Innovate Presents at North Carolina GIS Conference 2019 (NCGIS2019)

Since 1987, the NC GIS Conference has served the GIS community by bringing together professionals from across the state to share in their experiences and learn about current trends and technologies. Attracting over 900 registrants in 2017 and averaging close to 50 vendors per conference, NCGIS2019 was expanded to three days this year (February 27-March 1) to accommodate over 40 technical and educational sessions. The NCSIS2019 featured workshops presentations on industry-relevant topics, demonstrations of new apps, exposure to emerging technologies, and the evolving relationship between GIS and of public policy.

Senior GIS Specialist Mr. Michael Blair presents Innovate’s award-winning Data Management Tool (DMT)

This year, Innovate’s Senior GIS Specialist Mr. Michael Blair presented at three NCGIS2019 panels including:

  • How Unique (Search) is Your Widget? – A custom multi-select widget Innovate developed to extend the search capability within a custom web-application builder mapping application.
  • Data Management Tool (DMT) – How a Web-based Application Helps to Manage and Inventory Multiple Internal, Private and Public Geodatabases, Map Services and Online Items Throughout an Enterprise.
  • Where am I? – A Floor Plan Application Integrating Multiple Facilities and Human Resource Data.

Innovate continues our long-history of commitment to the future of GIS development at all levels.

Green Halloween and Earth Day – Living Green and Being Environmentally Conscious

An important component of Innovate! is valuing our environment and leading by example of what it means to operate a “green” and environmentally-conscious organization.  In 2010, the company founded the Global Cooling Network, a 501 ©3 non-profit to reflect Innovate!’s commitment to our planet. The mission of Global Cooling Network is to preserve the forested land in its natural, undeveloped state.

Innovate wall with green plantsPropelled by the “green” mission, over a decade ago, Lily and Phill Thomas came up with a few networking events that would focus on their “green” awareness objective while also bringing together partners, clients, and agencies to mingle and enjoy an evening of “getting to know” each other’s world.

Two of these events, Earth Day and “Green Halloween” became annual events that grew in popularity each year. Earth Day is held in the Spring, and Green Halloween is held at the end of October around the actual Halloween day. Both these events have provided an outreach opportunity to impart their “green” vision.  Each year for both events there is a “green” theme, displaying and offering natural, local and green alternatives for hosting a party.

Innovates Commitment treePhill Thomas, COO of Innovate! states, “While hosting a networking event, it also gives us an opportunity to bring awareness to our “green” mission with a “green” themed event.  Each year we spotlight something “green” for all to see and reflect upon.  This year we have on display our “Commitment Tree” where we hope that everyone adds a leaf to it reflecting a commitment for the year that will help our earth and the environment.”  Innovate! will also be giving away “Vampire Repellent” goody bags for guests to take home with them.

Vampire RepellantWhat is a “Vampire Repellent?” Phil’s clever idea was to offer cloves of garlic, a-la-Vampire Repellent, as a give-away to his guests for this year’s Green Halloween event.  Themes and giveaways of previous events included:

  • A wide selection of pesticides and fertilizers that had no harmful chemicals to make everyone aware that they did exist and they should be using them.
  • Organic selection of foods, including fresh produce, dairy products, breads and bakery goods that were all organically grown and handled.
  • Seedlings and packets of seeds of various plants and vegetables for guests to take home and plant.
  • Organic beers, ales and wines that were brewed by local breweries and vintners, with samples to taste so guests can get to know what is available to them locally. It also brings awareness of buying and supporting local businesses.
  • A bio-degradable theme whereby, all serving and paper good products that appetizers and foods are served on are bio-degradable. All foods served at these events are all served on environmentally safe, and bio-degradable products.

Innovate Staff to Participate in Bay Area Workshop, 15-17 November 2017

Innovate scientists and communication staff with the Earth Observing Systems project, Sydney Neeley and Danielle Golon, will present and lead a workshop in the San Francisco Bay Area November 15-17, 2017.   

