As part of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s (USGIF) GEOINT 2017 Symposium, K-8 students from the San Antonio area had the opportunity to participate in various activities to learn about geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). The annual symposium was held June 4-7 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

“GEOINT education for K-12 students is very important to the Foundation,” says Aimee McGranahan, USGIF chief operating officer. “We were very excited for these groups of San Antonio students to hear from senior leaders in the Intelligence Community and make them aware of GEOINT and the many career possibilities the field offers.”

K-8 Program

The K-8 program allowed students to experience GEOINT firsthand and learn basic intelligence and analysis skills. More than 25 girls from the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas participated June 5 to earn their STEM merit badges. On June 6, 15 girls from the Eureka! STEM program of Girls Inc. San Antonio also attended.

The full-day K-8 program agenda included interactive activities on the National Geographic Giant Traveling Map of North America, a live drone demonstration, technology demos, and presentations from female government and industry leaders.

Speakers included:

  • Dawn Eilenberger, Deputy Director of National Intelligence
  • Karyn Hayes-Ryan, Component Acquisition Executive, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • Dr. Suzette Kimball, Director, Civil Applications Committee
  • Letitia A. Long, Former Director, NGA
  • Carmen Medina, Founder, MedinAnalytics; Co-founder,
  • Patty Mims, Deputy Director, Federal Government, Esri
  • Christy Monaco, Director, Corporate Assessment Program Evaluation, NGA

The GEOINT 2017 K-8 outreach was funded and sponsored by AECOM, AGI, BAE Systems, DigitalGlobe and Raytheon.

GlobalXplorer Workshop

In addition to participation in the K-8 program, students from Girls Inc. attended an exclusive GlobalXplorer Workshop sponsored by DigitalGlobe, GlobalXplorer and USGIF. GlobalXplorer is a citizen science and archeology platform that enlists volunteers around the world to discover sites unknown to modern archaeologists. The result of Sarah Parcak’s 2016 TED Prize, GlobalXplorer is a customized crowdsourcing platform produced by DigitalGlobe. Girls Inc. learned how space technology and on-the-ground efforts come together through GlobalXplorer while using the platform.

“GlobalXplorer gives kids an interactive way to learn about how satellite imagery can be used to see a better world,” says Nancy Coleman, DigitalGlobe’s vice president of corporate communications. “We’re advocating for children, especially girls, to be exposed to real-life STEM applications early in their education, in hopes of inspiring them to follow a career path that will lead to the next great scientific discovery.”

Boy Scouts

Approximately a dozen middle school Boy Scouts from the Boy Scouts of America Alamo Area Council participated in a geocaching activity with members of USGIF’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) June 7. YPG members accompanied the scouts on a geocaching activity throughout downtown San Antonio, where they navigated various historic landmarks. After completing the activity, each scout earned a geocaching merit badge.


USGIF is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger GEOINT Community with government, industry, academia, professional organizations, and individuals who develop and apply geospatial intelligence to address national security challenges.