KAM has rescheduled two of our class offerings in accordance with the state's reopening guidelines*. (We hope to offer the Pro class later in the fall or winter.) The two scheduled classes are capped at 12 (ArcGIS Online) and 15 (Intro to Arcade) so that we can allow for social distancing among our participants. Our next class meets June 24! See the updated dates and register online at kansasmappers.org/Class-Schedule.
* Should state or local guidelines change, we will adjust to stay in compliance. We appreciate your patience as we try to balance our region's educational needs with our region's health and safety!
As I am writing this, I just got the email that the MAGIC conference has been cancelled! So far 2020 has been the year that got cancelled, but the KAM Board and the Program committee have not written it off; we are still working to make the 2020 KAM conference a go! Planning has been stalled locally because of too many unknowns: businesses were shut down (including the host hotel), speakers are wary to commit, I personally went to working at home and providing support for my local health agency with half the staff, etc., etc. But guess what? That is the nature of our profession anyway. I believe GIS professionals thrive in environments where adaptability is key.
Recently we sent out a survey to get your feedback to establish participation rates if we move ahead fully with an in-person conference provided it will be still allowed according to size gathering restrictions. 75 surveys were submitted – thank you! Looking at the numbers, 59 responses came from individuals who said they would normally attend the event (that’s 50-60% of total number of usual attendees. Of these 59 responses, 25% said they would not attend this year due to funding limitations or concerns about COVID-19. Every year KAM signs a contract with the host hotel to fill a certain number of hotel rooms and to spend a certain amount on food, these minimums must be met to fulfill our contract. In order to move forward with Plan A below, we must still negotiate our current contract.
Because KAM is a non-profit organization, our typical financial goal for each year needs to have a positive outcome, and the annual conference is a huge part of that. Losing 25% or more of our attendees will be a financial disaster for the organization and severely limit our organizational mission moving forward for some time.
So, with all the doom and gloom out of the way, let me get to our plans of action (both depending on contract negotiations with the hotel):
Plan [A] – Preferred and Best Option
Plan the 2020 KAM Conference as a 2-3 day virtual event
Incorporate virtual opportunities to win prizes and engage exhibitors
Plan [B] – Hybrid option to minimize financial impacts if KAM can’t renegotiate our contract
Host the event at the hotel
Provide an online experience for others at a discounted cost
The most important piece to Plan A will be the presenters. We need your help! All presenters this year will need to work with us using virtual platforms. We can do some recorded presentations, but also need live presentations as well. Our members are doing great work right now and we want to put it on display. Registration will soon be available. If you have experience in the virtual world and would like to help us make this awesome or have suggestions or questions, please send them my way!
Send any and all correspondence to Lee.Allen@snco.us or email@example.com.
Nominations are now open for Awards and KAM board members. As you know, the conference is the time to recognize those people who do amazing things in GIS and KAM. The conference is also when we decide who our leadership will be for the following year. We need your help to identify those people who stand out in the KAM organization as well as those you think would be valuable holding a position on the KAM Board.
Awards. The annual award categories are: Lifetime Achievement Award, Outstanding Mapping Project, Prestigious Cartographer/GIS Professional, and Most Valuable Member. Descriptions of each award and a link to the nominations form can be found at www.kansasmappers.org/awards.
Board Positions. Open positions are: President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Director positions (two-year terms). Eligibility requirements and job duties for each position can be found in the KAM Constitution at www.kansasmappers.org/Constitution, and the nominations form can be found at www.kansasmappers.org/BoardNominations(requires you to log in, as only members may nominate candidates for office).
The deadline for nominations is August 1, 2020.Thank you for helping! We appreciate your involvement.
2020 Awards and Nominations Committee Chair
Hearty congratulations to Diana Restrepo-Osorio, who is KAM's 2020 recipient of the John Cowan Memorial Scholarship in Geography! Ms. Restrepo-Osorio is a doctoral candidate in Geography at the University of Kansas. Her recent projects focus on land and water use among the members of the Alianza del Pastizal (Grassland Alliance) in the Southern Cone Region of South America. We wish her safe travels to Uruguay whenever she is able to make her trip to share her findings with the participants in her most recent study!