Thank you to our sponsors!

Conference Theme

Maps: The Stories We Tell

Conservation GIS is a powerful tool for understanding our world through scientific analysis and creative visual imagery. Maps are increasingly a key tool for helping local and global audiences to make sense of complex global threats from environmental justice to climate changes. Stories told through maps have emerged as one of the most effective tools of our trade to share stories about place.

At a fundamental level, what constitutes a map? How can maps convey powerful stories about our shared values for land and community? What are the key ingredients in a well told and compelling story? What elements are essential for a given story? For a given audience?

In the creative process we make important decisions on what we emphasize and how we present it. Maps can convey elements of cultural value to illustrate critical connections to land and seascapes. A map preserves cultural heritage and ways of understanding within a community. Maps may display or combine complex scientific data layers to convey messages to the public or decision makers. And mapping itself, as with all of the work we do, must be inclusive of diverse knowledge in addition to western scientific approaches. Maps are now mainstream tools used to drive conservation impact, and they need to tell an inclusive story.

This year we are pleased to have two keynote speakers that provide unique powerful approaches to telling stories with maps. We invite you to come hear their stories and to share yours as well!

Keynote Speakers

Mr. Jim Enote is a lifelong farmer, land and water practitioner, natural resources manager, museum director, and philanthropist. Jim Enote has thought hard about maps and mapping by challenging how we think about, use, and view maps. Jim is a Zuni tribal member and has spent over 40 years working to protect and steward cultural and natural resources. He is the CEO of the Colorado Plateau Foundation, which supports regional Native communities to protect water and sacred places, ensure food security, and preserve languages and ancestral knowledge. He also serves on the Trust for Mutual Understanding board, Governing Council of The Wilderness Society, is chair of the board of trustees for the Grand Canyon Trust and is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation. Jim lives in Zuni, New Mexico. Coming to us virtually from his home in Zuni, New Mexico, Jim will talk about his experiences with maps and new approaches to map-making.

Featuring counter-mapping is fitting and timely as the world struggles with a pandemic and political soul searching. Now more than ever, the question, what information do we trust and value, is profoundly relevant.

The expanding global society, an increasingly transcultural world, and the ascendancy of the information age can give the impression that geographic borders are defunct. Fluid economic geographies, digitally influenced political inclinations, and the arts have activated new interest in intuitive and inquiring maps and portrayals. As a philosophical practice, counter-mapping exalts liberation and artistic freedom, speaks for the revision of traditional mapping to bring about an imaginative and refreshed society, an ethos of truth, and arranges places and events as spirited parts of a cosmological process.

Counter mapping is not only about deflating conventions of mapping and confronting the canon of map-making; it is about creating unprecedented maps that set the record straight and incite and motivate us in an approachable and unexpected way.

Dr. Travis Belote serves as the Director of Research with The Wilderness Society. His research focuses on ecological patterns (e.g., patterns of biodiversity) and processes (e.g., connectivity) to inform landscape conservation. Travis’ early research focused on small-scale experiments and observational studies, but he is increasingly relying on broad-scale geographic data and spatial models to understand nature. Travis received his BA and MS from the University of Tennessee, his PhD from Virginia Tech, and served as a postdoc with the USGS with the Colorado Plateau Research Station. He lives in Bozeman, MT with his wife and two sons.

Dr. Belote will share his research on the development of area-based conservation targets frequently used by conservation scientists to ensure adequate representation of biodiversity and protection of lands with high ecological integrity. Dr. Belote overlaid four mapped datasets representing ecological integrity, corridors between protected areas, ecosystem representation priorities, and biodiversity priorities to develop a composite map of ‘wildland conservation value’ for the contiguous United States (CONUS) using three prioritization methods. The work is shown in a curated series of maps illustrating individual values and composites.

