Appendix A. Letters of support

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Appendix A.

Letters of support

Oregon geography educators:

1. Alec Murphy, Professor and former Chair, Department of Geography, University of Oregon and former President of the Association of American Geographers.

2. Heejun Chang, Chair, Department of Geography, Portland State University.

3. Art Benefiel, Instructor and lead, GIS certificate, Central Oregon Community College

4. Lynn Songer, Instructor and lead, GIS instruction, Lane Community College

5. Christine Friedle, Instructor and lead, GIS certificate, Portland Community College

6. Shaun Huston, Chair, Geography, Western Oregon University

7. James Proctor, Chair, Environmental Studies Program, Lewis & Clark College

Alumni and members of the CEOAS Board of Advisors

8. Dick Marston, alumnus, Former Chair, Geography, Kansas State University and former President of the Association of American Geographers.

9. Wiley Thompson, alumnus, Chair, Geography, West Point.

10. Sharon Kelly, alumna, Transportation Planning Program manager, Portland

11. Brady Callahan, Alumnus, GIS Professional

12. Greg Verret, Alumnus, Director, Benton County Planning Department

Employers and internship providers

13. David DiBiase, Esri

14. Doug Sackinger, GIS Coordinator, Benton County Planning Department

15. Austin McGuigan, Director, Polk County Community Development

16. Brian Latta, Administrator, City of Harrisburg

17. Jeff Powers, Benton County Planning Department

18. John Gabriel, Alsea Geospatial, Inc.

19. Russ Faux, Quantum Spatial, Inc.

Current students

20. Gareth Baldrica-Franklin, undergraduate student

21. Yingqi Tang, undergraduate student

22. James Sharp, undergraduate student

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October 9, 2015
Julia Jones

Director, Geography Program


Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331
Dear Julia,

Thank you for sharing your new degree proposal with me. It seems like a good opportunity for OSU students to major in Geography and geospatial science. My best wishes for the success of your proposal. 


Heejun Chang

Professor and Chair
Department of Geography
Portland State University

October 13, 2015

Julia Jones

Director, Geography Program


Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331

I am writing this letter of support for the proposed OSU BS Geography and Geospatial Science degree. The curriculum supports a strong undergraduate foundation in the discipline. In addition, enhanced articulation between Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University will exist.

Geospatial science is rapidly becoming entrenched in many professions. Geographic Information Systems professionals require a knowledge of specific disciplines to provide maximum efficacy. The proposed curriculum establishes a strong base for which graduates may find employment in many interdisciplinary sectors. It will also lead to potential graduate study in specialized fields.
Of particular interest to COCC is the possibility of articulation. There have already been exchanges with OSU faculty that look promising. Articulation will provide an avenue for COCC GIS graduates to transfer to a BS degree program either as Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) or Associate of Science (AS) completers.
I fully support the proposed Geography and Geospatial Science degree program. I look forward

to the opportunities it provides for COCC to interact with OSU and the expanded choices our graduates have in pursuing further academic education in GISciences.

Arthur N Benefiel,,Professor, GISP Central Oregon Community College

2600 NW College Way Bend OR 97701



Community College SM

Julia Jones

Professor and Director

Geography Program, CEOAS, OSU.

I 0/12/15
Dear Dr. Jones,
I was very excited to learn that Oregon State University was developing a BS degree in Geography and Geospatial Science. As an instructor at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, I have had the privilege to teach geography and GIS to many students who wish to pursue a degree in these fields. Lane Community College has enjoyed a long-term relationship with OSU with respect to program articulation and I look forward to developing strong articulation agreements with this program. Offering a BS in geography and geospatial science would greatly benefit our students.
Lane is in the process of launching a Geography Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree. Our program will provide foundations in geography and GIS to prepare students for upper division classes in these subjects. The timing for this new program could not be better.

