2020 SCGIS 23rd Annual Conference

Jul 8, 2020 to Jul 10, 2020, Asilomar Conference Center, Monterey CA

Pre-Conference workshops: Tuesday July 7, 2020

The Stories We Tell - 2020 Annual International Conference

The Stories We Tell

Conservation GIS is a powerful tool for understanding our world through scientific analysis and creative visual imagery. Our work has evolved beyond data linked to geographic coordinates. Through cartography we communicate a story about place. These images speak to the audience and of the map maker, and give us a richer understanding of the relationship between people and the planet. 

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 the land and seascape. A map preserves cultural heritage and ways of seeing within a community. Maps may convey threats to a local watershed to advocate for regional government protection, convey the global impacts from catastrophic fires for public education, or illustrate the impacts of melting sea ice to international decision makers.  Maps are becoming ever more mainstream to drive conservation impact.

We are pleased to have two keynote speakers that provide unique approaches to telling stories with maps:  

Mr. Jim Enote is CEO of the Colorado Plateau Foundation.  While working as director of the Zuni Tribes A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Cultural Center, Mr. Enote oversaw the Zuni Map Art Project.  Zuni artists challenge western concepts of mapping creating a series of pieces that celebrate elements of deep cultural value and cultural connections to the landscape.  This work challenges us to think differently about what a map is, its role in capturing cultural stories and how communities share their connection to the land in the future. 

Dr. Travis Belote is a Lead Ecologist from The Wilderness Society.  Among his areas of research, he investigates the impacts of climate change on landscapes.  Dr. Belote continues to develop analytical methods to look at the latest scientific data such as representation, relative wildness, and connectivity in light of projected climate change.  His results are crafted into a carefully curated series of maps to guide us through a story of how we can look at a landscape to assist in setting priorities for conservation.  

How do you use geospatial systems to share knowledge about places you work to protect or causes you advocate for?  We invite you to come and share your stories.



  • Student Paper Competition
  • A special Conservation Remote Sensing track in partnership with CRSnet
  • Pre-conference workshops will be held on Tuesday July 7th:
    1. Spatial Analysis Workflows in ArcGIS Pro (Instructor: Miriam Schmidts)
    2. Spatial Data Analysis with R (Instructor: Andy Lyons)
    3. Introduction to Remote Sensing using Open Source Tools (Instructors: Nancy Thomas & Cindy Schmidt)
    4. Web GIS for Conservation - Mobile Solutions for Field Operations (Instructor: Esri Representative)
  • A beautiful California state park and beach setting!
  • Local activities to enjoy (listed at bottom of the page)


Learn about how to become an official Sponsor of the 2020 SCGIS Conference!


Use this link to book your room at ASILOMAR

Please 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.


SCGIS is closely monitoring the changing situation related to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Please see our Questions page for the latest information, we will post updates here if it affects our conference.