A young girl and a motivated community

uvita-bahia-ballena-maria-rogSo who is that amazing young woman in the picture above? Her name is Maria Paula and she is a fourteen year old Costa Rican student who has been captivated by GIS, GPS and its uses in her community. She is the expert of her small tourist community in mapping the trash and is using that data to help figure out ways to solve that important environmental issue. When Maria Paula was just thirteen, she gave a stunning talk on this topic to 700 GIS professionals at the Latin American GIS Conference in the fall of 2011. Please view the short video for a glimpse of the slide show and amazing talk that Maria Paula presented.

So why does GISetc care about this story? As some of you may know, Roger and I are principals of GISetc and have been traveling to Uvita-Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica over the past three years. Roger, our friend Charlie and I have been providing training to community members in the use of geospatial technologies (Esri GIS desktop and online software, GPS, remote sensing) to solve community issues. GISetc has fallen in love with the residents of Bahia Ballena and the area and are so impressed by their hard work and dedication to the environment and to each other. In response to a request from the community, GISetc is pleased to announce the inauguration of a program entitled GEOPORT (Geospatial Educators Opportunities for Partnership, Outreach, Research, and Training).

We are all looking forward to providing lots of video, images and interesting blog content on this website so come back often. Will you also perhaps consider partnering with GEOPORT and the residents of Uvita-Bahia Ballena? It will be great fun and a perfect way to connect with an international community! The GEOPORTer project is funded primarily by donations. We have some great sponsorship appreciation gifts and the opportunity to interact with the Amy Work, the first GEOPORTer while she is deployed. No amount is too small. Please share this with your family and friends. GEOPORT is a project where everybody wins!

Anita & Roger Palmer GISetc

P.S. Oh yes, by the way, please LIKE GEOPORTers on Facebook and follow GEOPORTers on Twitter.

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