Lynn Songer Ph.D. Geography - GIS Instructor Lane Community College Eugene, Oregon

4000 East 30th Avenue • Eugene, OR 97405-0640 • Phone: (541) 463-3000 • Web: an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution

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October 11, 2015
Julia Jones

Professor, Director, Geography program


Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331
Dear Julia,

I fully support OSU developing an undergraduate program in Geography and Geospatial Science.  This would be a great place for students at PCC to continue their education in Geography & GIS and complete a bachelor's degree.  Our students are already interested in geospatial science and having a specialized 4-year degree option in Oregon would be valuable to our students.

I look forward to working with you to implement the articulation agreement for course equivalencies so that transferring students could do so with limited obstacles.
Christina Friedle

Geography Faculty & Department Chair

Portland Community College

, 971-722-4072

Western Oregon


14 October 2015

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in support of the current proposal for a BS in Geography and Geospatial Science from faculty in the Geography program at OSU. The proposed degree offers a well- rounded education to potential majors. With the growing use and application of GIS across fields and professional areas, the grounding in the fundamentals of geography, alongside technical training, provided in the proposed program of study will serve students well and is to be applauded.

Shaun Huston


Geography and Film Studies

Western Oregon University

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October 26, 2015
Julia Jones

Professor and Director, Geography Program

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331

Dear Julia,
Thank you for sharing with me your proposal for a new undergraduate major in Geography and Geospatial Science at OSU. I offer support for your proposal as a PhD geographer (Berkeley, 1992) and professor at an Oregon liberal arts institution (Lewis & Clark College). The proposed new major builds on a longstanding position of OSU faculty strength and student interest in geography, and a more recent position of strength and interest in geospatial science. The two are closely related: in particular, geography provides a much fuller substantive context for Geospatial Science practice than if Geospatial Science were to be taught alone. The link between the two is clear, as both are fundamentally interested in space (and spatial analysis). What’s more, space (including spatial process, spatial pattern, and spatial scale) is integral to a wide variety of disciplines across the physical and life sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and humanities; in this respect, geography, coupled with geospatial science, offers focus on an important crosscutting dimension of scholarly inquiry. A major in Geography and Geospatial Science, then, is not only conceptually coherent, but offers undergraduates emphasis in an area of crosscutting scholarly value.

I have read the attached proposal for the Geography/Geospatial Science major, and believe as a geographer that it strikes an appropriate balance between breadth in the discipline and relevance to geospatial science (for which certain areas of geography are more applicable than others). Relative to other geography programs in Oregon, the blend of geography and geospatial science OSU could offer would be a highly desirable option; and relative to other non-geography programs in Oregon (e.g., in environmental or earth science), the proposed major generally offers both greater breadth (via geography) and technical depth (via geospatial science). It seems, therefore, that there is indeed a suitable niche for the proposed major at OSU.

These brief comments constitute a strong endorsement for your proposal; I wish you the best toward its eventual success.


Jim P.
James D. Proctor

Professor & Director

Environmental Studies Program  
348 JR Howard Hall
Lewis & Clark College

0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, MSC 62

Portland, OR 97219

7 October 2015
Dr. Julia Jones, Professor and Director

Geography Program, CEOAS Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97331-5503