Results in a curated series of maps demonstrate that different places are important for different reasons. As policy makers seek to implement area-based targets, understanding the geographic patterns of diverse values may be more important than producing composite maps of priorities. The work illustrates the value and the limitations of maps using multi-criteria assessments. Making limitations explicit may be especially difficult for advocacy organizations for fear of limiting the power of our stories. However, clarifying the limitations and assumptions of our analyses cultivates humility and transparency, builds trusts among stakeholders, and facilitates new advancements in analyses.

Thank you for a wonderful Conference!

2022 SCGIS Annual International Conference!
Help us celebrate our 25th annual conference. Please join our virtual event running from July 6th to July 8th featuring invited speakers, technical workshops and presentations submitted by individuals in our community around the globe. Pre-conference workshops will be held July 5th and we will have one post conference workshop on July 9th. Please visit our landing page where the conference will be hosted.

Become a Member! We strongly encourage you to become a SCGIS member or renew your membership online.

Become a Sponsor! Please consider becoming an official Sponsor of our 2022 Virtual Conference. Visit our Sponsor information page to learn more.

SCGIS 2022 Conference Swag! Order t-shirts, hoodies, pint glasses, and more! Please see our conference swag page.

Map Gallery Invitation! Come share the stories you are telling through cartography and interactive mapping for conservation. We invite you to submit your maps to our virtual Map Gallery during the conference! As you register for the conference please select “yes” for the question to request more information about the Map Gallery. All conference attendees are encouraged to share their maps and posters on our virtual conference platform. Static and interactive products are welcome.

Community Presentations will feature work submitted for presentation by you and your colleagues in conservation GIS from around the globe.

Curated Sessions will present on a range of conservation GIS topics from how scientists are harnessing new advances in remote sensing instrumentation to a look back at the 25 year history of the Society for Conservation GIS.

Conference Agenda Please visit our agenda page for updates.

To ensure a welcoming and constructive conference for all, we ask all conference participants to review and follow the SCGIS Code of Conduct.

The Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) is an international organization, comprised of groups and individuals who seek to support and grow an inclusive global community using geospatial technology for conservation of biodiversity, natural environments, and cultural heritage. We welcome new members, and encourage networking and dialogue that promotes and enables resource conservation, broadly. SCGIS is grateful to our Chapters around the globe who support this organization. We offer this year’s virtual conference to all members and friends of the conservation GIS community and encourage all participants to become members of SCGIS.

For questions, please contact

Technical Workshops On Wednesday July 5th we offer workshops on the following topics ($40 per session):

ArcGIS StoryMaps Beginner Workshop

Instructor: David Asbury, ESRI

Join us to learn how to create a rich, interactive, multimedia web application that can be used as an outreach tool to tell the world about your conservation work.

In this workshop you’ll learn:

  • what ArcGIS StoryMaps are and how they’re useful to individuals and organizations
  • how to create a free ArcGIS StoryMaps account
  • how to create your first ArcGIS StoryMap
  • the ins and outs of the StoryMaps builder
  • tips and tricks to make your story shine

This workshop is geared towards first-time storymappers – those with little-to-no experience with ArcGIS StoryMaps and ArcGIS Online.

ArcGIS StoryMaps Workshop for Experienced Storytellers Workshop

Instructor: David Asbury, ESRI

Prerequisite: ArcGIS StoryMaps Beginner’s Workshop or proficiency using the ArcGIS StoryMaps Builder

Join us to learn how to take your ArcGIS StoryMaps to the next level.

In this workshop you’ll learn:

  • tips and tricks to elevate your story
  • how to use story actions in a Sidecar block
  • how to use Themes to match your organization’s branding
  • what Collections are and how they can be useful
  • how to provide feedback that will improve the product

This workshop is geared towards people with at least some experience using the ArcGIS StoryMaps builder. It will be assumed that you have an ArcGIS StoryMaps account, are familiar with how the builder works and have published at least one story.

