Tanya Bigos – Health & Human Services, Massachusetts
What was your favorite class in K-12? Oceanography (I grew up on an island in a fishing family, it was the perfect combination of personal experience and science) and, yes, it absolutely incorporated geography.
How did you first learn about and/or use GIS? As I neared the end of my Earth Sciences degree I took a GIS class and loved the problem solving nature. That lead to another class and then a diploma in GIS.
Name one thing you love about GIS and/or geography (I know, just one!): Geography (applied through GIS) is, if not the most, one of the most valuable ways to show that everyone (and arguable everything) in this world is more connected than different, one of the most important lessons that I try to teach my kids.
Why did you want to volunteer as a GeoMentor? Part of it was seeing the amazing things that kids do with GIS as part of the Esri User Conference plenary every year. I remember watching elementary school children from Arkansas talk about how they did a market analysis meant to help veterans and that they actually presented to Walmart – I was hooked! The K12 section is one of my favorite parts of plenary every year
If someone asked you why they should learn about GIS and/or geography, how would you respond to them in one sentence? Especially in this day and age having a better understanding of the world we live in is crucial. Geography really is the most attainable way to understand how things like geography, meteorology, business, culture, etc. affect people all around the world, including us.