I am pleased to write in support of the proposal to create a new BS degree program in Geography and Geospatial Science in CEOAS at Oregon State University. I feel qualified to comment on the proposal for several reasons. First, I received my MS (1976) and PhD (1980) degrees in Geography at OSU and continue to believe it is central to the mission of OSU and CEOAS. I served on the Geosciences (now CEOAS) Board of Advisors (2001-07) and I have remained familiar with the personnel, capabilities and directions of OSU Geography…in part because my daughter, Brooke, earned her MS in Geography from OSU in 2014. Second, I served as Head of the Department of Geography at Kansas State University from 2005-11, and was elected President of the Association of American Geographers for 2005-06…both experiences allowed me to directly observe major trends in the discipline. Third, I am familiar with major scholarly advances in the discipline through service on various professional panels and program committees, extensive reviews of research and other academic programs, and service for the past 17 years as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal, Geomorphology. Fourth, I have considerable experience as a consultant for business, industry and government that involved the application of Geospatial science.
The proposal correctly points out that Geography is an ancient discipline that has gained modern relevance from remarkable breakthroughs in field methods, lab techniques, and geospatial technologies. Geographic concepts, theory and technology has improved our ability to understand a rapidly changing world, including challenges created by the distribution of Earth surface phenomena and the relationships between environment and society. In the funded research projects I have undertaken with my students, we have used Geospatial science to document effects of forest cover on slope failures and flooding in the Himalaya of Nepal, sources of sediment in an arid watershed of Wyoming, stages of stream channel degradation in Kansas, and effects of dams on rivers, floodplain vegetation, and wildlife in Wyoming and France. Every one of those studies generated findings that were different than I originally predicted, largely because of the insights provided by geospatial science coupled with data acquired by field methods. The results of these studies have changed the way natural resources are managed in those diverse geographic settings. Moreover, I have used Geospatial science as a consultant for government and industry, and observed (during my year employed in the U.S. Department of State) how it can be used to great advantage in the gathering and analysis of intelligance data related to environmental security.
In the 1970s, a university graduate with a bachelor’s degree in geography faced difficulty in finding a job, but that is no longer the case IF the student has gained training and experience in geospatial science. In a survey of over 700 Geography alumni from Kansas State University, I found that 46% were employed in the corporate world, 29% in government (federal, state, local), 10% in academia, 5% in the military, 5% in NGOs and 5% in other categories. When asked what skill they utilized the most (or wish they had been trained in), geospatial technologies (remote sensing, GPS, and GIS) ranked highest. I compiled a long list of job titles for our alumni, many of which include some version of GIScientist. The Cartographic and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) also maintains a list of typical job titles from all employment sectors of American society. In 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor identified geotechnology as one of the three most important emerging and evolving fields (along with nanotechnology and biotechnology) in our country, with high potential for employment and expanding commercial markets. Their projections have proven true. Worldwide, the market for Geospatial science has grown to tens of billions of U.S. dollars per year. A new B.S. degree in geography and geospatial science would better prepare OSU students to enter this market.
I whole-heartedly endorse the program objectives, programmatic focus outlined in the new degree proposal. It was a big mistake to have dropped the Geography BA and BS degrees and relegate Geography to an option in the Earth Science major in CEOAS. At the same time, a mere minor or certificate program in GIScience would be inadequate in serving today’s students. I view the mix of Geography and Geospatial Science courses in the proposed curriculum as ideal…retaining the disciplinary focus in geography but adding the substantial in-depth training in geospatial science necessary to make OSU graduates competitive. I was especially pleased to see that a 400-level course in Experiential Learning is part of the proposal. Many universities have learned that providing research experience for undergraduate students will allow them to see whether they have the aptitude for advanced research or applied studies. Undergraduate research in Geography and Geospatial Science will allow students to see first-hand the expectations of undertaking a project and carrying it through to completion. Again, this will improve their prospects for employment or advancing to graduate work in academia. Assuming that CEOAS will be able to recruit and retain a faculty member to fill the vacant line left open by the departure of the talented Professor Jenny, the number of OSU Geography faculty will be sufficient to cover the curriculum. The Digital Earth computer classroom (Wilkinson 210) offers a fine teaching laboratory. It seems to me that the proposed degree program more than satisfies the mission of OSU and CEOAS.
It was a pleasure to review this proposal for a new BS degree in Geography and Geospatial Science and I urge Oregon State University to adopt the proposal at the soonest opportunity.


Richard A. Marston

University Distinguished Professor




ATTENTION OF October 14, 2015

Dr. Julia Jones

College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

104 CEOAS Administration Building

Corvallis, OR 97331-55003

Dear Dr. Jones,

I appreciate the opportunity to comment on your initiative to create a bachelor of science (BS) in Geography and Geospatial Science at Oregon State University. I make my observations in the capacity of a member of the board of advisors for the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and with my perspective as the chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at West Point. My department has both Geography and Geographic Information Science (GIS) majors. Lastly, I have a master's ('99) and a doctoral ('08) degree in Geography from Oregon State, adding an element of personal interest and stake in your proposal.

