GEO-Education O’odham: Spatial Mapping Assessment and Resource Training
Grant Supported by
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
In 2010, it was realized that when deciding land use the nation was lacking funding necessary to increase their ability to obtain and maintain geospatial information for the Tohono O’odham Nation’s Long Range Plan, LRP.
The ANA Grant-GEO:SMART Project helps to address this need by increasing funding and will ultimately help to increase the nation’s technical capacity for obtaining and maintaining geospatial information.
This is accomplished by offering classes in GIS and IT here at TOCC. Along with classes the project also offers workshops and webinars, in both novice and advanced levels.
The project will include collaborations with Nation’s entities including: the Department of Planning and Economic Development (Planning) that facilitated the LRP; the Department of Information Technology (DOIT); the Tohono O’odham Utility Authority (TOUA); and the governmental districts of the Nation.
- Three classes in GIS starting Spring 2021. All classes at TOCC are set up for remote learning for the semester.
- Flood Risk Assessment workshop. Using your own data, this workshop will focus on mapping the flood risk areas of your data. With a completed map to print.
- Wildfire mapping workshop. Using your own data, this workshop focuses on where wildfire has been on the reservation and analyzing any regrowth.
ANA Grant main objectives:
- By the end of 36 months GEO:SMART will convene and facilitate the Tohono O’odham Nation Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Working Group representing at least four departments from the Nation’s government and two Tohono O’odham Nation agencies.
- By the end of 36 months GEO:SMART will provide two practical-based, college-level courses and ongoing technical support for at least 36 individuals including Tohono O’odham Nation department and district employees and TOCC degree-seeking students with at least 30 successfully completing the courses.
By the end of 36 months GEO:SMART will provide two college-level Information Technology courses for at least 18 individuals including district staff members and degree-seeking students with at least 15 successfully completing the courses.
- Introduction to Global Positioning
- Introduction to GIS
- Advanced GIS
The classes are college level courses, they require papers/ projects, quizzes and exams. The courses are 16 week programs. Both Introduction to GIS and Advanced GIS have 3 credits, while Introduction to Global Positioning has 2 credits that can be transferred to any four year college/university in the country.
The workshops are a lot less formal. They are a one day, 8 hour workshop, when in person. They are held on Saturdays from 9am-4pm, with a free lunch provided.
However, due to Covid-19 and with respect to the Nation’s health, we have changed the workshops to self paced webinars with zoom tutoring.
Workshops are meant to be customizable depending on the need of the district. Topics such as GPS Field mapping, Cartographic design and flood risk assessment are just a few topics that can be addressed.
Why should the different districts participate?
The courses and technical assistance provided by TOCC and the workshops will enable current staff in the Nation’s districts and executive departments to conduct skilled GIS mapping and to maintain layered maps. Education in IT will enable district members to manage their computer networks and provide newly trained Tohono O’odham members for employment. The courses will provide TOCC students with skills for future employment in needed high technology positions.
While the ANA Grant is aimed at the Nation’s employees and non-employee TOCC students, the membership of the Tohono O’odham Nation that resides on the Nation has approximately 14,000 individuals and we welcome any member who wishes to learn. The Tohono O’odham Nation will benefit from the project once district members and departments gain their technical capacity to map and analyze data within their Nation’s land base.
Apply to GEO:SMART
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Frequently Asked Questions
- What is GIS?
GIS gathers, manage, and analyzes data and places into a map form. For example, collecting data on where school bus routes run and then producing a map that shows those routes.
- How can this help the district?
This training allows each district to have the ability to maintain and use their own data to make maps that are most needed for that district.
- How much does it cost to participate?
It is completely free. The tuition, books, and equipment are provided.
- Can a non-Nation member employee participate?
Yes. It is open to ALL employees of the nation, member or not.
- Does the participant need to have computer skills?
Yes. For classes, they need to have more advanced experience using computers. However, for workshops, we can assess which workshop would best fit the experience level. There are workshops for all experience levels.
- What are the computer skills necessary?
The participant should know: how to download and unzip a zip file, how to compress a file, knows how to connect to an external hard drive, navigate web pages, knows how to find and open files, and have an internet connection.
- What are the courses like?
They are college level courses, which require papers/ projects, quizzes, and exams. They are 16 week programs, with 3 credits that can be transferred to any four year college/university in the country.
- Do you have to be a student to enroll in the classes?
Yes. However, you can enroll as a “non-degree seeking student”. This allows you to be a student without having to declare a major or program.
- What are the workshops like?
The workshops are less formal and are a one day 8 hour workshop, when in person. They are held on Saturdays from 9am-4pm, with a free lunch provided. However, due to Covid-19 and with respect to the Nation’s health, we have changed the workshops to self paced webinars with zoom tutoring.