The public is invited to attend a GIS Showcase on Wednesday, May 13 from 5:00-8:00pm at the Maui Brewing Company in the Kihei Tech Park.

UH Maui College students earning Certificates of Competence in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Ecosystem Management will share final projects including endemic Hawaiian tree snail populations in Maui County, energy efficiency mapping, and effects of East Maui Irrigation seepage on stream health.

“The GIS Certificate program has given me the freedom to choose where I would like to go in my education and has opened new career options for me,” said UHMC student Heather Kotok.

The student presentations will offer the opportunity for interested employers, internship sponsors, prospective students, and community organizations to learn more about GIS.

“A world of opportunity awaits people developing skills in GIS,” said Craig Clouet, Solutions Engineer at Esri, a global GIS software company with an office in Honolulu.

“Many jobs use GIS extensively, and Esri supports that Maui College has been so proactive in educating and promoting GIS to their students. Students leaving the program with these abilities can go anywhere to meet the needs of both existing jobs, and those not yet invented,” he said.

GIS skills are in high demand on Maui through the growing high-tech industry.

“At the Pacific Disaster Center, we are currently using GIS to help coordination of international disaster relief operations in Nepal by producing maps ranging from damage assessments to the location of international Search And Rescue teams. GIS is an integral part of the technologies employed at PDC for disaster risk reduction,” said Ray Shirkhodai, Executive Director.

UHMC students are also finding local jobs with companies like ArdentMC and IUE after completing the UHMC program.

“We look to hire candidates with GIS training and certifications as our projects focus on providing GIS services and assisting our customers to manage their critical missions,” said Dom McCombs, Technical Recruiter at ArdentMC.

“We have hired students from the UH Maui College GIS program and we will continue to do so, as they have added value, have experience, a good attitude and appreciation for the work,” said Joe Breman, President of IUE.

The certificate is part of a FAST TRACK curriculum consisting of two courses that can be completed in one semester. Instruction is delivered through online classes and in-person labs. GIS 150 and GIS 180 will be offered again consecutively August 24 – December 18, 2015. Students must enroll at UH Maui College, Hawai‘i Community College or Kaua‘i Community College. It is recommended to apply by August 1 to ensure all paperwork is approved.

This event is free and open to the public on Wednesday, May 13 from 5:00-8:00pm at the Maui Brewing Company, 605 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei (in Maui Tech Park).

Visit http://maui.hawaii.edu/gis/ for more information on GIS.

The Geographic Information Systems program is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in the amount of $402,434. Funding does not pay for student costs to participate. The GIS program is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. TDD/TYY 808.984.3325.

(Photos courtesy of Bryan Berkowitz)