Primarily what I see in this proposal is a move towards efficiency and an initiative

that provides both graduates and the market place what each needs more of- potential employees with a complete suite of complementary skills and perspectives. As I write this letter, we at West Point are undergoing a curriculum review in which every department is defending its program and in many cases updating not only course offerings, but also the depth and breadth of courses from which students may select to build their program. We have also seen in a number of cases, and in my own department in particular, where very closely aligned and more so complementary disciplines and subjects have been combined to not only strengthen the program, but to create efficiencies in resources -especially those of faculty and student time. As I walk through this proposal, I can see similar outcomes gained for the Geography Program at OSU.

This past summer, my GIS program was one of the first eighteen universities to

receive the designation as a National Geospatial lntelligence Agency (NGA)- United States Geological Survey Center of Academic Excellence in Geospatial Science. The goal of this program is to "build, strengthen and cultivate the current and future geospatial sciences workforce for the U.S. government- make it second to none". At the U.S. Geospatial lntelligence Foundation, where the "plank owner" programs were recognized, the Director of NGA brought a panel of analysts and productions specialist from NGA to talk about their experiences to the assembled group. Universally, the comments from all, regardless of how they were employed at NGA, were that they wish they had a better balanced portfolio of skills and perspectives. Those who were exceptionally skilled GISers, felt they were lacking in their understanding of the physical environment or in the human or cultural landscape. An employee hired for his or her

expertise as a human geographer and employed as a regional expert, found that if he or

she had a stronger background in hard skillsets, like modelling or analysis, better communication and collaboration could be achieved with intelligence analyst colleagues. The point is, they all wished they had more balance in all-things-gee from their undergraduate experience and the program, as proposed by your Geography Program, appears to create the opportunity for just that.

I would like to close by offering that this move appears to be a win for the CEOAS,

the Geography Program, but more importantly the OSU Student. There will certainly be the need for some upfront energy in marketing this new opportunity to prospective students and also educating and messaging to internal (CEOAS) and external audiences across OSU, but in the long run, the work will pay off and this very complete and more comprehensive offering will be a great addition to the CEOAS brand.


October 14, 2015
Julia Jones


Director, Geography Program

CEOAS, Oregon State University

Corvallis Or 97331
Hi Julia,
Thank you so very much for sharing with me the program description for the proposed new BS in Geography and Geospatial Science at OSU. I am very excited to see this new program moving forward.
Every day I see the need for planners trained with a broad understanding of earth sciences and the ability to effectively illustrate research and science through GIScience. It’s clear from reading the proposal you have put a lot of research into defining the need and proposing a great solution.
Over the years we (the Board of Advisors) have discussed the need for re-defining the Geography program, and I am especially pleased to see it coupled with the geospatial science discipline. As a practicing planner for almost 40 years, I can assure you that the need for people trained in these combined disciplines will be in demand and will contribute extensively to the planning profession. It’s especially nice for me to see the focus on earth sciences and analysis, as we all collectively see that policy decisions at all levels (local, state, federal and global) need clear data and science guidance.
Please share my appreciation for seeing this move forward with the other faculty and staff who have obviously put a lot of work into getting it this far.
Please let me know if I can help support it in any way as you move it forward.

Sharon Kelly

2487 NW Lovejoy
Portland, OR 97210

Federal Way Link Extension Consultant Team Project Manager
HDR Engineering, Transportation Planning Program Manager
CEOAS Board of Advisors,
BS, Geography, 1979, OSU

