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TWO UMFK GRADS, PROFESSOR, TO PRESENT AT MAINE GIS USERS GROUP FALL CONFERENCE

September 24, 2008

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Two University of Maine at Fort Kent graduates will present a project on Ice Jams and Flood Modeling at the fall conference of the Maine GIS User Group (MEGUG) this Friday, September 26, in Presque Isle. 

Jason Desjardin of Castle Hill and Spencer Caron of Fort Kent, both 2007 graduates of UMFK’s Forestry program, will present their GIS pilot project, which models flood potential by ice jams for the Allagash River.  

The Desjardin-Caron model is a pilot project which was done on the Allagash River of Aroostook County, Maine. However, the model can be applied to any river to demonstrate the areas of impact (populations, habitats, and infrastructure) that would be affected by flooding due to an ice jam.  

The purpose of creating the model is to assist public, watershed, or natural resource managers with analyzing the areas impacted due to flooding resulting from ice jams. 

Desjardin currently is employed as an operations forester with Orion Timberlands, LLC in Bangor.  Caron is GIS professional and surveyor technician with Northern Maine Surveyors in Madawaska. 

Dustin Desjardins, of Madawaska, a senior at UMFK specializing in GIS in the Environmental Studies program, co-authored the pilot project, along with Desjardin and Caron.  

UMFK Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Dave Hobbins, will make a presentation entitled: “A Review of Research on Consumer Grade GPS Units for Mapping Purposes and the Advantages and Pitfalls of Trimble Geo-x GPS Units,” an evaluation of research on a selected number of consumer (navigation) grade GPS.  Following his presentation, Hobbins will lead a discussion of MEGUG members’ experiences with Trimble Geo-x products. The discussion will be framed around collecting data for municipal mapping purposes. 

MEGUG is the only statewide GIS organization composed entirely of GIS professionals and educators. GIS is a computing system designed to capture, store, analyze, and display geographic information and spatial data. The purpose of the group is to encourage coordinated development and effective use of geographic information and related technologies. 

MEGUG’s activities include the advocacy of GIS users' interests and the support of the membership in their individual initiatives. 

MEGUG works to increase public and private awareness, education, research, professional development, and promote and/or develop policies, standards, and guidelines. MEGUG also fosters increased understanding and interest in the development, operation and maintenance of geographic information and geographic systems. 

The MEGUG fall conference will be held on the University of Maine at Presque isle campus.