Thomas Nelson Community College’s (TNCC) Chérie Aukland, Associate Professor of Information Technology and Program Head for Geographical Information Systems (GIS), was selected to serve on the National GeoTech Center’s National Visiting Committee. She will be among experts serving in an advisory capacity to the director and principle investigator of the National GeoTech Center.
In addition to advising National GeoTech Center officials, the National Visiting Committee will evaluate the center’s progress in meeting its annual goals and develop an annual report for the National Science Foundation (NSF) which funds the center as part of an Advanced Technological Education Program. The NSF’s $3 million, three-year grant for the National GeoTech Center was awarded in June.
Housed in Louisville, Kentucky at Jefferson Community & Technical College, the National GeoTech Center is a coalition of educators and experts who will establish a knowledge base; create and maintain educational standards; educate Geospatial Technology instructors; and work with business and industry to meet workforce needs and create career paths in the technology. Other goals include expanding the number and quality of programs offered at two-year colleges and reaching out to special populations such as veterans, women and underserved communities to develop career paths.
Aukland is nationally recognized as a geospatial educator, participating in the development of national model courses based on Department of Labor competencies and serving as an advisory member of the NSF Advanced Technological Education national geospatial community college center. She has an Associate’s degree from Thomas Nelson, a Bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University and a Master’s degree from The College of William & Mary.
Thomas Nelson offers a GIS Technician Career Studies Certificate. The curriculum includes four courses: Geographical Information Systems I, Geographical Information Systems II, Geographical Information Systems 3D Analysis, and Understanding Geographic Data.
Students with GIS skills can pursue careers in several fields, including Geography, Geology, Climate Research, Defense Economic Development, Education, Engineering, Environment Forestry, International Development, Planning and Development, Precision Agriculture, Public Health, Public Safety and more.