This event will feature products, tools, and services of the NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center located at the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, near Sioux Falls, SD.   Among other topics, Neeley and Golon, will demonstrate how participants may use the Application of Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS) to obtain and plot remotely sensed imagery, such as ASTER data.     The workshop below will be held on the campus of University of California -Berkeley. A broad range of participants from universities as well as Bay Area residents are expected to attend.

Innovate Volunteers Joined Hundreds of Thousands Worldwide during Ocean Conservancy’s 32nd International Coastal Cleanup

Hundreds of volunteers converged on Kingman Island to participate in the flagship event of Ocean Conservancy’s 32nd International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to remove trash from local waterways, beaches, lakes and rivers. Armed with gloves and trash bags, volunteers recovered thousands of pounds of trash from along the Anacostia in Washington D.C., contributing to the more than 12 million volunteers who have removed more than 220 million pounds of trash since the first ICC more than three decades ago.

“Right now, all around the country and all around the world, hundreds of thousands of people are doing exactly what you are doing: they’re at their local beach, or river, or park; they are with family, or friends—or maybe they are making new friends; and they are rolling up their sleeves and taking action to keep the ocean clean,” said Ocean Conservancy CEO Janis Searles Jones in opening remarks. Noting Kingman Island’s proximity to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, she added, “Make no mistake: every little piece of trash we collect and log here today is one less item threatening beloved ocean wildlife and communities.”

“If each of us can inspire just one person to either be a trash picker-upper or to reduce the amount of disposable and plastic items they use in their daily lives, we can prevent marine debris from even happening,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, Deputy Assistant Administrator of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, at the event. “We can fix this. This is a doable issue.”

In addition to removing thousands of pounds of trash from along the Anacostia River, volunteers contributed to the world’s largest database on marine debris by logging each trash item in Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell mobile app. Scientists, researchers, industry leaders and policymakers rely on Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Trash Index to inform policy and determine solutions to the growing marine debris crisis.

Every year, millions of tons of trash—including an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste—flow into the ocean, entangling wildlife, polluting beaches, and costing coastal municipalities hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Items like cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps and plastic straws are among the most-commonly collected items. They are also among the deadliest to wildlife like seabirds and sea turtles. Plastics—which never fully biodegrade but rather break up into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics—are of concern. Scientists predict that without concerted global action, there could be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fin fish in the ocean by 2025.

Innovate’s team was comprised of peers, friends, and family. Joni Ecarma, a Manager on the Business Consulting team, participated alongside her mother and six year old daughter: “We charged together down a dirt hill; the ground seemed to be a clean and the view of the water seemed to be clear. But as we looked harder and took more steps through the bushes, we found bottles. Not just one or two. Dozens of plastic water bottles lined the ground, along with other trash. I looked up from the trash for a moment, to see my daughter holding five bottles and eyeing more. She was determined as ever to pick up all the trash she saw. I am thankful for my mother, for passing down her mutual love and concern for the planet to me. And I am inspired to see my daughter, with a mind of her own, pave the way for future generations to love and take care of our great planet.”

“This event was a giant reaffirmation that I am not alone in wanting to sustain the planet. It’s hard when you feel like not enough people care about something so important. Seeing all these volunteers picking up litter is an inspiration,” said Michele Carneiro, a Proposal Manager with Innovate.

Janaina Stanley, an Innovate Recruiter, shared her gratitude for the opportunity to be reminded of how much trash is washing up on our shores: “Living in DC where you don’t see Styrofoam as often or do your best to bring reusable bags, it’s easy to forget about the trash and litter polluting our waters. The event brought awareness, an opportunity to meet local people looking to make a difference as well and was a great workout! I’ll be looking forward to future events with our Innovate team and the Ocean Conservancy or other local organizations.”

Special thanks to all the volunteers across the world who participated in the clean-up and to the Ocean Conservancy for organizing the effort!

Related Links: Source

Photos Courtesy of:  Joy Asico

Additional photos from the event can be found here, and are attributable to Ocean Conservancy/Joy Asico. For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org.

