Written by 2017 NSF REU, Marine Debris Student Scholar and William and Mary Junior, Rachel Layko.
This past week I attended the ESRI Oceans Forum in Redlands, California. This was the first conference I’d ever attended and my first time to the ESRI Headquarters in Redlands, California. I co-presented with UCF Ph.D. student, Lain Graham, representing the Marine Debris 2017 team. Together we gave a fifteen minute presentation with five minutes for questions in the ArcGIS Community Engagement Section.
The conference was a small conference, with around 200 attendees, which enabled me to speak with many of the presenters after their presentations and learn about their work. There were many fantastic presentations, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet people and talk about their projects. I learned about microplastics, searching for the Malaysia Flight 370, using ROVs for data gathering, and many other applications of GIS in marine systems. I had people ask me questions after our presentation, which gave me the chance to share how our team incorporates citizen science and local knowledge to create more meaningful data. Throughout the conference, there was emphasis on collaboration and data sharing to enhance collective knowledge and understanding of ocean systems. I am looking forward to seeing how the GIS community continues to grow collaboratively and how Citizen Science GIS can play a role in that growth.