2018 SCGIS 21st Annual Conference

Jul 16, 2018 to Jul 18, 2018, Asilomar Conference Center, Monterey CA

Pre-Conference workshops: Sunday July 15, 2018

Local Communities and Traditional Knowledge

Evolving geospatial technologies give us innovative ways to view, analyze and interpret ever more complex data about the earth’s resources.  We predict species movements, map habitats to finer scales, project climate change impacts and model forest fire scenarios.  Building on the latest scientific understanding, we create credible and persuasive information to support our conservation planning, policies and actions.

This is crucial work, yet we can get lost in the modeling and technology for conservation and forget the positive aspects of the human dimensions of the landscapes we work to conserve.  The traditional and local knowledge of communities—the people—that reside in a landscape are integral to the conservation process.  Knowledge of culturally significant locations and resources need to be integrated in our geospatial thinking about conservation.  Communities honor and cherish lands connected to historical uses and subsistence resources, areas of spiritual importance, medicinal importance, and places of much loved recreational activities.  And different communities view their connections to their place in unique ways.  

How do we as GIS professionals work as members of, or partners with, local communities to capture and integrate this information?  What is our role in building the respect for all people connected to the landscape? Just as important, these local values help define why we do the work that we do to use geospatial technology to conserve the land, water and all that make up our landscapes for future.

This year’s conference theme “Local Communities and Traditional Knowledge” draws our attention to how the land was shaped prior to colonization, and how we can integrate and use that knowledge to inform our collective decisions today.  Come hear our keynote speakers, Jaime Pinkham (Citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe and Executive Director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission) and Lilian Pintea (Vice President of Conservation Science at the Jane Goodall Institute) speak on traditional values of the land to local communities.

Come to this year’s conference to join your colleagues—professionals engaging in the many facets of conservation GIS. Meet our invited keynote speakers and Maps for Advocacy panelists.  Hear new perspectives on GIS and conservation while making new friends and enjoying the beauty of a walk on the beach at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds.


  • Student Paper Competition (with prizes)
  • Live Streaming of the Plenary Session
  • Five pre-conference workshops held on Sunday July 15th:
    • Trends.Earth - an innovative toolbox for tracking land change and degradation  (Instructor:  Max Wright) 
    • Migrating from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro (Instructor:  Miriam Schmidts)
    • Data Visualization and Cartography in QGIS (Instructor:  Kurt Menke)
    • StoryMaps (Instructor:  Michelle Kinzel and Joseph Kerski)
    • Survey123 (Instructor:  Ismael Chivite)
  • Our second “Maps for Advocacy” session, including a panel presentation and discussion with invited guests
  • A beautiful California state park and beach setting!


Use this link to book your room ASILOMAR!  * Do not register with Asilomar directly; we have a block of rooms reserved. If you register directly with Asilomar, your reservation will not count toward our reserved block and we will be charged for all rooms that we do not fill. 

* When you are redirected to the Asilomar site, you should see "Welcome to the Society for Conservation GIS at Asilomar' at the top of the page.