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With its annual grant program, ESRI has awarded 4-H clubs in more than 600 counties with ArcView and ArcPad software and Virtual Campus training. Three different types of grants are offered: Getting Started with GIS and GPS; Introduction to GIS for 4-H; and Intermediate GIS for 4-H. For 2009, ESRI has again joined with American Forests, a nonprofit citizens’ conservation group, to provide 4-H clubs with a grant opportunity. Clubs that have successfully fulfilled the requirements of the Introduction to GIS for 4-H grant can acquire advanced functionality for their community service projects through the Intermediate GIS for 4-H grant. ESRI will equip these clubs with Youth Club Licenses for ArcGIS 3D Analyst or ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst extensions. American Forests will provide clubs that are working on a forestry project with the CITYgreen extension to ArcGIS.
“This grant program is an excellent way for 4-H clubs in the United States to access the latest geospatial technology,” said Esther Worker, youth and community mapping manager, ESRI. “GIS will help further the 4-H mission of integrating science, engineering, and technology into youth programs as well as provide an excellent way for youth to investigate and understand their communities and their world. We encourage 4-H clubs to apply for this opportunity to advance their projects in a creative and telling way.”
“It is amazing what kids learn from the environment when they use GIS,” said Mike Lehman, CITYgreen software director, American Forests. “CITYgreen fosters a higher level of thinking and helps kids understand what is happening to the environment around them.”
The American Forests environmental education program provides students with a real-world learning experience while offering teachers an innovative and organized program for teaching science, math, and GIS. American Forests’ CITYgreen software conducts complex analyses of ecosystem services and creates easy-to-understand reports. The software calculates dollar benefits for the services provided by the trees and other green space in a specific area.
4-H geospatial research and community mapping projects help young people build on their science and technology knowledge and skills as well as their personal outlook and career aspirations. These projects also help both youth and adults improve decision making in their communities and help strengthen local economic, social, and environmental well being.
The software and training materials for grant recipients will be delivered to the 4-H clubs in early 2009. More information about the ESRI GIS for 4-H (U.S.) program, grants, and application process can be found at www.esri.com/4-H. Questions can be directed to Esther Worker at eworker@esri or by calling 303-449-7779, extension 8216.