Migrating from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro Workshop

Instructor: Miriam Schmidts, ESRI

With no ArcMap 10.9 being released in 2021, it is now an excellent time to migrate to ArcGIS Pro. Please refer to this article for more information about the ArcMap lifecycle and the link to a free ArcGIS Pro trial. If you’re a seasoned ArcMap user, it doesn’t mean you will lose all your skills migrating to ArcGIS Pro. This workshop will help you make a smooth transition from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro, go over the most common GIS workflows and help you “find your buttons”. Come join us!

R-ArcGIS Bridge: R analysis in ArcGIS

Instructor: Orhun Aydin, ESRI

In this session, you will explore R-ArcGIS Bridge team’s arcgisbinding package, an R package that integrates R into ArcGIS Pro. Different uses of R with ArcGIS Pro will be demonstrated, along with use of R notebooks inside ArcGIS platform. Hands-on sections of this session will introduce getting setup, working with local and remote data, vector and raster data I/O, getting setup with R notebooks in ArcGIS Pro and lastly uses of the bridge for problem solving in ecology will be demonstrated.

Introduction to Remote Sensing using Open Source Tools

Instructors: Nancy Thomas and Cindy Schmidt

Part I of a series. 3-hours. This workshop introduces the basic principles of digital satellite and aerial imagery and is appropriate for attendees who have some understanding of geospatial data but have little or no experience in remote sensing. We will introduce the basic principles of understanding remotely sensed data, including key satellites, sensors, and resources commonly used in conservation applications. Participants will learn how to find and download satellite and aerial imagery, how to display and enhance digital imagery, and basic techniques for image interpretation and analysis. This workshop will be taught using QGIS, a popular free and open source geospatial software package.

Open Source Remote Sensing: Land Cover Change Analysis

Instructors: Nancy Thomas and Cindy Schmidt

Part II of a series. 3-hours. This workshop introduces the process of analyzing imagery from multiple dates in order to map and quantify change over time. Hands-on exercises include visual comparisons of multi-date imagery, creating multi-band change enhancements and conducting a multi-date land cover change classification. It is suggested that participants have taken “Intro to Remote Sensing using Open Source Tools” or have comparable experience viewing, enhancing and classifying imagery in remote sensing software.

50 Years of Landsat: an Advanced/Intermediate Earth Engine Workshop

Instructor: Annie Taylor

Workshop requirements: This is an intermediate-advanced workshop that requires comfort with Earth Engine in order for it to be fun and useful to you. If you are new to Earth Engine, welcome! Please watch this introductory workshop and assess whether you are excited to dive much deeper into imagery analysis with us at this July workshop. As always:

  • Pre-register for an Earth Engine account at with a gmail account.
  • For best results, please install the Google Chrome web browser, or make sure Chrome is up to date.
  • SCGIS will be using the Zoom so it is a good idea to download the Zoom application in advance.

Workshop Description: Ever wonder how the earth has changed over the past half-century? Celebrate 50 years of continuous earth observation by learning how to analyze Landsat imagery from 1972 to the present. For those of you who are already familiar with Google Earth Engine, we’ll take you deeper into the exciting capabilities of LandsatLinkr, a package that enables time series analysis of the entire Landsat archive. We’ll be accessing the EE Python API from a Colab Notebook, then utilizing LandsatLinkr to import, filter, and harmonize fifty years of Landsat imagery. We’ll discuss what types of analyses are possible with this type of time series, including running a change detection analysis using LandTrendr. You have the option to follow along and work with me (i.e. as a hands-on workshop) or watch how it comes together (i.e. as a demo). I’m looking forward to exploring with you!

On Saturday morning, July 9th, we will offer our last workshop for those looking to get oriented with ArcGIS FieldMaps.

Exploring ArcGIS Field Maps

Instructor: Miriam Schmidts

ArcGIS Field Maps is a map-centric app for collecting data in the field, finding specific data collection sites and reporting real-time locations. It comes with a smart form that makes attribute entry a lot easier and user friendly. In this workshop we will explore the functionality of ArcGIS Field Maps, set up web layers and web maps for efficient data collection and also learn about common workflows of collecting data with ArcGIS Field Maps.