Many schools and universities in developing nations lack qualified GIS teachers and are in need of a kick start, which often comes in the form of a brief educational visit from an experienced GIS instructor. Esri often receives requests to help support underprivileged schools, so the company recently set aside a modest budget to help fund such education ambassador visits.
Last year, Bob Kolvoord, interim dean at the College of Integrated Science and Engineering at James Madison University, became Esri’s first education ambassador, graciously accepting a request to visit and teach at the SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College in Tema, Ghana.
Esri paid for his travel; the host school provided local housing; and Sambus, the Esri distributor in western Africa, provided logistical assistance. This collaborative formula will help make the Education Ambassador program successful.
Visits will be based on a prioritization of requests from schools and the budget that’s available. The stays typically will be for 5 to 10 working days and will focus on giving the students hands-on training in Esri technology so they can start to solve community and global problems.
Are you interested in becoming an education ambassador? Send a summarized biographical sketch plus a statement of your specific teaching expertise to firstname.lastname@example.org.