MAGIP News Blog

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  • 02/15/2024 2:06 PM | Meghan Burns (Administrator)

    New resource just added to the Training Resources page!

    The Bootcamp GIS Enterprise GIS Certificate / Career Services Program was added to the Montana Eligible Training Provider List. This allows any low-income individual to qualify for FREE tuition to enroll in the GIS Certificate program. They are an Esri Business Partner, but you can view the entire Course Catalog to see the Esri and non-Esri tech stack and problems they address. The majority of classes would be useful for most people already using GIS but missing enterprise skills.

    Bootcamp is taught by SMEs from around the country.  There could be a invitation for someone with a compelling project to enter our instructor cadre.

  • 02/08/2024 7:30 AM | Meghan Burns (Administrator)

    MAGIP is now accepting applications for the 2024 MAGIP Higher Education GIS Scholarships and the MAGIP Van Shelhamer Memorial K-12 Education Grants!

    Applications are due March 25, 2024

    Contact the Scholarship and Grants Committee Chair for more information

  • 02/06/2024 2:53 PM | Jeff Hedstrom (Administrator)

    Registration is Now Open for the 2024 Big Sky GeoCon! This year’s conference will once again feature a robust two days of hands-on workshops, two days of consecutive sessions, a map/poster gallery, exhibitor showcase and social reception, a keynote luncheon and awards dinner. Please see the conference webpage for more information.

  • 02/01/2024 1:31 PM | Hilary Kauth (Administrator)

    Powerlines pose difficulties to various agencies regarding land management, safety, and communication. MAGIP would like to see how the GIS community could use this data in our new mapping contest. Build a unique map, application, or dashboard with a creative or informative story that used the powerline data collected during GIS Day combined with any other datasets. The maps will be judged and displayed during the Big Sky GeoCon in Billings. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Download the mapathon and homeland security data to get started. Have your map or link submitted to by April 13th.

  • 01/24/2024 2:51 PM | Jeff Hedstrom (Administrator)

    The Montana Association of Geographic Professionals (MAGIP) biannually presents two awards. The Distinguished Service Award is presented for long-term service and leadership to the Montana GIS community and the GIS profession. The GIS Professional Livability Award recognizes an individual's measurable contribution to the application of GIS, thus improving the quality of life within their community.

    The awards will be presented at the Big Sky GeoCon dinner on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 in Billings.

    Click Here to submit your nomination! 

    The deadline for submission is February 29, 2024.

    If you plan to submit multiple nominations, please create a separate submission for each. Each nomination requires a one-page letter of nomination, two references who also support the nomination, and any supporting documentation.

    On behalf of MAGIP Awards Committee, we look forward to hearing from you!

    Applicants for the Distinguished Service Award must: 

    • Have substantial years of service (10+) in or supporting the Montana GIS Community and a desire to continue to serve
    • Displays exemplary accomplishments as a GIS Professional, selfless service to the profession and participation in committees, workgroups, and organizations that support the Montana geospatial community
    • Has an impact within and / or external to the realm of the member's workplace
    • Undertakes and leads activities that benefit the GIS Community outside of regular job responsibilities
    • Demonstrates initiative, resourcefulness and creativity and is willing to seek out and pursue new challenges that benefit the Montana GIS Profession
    • Acknowledged by his / her peers for leadership and substantial service to the profession and community

    Applicants for the Livability Award must:

    • Demonstrate a measurable contribution to the education, communication, coordination, and application of GIS technologies that have been a major influence to the growth and use of GIS in creating a more livable community
    • Express exemplary dedication with focus to the development and implementation of GIS technologies which enhance individual and community life and promote the efficient use of community resources
    • Acknowledged by his \ her peers for perseverance with belief and purpose; tasking themselves with the growth, as well as the challenges of GIS development for them and for their neighbor...sometimes in the face of discouragement

    Questions? Contact Erich Schreier, 2024 Conference Liaison

  • 11/15/2023 4:00 PM | Hilary Kauth (Administrator)

    To celebrate GIS Day, MAGIP is hosting a one-day Mapathon event for volunteers to collaborate on data collection in Montana. Volunteers will focus on creating a statewide publicly available power line feature class by filling in gaps in the OpenStreetMaps dataset. Event locations include Helena, Bozeman, Missoula and Billings. Find more information and RSVP here.

  • 05/17/2023 9:41 AM | Jeff Hedstrom (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the following MAGIP Members on winning the 2023 Board Member Election:

    Vice President - Gail Jorgenson, City of Bozeman

    Treasurer - Nate Wold, DNRC

    Secretary - Hilary Kauth, Department of Military Affairs

    Technical Committee Chair - Tessa Switzer, City of Great Falls 

    Scholarship & Grants Committee Chair - Rob Ahl, USDA

    The proposed amendments to MAGIP’s Bylaws in Article II & Article III, PASSED with 87% of the respondents voting 'For', 9.1% voting to 'Abstain' and 3.9% voting 'Against' the changes.

    The proposed amendments to MAGIP's Constitution in Article IV, PASSED with 88.3% of the respondents voting 'For', 9.1% voting to 'Abstain' and 2.6% voting 'Against' the changes. 

    Thank you to everyone who ran for the various positions and for your dedication to MAGIP.

    And a special thank you to the out-going Board members, Jeff Hedstrom, Jason Danielson and Aaron Vaughn, for your time, dedication and commitment to making MAGIP a great organization to be a part of.

  • 04/27/2023 8:56 AM | Jeff Hedstrom (Administrator)

    The MAGIP Elections Committee is pleased to announced that the Election is now open!

