WKU student from Edmonton awarded scholarship


WKU GIS student Tori Murley, of Edmonton has been awarded a scholarship from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (or Esri) to participate at this year’s annual International GIS User Conference. This marks the 17th year in a row that a student has been selected from WKU’s GIS program.

Esri selects a total of 60 graduate and fourth-year undergraduate students from a pool of applicants for the competitive scholarships from universities and colleges in the United States and across the globe. The scholarship requires students to work half-days for a week at the conference in exchange for their conference registration, workshops, meals and lodging. This year’s conference is scheduled for July 9-13 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Murley, a Geoscience graduate student, is using GIS in her thesis research on high-wind events from 1973 to 2015 in the eastern United States. She is also completing her Graduate GIScience Certificate this semester. Murley is an Academic Advisor for Ogden College of Science and Engineering.

More than 18,000 GIS attendees from over 100 countries attended last year’s GIS conference. Esri is the largest vendor of GIS software and hosts the biggest GIS conference of its kind for GIS professionals and users. It’s an opportunity for networking with other GIS practitioners, exchanging workflows, discovering powerful innovations, sharing best practices, and test driving new GIS technologies. Last year’s conference boasted over 1,000 sessions, 450 hours of technical training, and 300 exhibitors.

From traditional map makers to current-day solution providers, the expected outlook in the growth of jobs in GIS by the Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) is much faster than average. GIS is a multibillion dollar market and is expected to reach over US$ 10 billion by the year 2023. GIS is on the list for High Growth Job Training under Geospatial Technology by the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

For information about applying for an Esri student assistantship, or about GIS, WKU’s GIS programs, and GIS applications in business and industry, contact Kevin Cary in WKU’s Center for GIS at 270-745-2981 or kevin.cary@wku.edu

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