Direct @ Sound Transit 206 398-5440 Cell 503 201-8538 or

28283 Stage Stop Ln

Corvallis, OR 97330
Dr. Julia Jones

Professor and Director Geography Program, CEOAS Oregon State University

October 7, 2015

Dear Dr. Jones,
I am pleased to offer my support for the creation of a BS in Geography and Geospatial Science at Oregon State University.
I believe the need for college graduates with extensive skills in spatial science is strong. The government sector in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest relies heavily on geographers and GIS professionals for everything from wildland firefighting support to transportation planning. Spatial analytics have also become increasingly important to business as customer and logistical data of all kinds can be tied to location.
Demand can also be seen in the agriculture sector as managing crop yields has become increasingly technical, data driven, and location based. Resource extraction along with agriculture is also part of the emerging market for autonomously gathered remote sensing which requires spatial knowledge and training to turn raw data into useable information.
Oregon State University is best suited among the state’s colleges and universities for a full complement of degrees in geography including the BS. A program at OSU will generate high quality candidates. Its elite status as a Land, Sea, Sun, and Space Grant Institution set it distinctly apart in the ability to fund and produce scientific research and provide an excellent cross disciplinary environment for students.
I strongly support the proposal to create a BS in Geography and Geospatial Science at OSU.


Brady Callahan, GISP MS Geog (OSU ’99)

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October 15, 2015

Julia Jones


Director, Geography Program

CEOAS, Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331
dear Julia,

Geography, as an integrative science, produces graduates who can synthesize as well as analyze, who can see the big, integrated picture as well as the details.  This perspective is incredibly valuable in a world of increasing complexity.  We need people who see the connections and can apply that vision to finding practical solutions in land and resource management, land use planning, public policy and other fields.

I earned an MS in Geography from OSU in 1995.  Over my twenty years in land use planning, that integrative perspective on understanding situations and solving problems has served me extremely well.
The proposed BS in Geography and Geospatial Science would combine geographic thinking with technical skills to provide graduates with a rare (and employable) combination of perspective and applied techniques.  I see this as providing a valuable opportunity to students and a valuable pool of talent to help solve the complex issues our society faces.
I encourage approval of the BS in Geography and Geospatial Science.
Greg Verret, Director
Benton County Community Development Dept.
360 SW Avery Ave., Corvallis OR 97333
(541) 766-6819 |

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October 7, 2015

Julia Jones

Professor, Director, Geography program


Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331
Dear Julia,
On behalf of Esri I’m pleased to endorse the proposal to create a new bachelors degree program in Geography and Geospatial Science at Oregon State University.
When the U.S. Department of Labor identified “geospatial technology” as a high-growth technology industry in 2003, it observed that understanding and awareness of the field remained low. That lack of awareness was evident in the rarity of undergraduate programs focusing on geospatial technology, methods, and perspectives. Although awareness of GIS and related geospatial technologies has increased over the past decade, only a few U.S. universities have established specialized undergraduate programs. More universities are talking about the possibility today, but Oregon State will be among the first if it approves this proposal. I believe the proposed program is likely to succeed in preparing students for meaningful and rewarding careers so long as it prepares students to be makers, not just users, of geospatial information products and applications.
Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment upon this forward-looking proposal.
David DiBiase | Team Lead - Education Sector
Esri | 380 New York Street, Redlands CA 92373
Office 909-793-2853 x 3934  | Mobile 814-777-7639

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October 15, 2015

Julia Jones, Professor

Director, Geography program

CEOAS, Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331

I am very much in support of efforts to establish a BS in Geography and Geospatial Science at Oregon State University.  
I received a BS in Geography from the University of Minnesota and found that the application of physical science and quantitative techniques to geographic subject matter was both very interesting and very helpful in my career as a GIS professional.  I have worked with many professionals in the fields of Land Use Planning, Environmental Science, and Engineering that benefit greatly from the use of GIScience data and techniques in their daily work.  The understanding of spatial relationships is a critical part of understanding large systems.  
Benton County has employed many OSU students and graduates and those that work in the land use and land management disciplines have used GIS frequently as part of their work. I wish you every success in establishing this program.
Doug Sackinger
Doug Sackinger, GIS Coordinator
Information Technology Dept.
Benton County, Oregon
360 SW Avery Ave
Corvallis, OR  97333

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October 15, 2015

Julia Jones, Professor

Director, Geography Program

CEOAS, Oregon State University

Corvallis OR 97331

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on how Polk County Community Development can benefit from the OSU Geography and Geospatial Science degree program. I was very disappointed to learn that OSU eliminated the Geography major; but I am pleased that you are motivated to bring it back. Polk County Community Development hires land use planners and has offered internships to OSU Geography students in the past. Several have gained full time employment with Polk County as Planners. 