Innovate Staff at USGS EROS Provide Remotely Sensed Imagery in Support Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Three Innovate employees, Brenda Ellis, Brent Johnson, and Kathy Goodale, have worked many hours of overtime in recent weeks at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, near Sioux Falls, SD.  They have been working diligently to manage multiple activations of the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters to ensure that satellite capabilities from many countries are brought to bear.   These activations are providing past and present satellite data to support storm damage assessments and cleanup efforts following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.   In addition to hurricanes impacting many Caribbean nations and the U.S., these three staff members also continue to support over 70 wildfires currently burning in the western U.S.

On behalf of the entire Innovate team, thank you for all your hard work!

LANDSAT Image

LANDSAT Satellite Rendering

USGS EROS Releases New GloVis

Congratulations to Innovate Senior Software Engineer, Jo Wahle, who played a key role in the successful overhaul of the GloVis tool.   EROS recently released the next-generation USGS tool for quick browse visualization and download of remote sensing data. The USGS Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis) has long been considered one of the best options for rapid search and access to remote sensing data. The redesigned GloVis continues the spirit of the previus “Classic” version by providing a simple, interactive method to locate imagery. It also includes many new features, including browse image visualization at up to full resolution, co-discovery of multiple datasets, improved browser support, and enhanced viewer capabilities. Ms. Wahle maintains and supports GloVis by performing all phases of software development, such as planning, designing, testing, and implementing new software.

Innovate’s Matthew Schauer: Contributing Author to Article in Remote Sensing of Environment

Innovate proudly congratulates our team member, Matthew Schauer, for his recent contribution to Remote Sensing of Environment, an interdisciplinary journal that serves the remote sensing community with the publication of results on theory, science, applications and technology of remote sensing of Earth resources and environment.

Mr. Schauer participated in a team working within Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) to analyze Satellite-based water use dynamics using historical Landsat data (1984–2014) in the southwestern United States. This study demonstrates a useful application of “Big Data” science, where large volumes of historical Landsat and weather datasets were used to quantify and understand the relative importance of water management and climate variability in crop water use dynamics. Their findings helped to identify linkages among water management decisions, hydrologic processes, and economic transactions. In addition, their research validates that similar studies conducted in other parts of the world could help policy and decision makers understand and quantify various aspects of water resources management.

This article is available on Science Direct.

Matt Schauer is a GIS Analyst and scientist with Innovate!, Inc. at the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Center and lives in Sioux Falls, SD.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental and Urban Geography and a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research uses remote sensing to analyze historical water use patterns.

Innovate COO, Phill Thomas, Joins the AFCEA Bethesda Board as VP of Small Business

In alignment with Innovate’s passion to connect innovation and technology, Phill Thomas (COO) has joined the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Bethesda Board as Vice President of Small Business. Mr. Thomas is excited by this opportunity to help those who serve as well as contribute to AFCEA’s mission.

AFCEA is a professional association and non-profit group that connects innovative people, great ideas and vital solutions to advance global security. They develop networking and educational opportunities and provide them in an ethical forum. This enables military, government, industry and academia to align technology and strategy to meet the needs of those who serve.

AFCEA Bethesda is the premier civilian chapter of AFCEA International. On average, they connect with more than 250 senior government executives who participate as speakers for our widely-attended annual events, to include monthly breakfasts, full day conferences, symposia and executive dinners.

Innovate! Celebrates Earth Day

Innovate feels a strong sense of stewardship for the environment and invests in green initiatives that will positively impact our planet and our future. We strive to be a leader in sustainability, from our telecommuting model to reduce green-house gas emissions to our Green IT practices. We care about our planet and working toward a bright future.

Being a remote-based organization does not impair our ability to support this shared mission – it only strengthens our bond! This Earth Day, our team went outside and celebrated across the Nation – from planting a tree in Idaho, to picking up litter in Virginia, to cleaning our waterways in South Dakota!

From all us here at Innovate,

Happy Earth Day!

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