Presentations Celebrate Geography Awareness Week and Geographic Information Systems Day
November 07, 2021

Three virtual presentations on how geographic information systems (GIS) and geography-based careers can influence societal change will be offered by Stanislaus State in observance of Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day, two annual events scheduled for the week of Nov. 15-19.

Viewers of the three one-hour talks will learn more about “linguistic landscapes” and language choices that create barriers to social engagement, career experiences and requirements for GIS professionals and how the discipline of geography is helping researchers solve long-standing problems.

Hosted by Stan State Associate Professor of Geography José Díaz-Garayúa, the talks are free and open to campus community members and the public who register to attend. Díaz-Garayúa believes the events will increase overall comprehension of geography-related professions and the wide range of work geographers can do, including research, data analysis and planning.

“Celebrating Geography Week and GIS Day every year is a reminder of the functions geographers can do—taking care of the earth and the environment—and it serves as a reinforcement of our discipline, which is very important,” he said. “But a lot of people don’t know about geography.”

Jhonni Carr, a lecturer of Hispanic linguistics at UC Berkeley, will present “Language and the Right to Public Space” at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15. She will discuss the written language displayed in public spaces in southeast Los Angeles and how the lack of Spanish on signs can negatively impact Latinx individuals’ sense of belonging and participation in their communities.

On GIS Day, Wednesday, Nov. 17, a panel discussion at 1 p.m. will focus on the importance of GIS in local government and cover the experiences of GIS professionals. The panel includes a GIS manager from Merced County, a GIS software developer from Stanislaus County and two Stan State alumni who worked in county government and at a museum.

The final talk at 1 p.m., Nov. 19, will feature Ana Sánchez-Rivera, a human geographer with a cognitive and social psychology background. Her topic, “Thinking Geographically: Making Known Research Problems Unique,” will cover the story of her academic journey studying racial, ethnic and national identity and how the geographic perspective offers refreshing approaches to solving problems and addressing theories.

Stanislaus State is one of hundreds of organizations worldwide observing Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day to celebrate the influential work of GIS and geography professionals and ignite the imagination of anyone interested in geography and GIS.

For more information, visit the Stanislaus State geography program, applied geography and GIS websites for more information.