Happy New Year!
As we begin a new, and hopefully brighter, year, I would like to begin with letting you know how much the NEURISA Board of Directors values you, whether your membership is as an official URISA member of our Chapter or as a friend of NEURISA. The culture that NEURISA has created throughout New England over the past 35 years has been a community. We often receive feedback at our events and annual conferences that people enjoy NEURISA because of the tight-knit community culture.
In 2020, knowing that we needed to pivot to a virtual presence, we reached outside of New England for our annual conference and were welcomed by the larger geospatial community. Having engagement from leaders in our profession such as Jack Dangermond of Esri, Fay Gore of the National Geographic Society, Greg Babinski of King County Washington and past SAG award winner, URISA Chapter leaders, URISA’s GISCorp, teachers, administrators, advocates, and colleagues, we realized that the New England culture is strong because the GIS community is strong. The passion we share for GIS was evident at NEURISA 2020 when we shared our “Ah-ha” moments in discovering GIS with each other. We hope to continue sharing our “Ah-ha” stories and learning from each other’s experiences this year.
I’m honored to be leading NEURISA this year as President and associated with the individuals on this year’s Board of Directors. Under the leadership of our Immediate Past President, Jay Metzger, I feel that NEURISA shattered the barrier that 2020 placed on the world with our NEURISA Day conference. The momentum coming out of that event has set our Chapter up for some lofty goals this year centered around our three areas of focus: promoting education, community outreach, and networking. In 2021, we will strive to expand in education, social justice, professional development, networking, and mentorship.
As an established GIS professional and working Mom of five kids; three-year-old identical twin girls and three older children, I am passionate about our education system and promoting geography and GIS education in the classroom. I’m excited to launch NEURISA’s Adopt-a-Teacher initiative this year and am eager to continue the partnership we started with the National Geographic Society. As Jack told us last year, the expectation that our kids have is spatial. They are growing up in a world where our phones and technologies provide location-based information instantaneously. The earlier we can establish the geospatial science behind this in the classroom, the stronger our geospatial future will be.
Stay tuned for more information from the board on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and news regarding the progress we are making towards our goals. I hope to see you all this year, whether it be virtually or preferably in person, as we continue to strengthen and grow our New England geospatial community.
Jodie Gosselin, GISP
NEURISA President, 2021