Overall, I have found OSU Geography students well suited for practicing rural land use planning. These positions require people who have a general understanding of the natural environment that the County is responsible for managing and can analyse and make recommendations on proposals to develop or alter land. Geographers are especially valuable for being able to do both the technical analysis of science based reports and maps that are used by developers to justify land use changes and the ability to explain how those land based changes will have social, environmental, energy and economic consequences. I have found that OSU Geographers are not only well prepared for the land use planning field, but that they generally offer a value to the County compared to other recent graduates as they require significantly less training to do routine land based research such as running out deeds and legal descriptions, and even just understanding how to use the Public Land Survey System. In addition, geographers are typically skilled at using GIS tools and have valuable experience with spatial analysis techniques and methodologies. This saves the County time and money as we are able to put the employee to work on complicated projects faster and are able to do complex spatial analysis without the need to hire a GIS analyst in addition to the planner. 

The land use planning field is currently growing and Polk County Community Development experiences more turnover in our planning positions than other professional positions. OSU graduates have historically filled the majority of these technical planning positions. As a result, your proposed Geography and Geospatial Science degree program would be beneficial to our organization and we appreciate your effort. 


Austin McGuigan, Director
Polk County Community Development

Natural Areas and

Parks Department

360 SW Avery Avenue

Corvallis, OR 97333-1192

(541) 766-6871

Fax: (541) 766-6891

Julia Jones

Professor and Director Geography Program, CEOAS Oregon State University
Dear Julia,
Thank you this opportunity to offer support for the proposal to create a Bachelor of Science curriculum in Geography and Geospatial Science.
I currently serve as the Director of the Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department and have served in this same capacity for a couple of other public agencies in Oregon over the last three decades. I feel fortunate to have graduated from OSU's school of Forestry (Resource Recreation Management Option) in the early 80's and fondly recall my Map Interpretation and Cartography coursework at Wilkinson. Needless to say the art and science of Cartography has changed dramatically over this time.
Here in Benton County our Department manages just under 1500 acres and we not only provide traditional public park facilities but also extensively manage a range of natural resources including

the forests ofBeazell Memorial Forest, the oak savanna's within Fitton Green Natural Area, the Jackson Frazier Wetlands plus a couple of Prairie Conservation Management Areas near Wren which serve as primary enhancement areas for rare plant and butterfly species listed as threatened and endangered here in Benton County. In this capacity our need for comprehensive mapping which integrates a variety of resource values and variables have grown significantly over the last 10 years. The County employs one GIS technician currently and we are blessed that he has the skills and patience to meet the needs several County Departments including Public Works, Community Development, Public Health, Emergency Services in addition to Natural Areas and Parks. The County also typically employs an OSU GIS intern to help with this workload.

The need for and utilization of GIS data and related maps has increased significantly within Benton County especially with the refinement and availability of such tools as Lidar. The County also has expressed the goal of making geographic information more readily available as a public service via the County website as well as "over the counter". Further, I'm tuned into the fact that other public resource managing agencies throughout Oregon have increased need for GIS data as we are all focusing in more closely on climate change, limited water resources, wildland fire prevention, and evolving resource management issues overall. The proposal for the Bachelor of Science program in Geography and Geospatial Science is needed to meet both current and longer term public needs.
On a related note, I also want to voice support for the practice of using local sites and local resource

management situations as basis for projects related to coursework. For example the project work Jenna Tilt did with her Geo 451/551 students last year, and is again doing this year, has been extremely helpful to the local citizens affected by the project work and to Benton County as a whole. We have been grateful for the opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives with the students and trust that they have benefited from involvement in the "real world" classroom as well.

