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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Geospatial Technology Part of National Extension Conference

June 23, 2006

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The use of geospatial technologies in such areas as agricultural efficiency, public health, homeland security, and disaster management is making its indelible mark on rural and community development and sustainability. To get the most of what the technology offers, cooperative Extension agents throughout the country are being introduced to several geospatial technology workshops at the National Association County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference (AMPIC), being held July 23-27 at Cinergy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.


The workshops, GPS Applications for Extension Programming and GIS Applications for Extension Programming, will be held concurrently on July 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Rural land use issues are no longer influenced by factors that can be controlled locally. Global economics, information technologies, food security, watershed integrity and other factors play an active role in the decision process of rural communities and citizens," said Nathan Watermeier, Ohio State University Geospatial Extension specialist and program director of the Ohio Geospatial Extension Program. "Some of the most promising tools for supporting that decision-making are geospatial technologies. The goal of these workshops is to teach Extension specialists the skills needed to solve rural and community problems."

Topics covered include the basics of GIS and GPS operations, using the equipment and software, querying data, creating images, maps and tables and learning techniques for data collection. The workshops are part of a program designed to provide geospatial technology education and resources to local decision makers for addressing community, agricultural and environmental issues. Similar workshops are offered nationwide through the National Geospatial Technology Extension Network. NGTEN is a collaboration of 15 states, including Ohio, which strives to provide problem-solving programs and to meet the growing demands for a spatially literate workforce.

The 91st annual AMPIC conference is being sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and NACAA. The last time the conference was hosted in Ohio was in 1972.

NACAA is a national organization that serves Extension Educators and their service to individuals, families, businesses, and communities in the areas agriculture, food safety, water quality, pest management, natural resources, horticulture, community development and forestry. NACAA helps foster professional development, encourages communications and cooperation among members, and facilitates excellence in Extension programming.

For more detailed information on AMPIC, including registration fees, hotel accommodations, directions to the event, sign-ups for tours and cancellation/refund policies, log on to Interested individuals may also contact Mike Hogan at (330) 627-4310, or, or NACAA AMPIC conference co-chair and University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agent Tim Hendrick at (502) 732-7030 or


Candace Pollock
Nathan Watermeier