveled across Asia, Africa, Middle East, Central and South America teaching thousands of public health staff around the world about how to use GIS for public health. The hope is that at some point we can get past the stage of “why do we need GIS?” to where it is assumed that we will use it and can then just talk about the best way to implement it and funding pots will always have a line item for it……I know, keep dreaming…..