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Volunteer Programs

The GeoMentor Program
AAG is now supporting the GeoMentor program, visit the site at: http://www.geomentors.net

GIS professionals can help educators and students learn to use GIS. A GeoMentor is a volunteer who can help a teacher or youth club leader build capacity to help kids use GIS.
A GeoMentor works with an educator. Using tools of geography (such as digital or hardcopy maps), and even field work, the GeoMentor helps the educator and youth develop skills in geographic thinking.

Who can be a GeoMentor?
GeoMentors can be anyone who uses geography, recognizes the ways in which geography matters to us all, and has an interest in helping young people, including:

- users of Geographic Information Systems
- Mapmakers
- city and regional planners
- Local government workers
- Utility industry workers
- Transportation people
- Health care staff and social workers
- Architects and engineers
- Farmers, foresters, and fishermen
- Safety and security people
- Homemakers
- Anyone who recognizes that where things are, and how they relate to other things, influences our lives


How can an educator benefit?
A classroom teacher or leader of an informal education group can benefit by developing his or her own skills, getting support problems solved, and providing youth with powerful new opportunities that foster long-term skills. And everyone will benefit from a more engaged citizenry.


What GeoMentors Can Do?

Provide

1. Provide local maps at a range of scales to put on the wall.
2. Print a big wall map on 8.5x11-inch pages for the group to piece together (see NatGeo MapMaker kits).
3. Provide classroom subscriptions to publications like National Geographic.
4. Provide the school/group a GPS device.
5. Provide local GIS data.
6. Plot maps created by the school/group.
7. Help the school/group acquire ArcGIS for Desktop software or ArcGIS Online and get it running.


Lead

1. Lead a very local field trip (around the building or neighborhood) building a simple data table of mapable phenomena.
2. Any day of the year, bring in a GIS Day presentation, or a GeoCareers event that highlights careers engaging geography.
3. Lead an educator through the intro documents on Esri's K12 GIS portal on ArcGIS Online.
4. Help an educator get started in Esri's ArcGIS Online SkillBuilder document.
5. Help an educator get underway in Esri's online Teaching with GIS class.


Teach

1. Teach how to create and use a good data table, with lat/long coordinates or street addresses, and additional mapable fields.
2. Guide a mapmaker into understanding and following good cartographic principles.
3. Show how to use a GPS app on a smartphone to gather data, export a GPX file, and map it.
4. Show how to make maps online via National Geographic MapMaker Interactive.
5. Show how to construct a Story Map app via Esri Story Maps.


Support

1. Sponsor a local or regional map competition.
2. Help establish a geography club.
3. Help at a youth geo event, such as a Geography Bee.
4. Bring the class or youth group on a field trip to your work site.
5. Help an educator get to a professional development event – local GIS education workshop, regional GIS user group meeting, Esri Education Conference.
6. Provide an internship for youth, or for an educator.
7. Assist in writing or pitching grants for tools, materials, training, and activities.


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