By Sheila Foran
Generally, the students who enroll in geospatial training programs at UConn’s Center for Land Use Education and Research are municipal land use officials from one of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns. But not always.
When Cary Chadwick received an email from an epidemiologist in the biological sciences department at the Nigerian Defense Academy – an institution similar to West Point – inquiring about enrolling in a basic Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class, she was skeptical.
“After getting over my surprise,” says Chadwick, the Geospatial Training Program Coordinator at the Middlesex County Department of Extension office, “I wrote back thanking Professor Umar for his interest, but then I suggested that GIS training was probably available closer to home … at least somewhere on the continent of Africa!”
But Yahaya Umar and Dominic Maikaje, both professors at the Defense Academy, had been evaluating training programs online and they were certain that it would be worth traveling 5,200 miles from Kaduna, Nigeria to Haddam, Conn. to become better acquainted with GIS technology. More…