Jeff Powers, Director

Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department

Cc: Jenna Tilt, Geography Program, CEOAS

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257 SW Madison Avenue, Suite b

Corvallis, OR 97333
October 13, 2015
Dr. Julia Jones,
Geographic Information Systems capture, manage, analyze, and interpret data to increase our understanding of landscape patterns and inform our decision making regarding land use, sea level change, agriculture, built and natural environments. GIS is an interdisciplinary science, a tool for describing the earth's land and marine surfaces.
Our GIS firm, Alsea Geospatial, Inc., enthusiastically supports the addition of a BS in Geography and Geospatial Science at Oregon State University. While OSU currently offers a GIS certificate program, the addition of a Bachelors in Science degree will better prepare graduates for productive and rewarding careers as Cartographers, Spatial Data Analysts, Ecological Researchers, Climate Change Analysts, Soil Scientists.
GIS is ubiquitous in local, state, federal, and international planning. The skills needed to be productive and find employment exceed those offered by a GIS Certificate. OSU GIS graduates need a more rigorous BS degree program to set themselves apart from those with GIS Certificates. They also need a solid grounding in Geography, the science that underpins GIS. The opportunity for Community College Students to transfer to OSU and earn a four year BS Geospatial Science degree will open up many more career paths for then and sharpen their cartographic and analytic skills.
Offering a BS in Geography and Geospatial Science will allow many students to find family wage jobs with typical yearly salaries exceeding $75,000.
Please call me if you'd like to discuss the future OSU BS degree program in Geography and Geospatial Science.

October 15, 2015

To Whom It May Concern:
I wholeheartedly support the creation of a Geography and Geospatial Science Major within the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.
As geography and spatial thinking continue to gain prominence in the United States, it is important to stay technologically and ideologically current. By allowing students to obtain a basic understanding of geographic principles and subsequently perform analyses using spatial and geovisualization software, a wide blend of theoretical and technical skillsets is fostered—both intrinsically valuable and prized by future employers. It is my opinion that the current proposal for the Geography and Geospatial Science degree would achieve such a blend.
My experience as an undergraduate student in the geography program has been very positive, largely due to the accessibility and kindness of faculty members, something I believe to be conducive to future growth. I am excited to see how this new degree will propel geography at Oregon State forward, maybe even to where it the average student at least knows of its existence.
In the end, I would simply hope that a Geography and Geospatial Science major would get more people seriously interested in the study and pursuit of geography—both with the technical skills offered and their theoretical underpinnings. It is my opinion that the creation of this new degree would produce such an increase in curiosity and understanding.
Thank you.
Gareth Baldrica-Franklin

Gareth Baldrica-Franklin

undergraduate student, Geography, Oregon State University

(503) 889-6932

Dear Professor Julia Jones:

Thank you for proposes a new major! The idea of BS in Geography and GIScience is wonderful because I think it can provide a better opportunity for people who want to focus on geography field development.

As I know, most of my friends in Geography major want to get the GIS certificate because they think GIS has become one of important tools for geographers. In my personal experience, I cannot agree more with their opinion. At the beginning, I thought GIS is useless in my study field. However, after a few GIS classes, I started to realize GIS skills help me gather and analyze geographic information, providing a comprehensive view of my field of interest. Therefore, I submitted a GIS certificate last summer.

Also, when my friend and I talked about the GIS certificate at our school, we think that we need more fundamental cartography classes to support high-level GIS classes. I think this new major can change the situation.

Again, a BS major in Geography and GIScience is a need for students who are interest in Geography and also wish to learn GIS skills. It also provides a better opportunity to prepare for their future job.

Yingqi Tang

October 19. 2015
Julia Jones

Professor, Geography

Director, Geography program

HI Professor,

I am supportive of the proposed BS in Geography and Geospatial Science. The new program should give geographers a more focused degree that may better prepare those geographers to work in their chosen field. The addition of new faculty members, Watson and van den Hoek, with innovative training in GIS research and methods will aid the remarkable current staff in this preparation.

James Sharp

Undergraduate major, Geography

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