    The 2023 MAGIP Board of Directors Election is now open now and will remain open until May 12 at 5pm.  If your MAGIP membership is up to date, you should have received your e-mail ballot this morning, April 27. The ballot was sent using Wild Apricot (the email may appear to be sent from and is unique to each MAGIP Member. If you are a MAGIP Member and you did not receive a ballot, please check your spam and junk folders, and then contact us to have one sent to you.

    If you want to become a MAGIP Member and participate in the election, please go to the MAGIP Membership page to join.  It may take one or two business days for us to send you your ballot after you join.  

     Please see the MAGIP 2023 Election page for more information and a list of the candidates with the bios and photos.

    On behalf of MAGIP and the Elections Committee, we thank you for your vote.

    Jeff Hedstrom, MAGIP Past President

    Mike Powell, MAGIP President

    Meghan Burns, MAGIP Web Subcommittee Chair

  • 04/24/2023 12:35 PM | Jeff Hedstrom (Administrator)

    The MAGIP Elections Committee is pleased to announced information about the upcoming election!

    The board is proposing revisions to MAGIP’s Bylaws, Article II & Article III and amendments to MAGIP’s Constitution, Article IV. Please review the specific changes to the respective articles in the above links.

    The elections for both the new board members and the proposed Bylaw and Constitution amendments will open April 27 and will close May 12.

    Meet the Nominees for the open board positions.

    Vice President - Elected to three (3) year term (Vice President, President, Past President)

    Gail Jorgenson, City of Bozeman

    Treasurer - Elected to two (2) year term

    Nate Wold, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

    Secretary - Elected to two (2) year term

    Hilary Kauth, Department of Military Affairs

    Katie Shank, Guidewire Software

    Technical Committee Chair - Elected to two (2) year term

    Tessa Switzer, City of Great Falls

    Scholarship & Grants Committee Chair - Elected to two (2) year term

    Rob Ahl, USDA Forest Service

    Craig Threlkeld, DJ&A P.C.


    For Photos and Bios of each of the Candidates visit: 

    Election Page

    If you have any questions about the upcoming election or proposed Bylaws & Constitution amendments please reach out to the Election Committee: Jeff HedstromMike Powell or Meghan Burns for more information.

    Additional information on the elections, current Governing documents, and the Board can be found at the following link.

    On behalf of MAGIP and the Elections Committee, we thank you for your consideration.


    Jeff Hedstrom, MAGIP Past President

  • 04/20/2023 1:23 PM | Meghan Burns (Administrator)

    MAGIP Scholarship and Grants Committee 2023 Annual Report

    Committee Chair: Rob Ahl

    For the Scholarship and Grants Committee and their nominees, the year 2023 was both extraordinary and innovative. First, we awarded scholarships to students on both sides of the continental divide, at The University of Montana and Montana State University, and second we had the pleasure of awarding more K-12 education grants than we have in the past five years. And lastly, in the theme of this year’s Big Sky Geocon “Common Ground - Building Connections with GIS” we are promoting collaboration between two of our education grantees and in-kind contributions from our friends at The University of Montana Autonomous Aerial Systems Office (AASO). In that joint venture, AASO will provide the use of a specifically designed unmanned aerial system, remote pilots and data processing that will yield ortho-mosaic muti-band imagery and other derivatives to be used in a joint vegetation mapping project on state lands adjacent to the Belgrade High School. Together, students from Sentinel High School in Missoula and Belgrade High school will design a system to accomplish their goals, participate in the flights, learn about data processing, collect reference data, and produce a classified vegetation map that state land managers can use. This is a novel approach to how we allocate education grants and we are excited about implementing it. A third school, the DeSmet School is a Title One school that serves students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in Missoula County, will involve their middle school students in a “River of Life” program developed by Trout Unlimited, in learning about and gathering spatial data on trout habitat in the Clark Fork River.  

    K-12 Education Grants

    Sarah Tabor and the Belgrade High School in Belgrade

    Sarah Tabor and her science students will collaborate with Joseph Yakawich and the students in his Aeronautical Engineering course on a joint vegetation mapping project. Sarah and her team will focus on the ground component of this project by designing a sampling protocol, noxious weed identification and spatial reference data collection with hand held devices. They will also be involved in the classification of imagery to define spatial patterns of weeds in a section of state land next to their school.

    Joseph Yakawich and the Sentinel High School in MIssoula 

    Joseph and the students in his Aeronautical Engineering course will work with the University of Montana Autonomous Aerial Systems Office to learn about the wide variety of instruments used to collect aerial imagery in support of a mapping project. In their work they will learn about the interaction between the vehicles and sensors used to collect data, and how those collected data are processed to yield products necessary for creating maps for land managers. 

    Stacy Bateman at the DeSmet PK-8 School in Missoula

    Stacy Bateman is focused on providing her students with real-world, authentic learning experiences. To accomplish this she is using a learning program from Trout Unlimited to bring her classroom outdoors, with spatial data collection devices, to learn about native and non-native trout and their habitats in the Clark Fork River near their school. They intend to map trout habitat and generate a Storymap describing their project. 

    Higher Education Scholarships

    Anna Moser from the University of Montana

    Anna is a graduate student in the Department of Geography, and her research places her in a long line of students in the program studying the impacts of climate change on the distribution and characteristics of arctic vegetation in Alaska. Her work will involve a field season in the arctic, collecting reference measurements that will be related to high-resolution aerial imagery collected by unmanned aerial systems. 

    Eliza Rickenbaugh from Montana State University

    Eliza is a graduate student in MSU’s Earth Sciences Department, focusing on water resources and remote sensing. In her work, Eliza will use a novel remote sensing approach to model the spatial and temporal patterns of snow accumulation and melt in a mountainous watershed near Yellowstone Park. Her work will help us better understand how water from snowmelt contributes to agricultural production, and that is certainly valuable for Montanans. 

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