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Feb 25, 2011

Prof Tech Profile #2: Geographic Information Systems

Today's Prof Tech Profile is on the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program at GRCC, featuring a Q and A with esteemed faculty member Sabah Jabbouri.

Hi Sabah.  To start, can you tell us a little bit about the discipline of GIS?

SABAH:  Geographic Information Systems is not only geography - it is Geospatial Technology, the technology of the 21st century.  GIS is a multidisciplinary geodatabase system, using mapping and data analysis for decision-making processes.  It relates information to locations on earth and can be applied to any discipline, including education, natural and environmental science, homeland security, media, social sciences, economics, politics, business, as well as forestry and fire management field work.

What jobs does a degree in GIS prepare students for?

SABAH:  We prepare students to be GIS technicians, GIS analysts, or GIS specialists, depending on their educational background.

What's the GIS Program like at GRCC?

SABAH:  The GIS Program at GRCC provides students with an extensive skill set that includes:
  • A comprehensive education
  • Advancted technology
  • Hands-on learning
  • A GIS internship program that provides practical work experience
  • An opportunity to enhance existing GIS skills
The emphasis is on application, and students are encouraged to apply what they learn in their area of interest and final GIS project. The final project is a synthesis of skills and is required for graduation. The GRCC GIS Program is known for introducing GIS into the community by demonstrating the power of GIS in real world applications.

How can prospective students learn more about the GIS Program at GRCC? And how can they learn more about the field in general?

SABAH:  Visit the GRCC website by clicking here.  Updated information can be found about the GIS Program at GRCC as well as student projects.  Also, every single county, city, state and federal agency has its own GIS center of department.  The U.S. Department of Labor listed Geospatial Technology as a "High Growth Industry."  For more information, please click here.  Last of all, to learn more about GIS and its application, please visit the Esri website by clicking here

Any parting GIS-related updates to share with our readers?

SABAH:  Recently, we learned that the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has signed an agreement that provides all K-12 schools, districts, and formal youth clubs in the state with free access to Esri's ArcGIS software.  Please click here for more information.
FUNDING TIP! The following funding streams support the GIS Program at GRCC: Worker Retraining, Basic Food Employment & Training, and WorkFirst.  In addition, Opportunity Grant funding supports the GIS Option AAS degree under Natural Resources.