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Collab Lab 24: Maps as a Point of Engagement

Thursday January 10, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

How can we use maps and spatial data to engage students in issues that matter to them?

Milwaukee has a wealth of talent around mapping, geographic information systems (GIS), and spatial data analysis. This includes a summer program at UWM that offers teachers free training plus a stipend to help them develop curriculum that leverages GIS tools. This is your chance to explore some ideas with folks who run the UWM program and organizations in the area that use spatial data in interesting ways. You’ll also have a chance to connect with colleagues at public, private, and charter schools from across greater Milwaukee who share your interest in the possibilities.



5:30 – 6:00 Grab something to eat and drink, say hello

6:00 – 6:30 Introductions

6:30- 8:30 Let’s explore some ideas

Food and beverage will be provided. There is no charge for participation but space is limited!



The idea for session came out of conversations we had last year with Donna Genzmer and Kate Madison faculty members at UWM.  Kate and Donna run UWM’s  Power of Data Teacher Workshops The Power of Data (POD) Project offers a 35 hour professional development program in mid-June that helps secondary teachers enhance existing lessons with Geospatial Inquiry.  Through NSF funding the program is both free for teachers and offers a stipend to participants.  We thought it would be useful to offer teachers interested in exploring how to leverage maps/GIS tools a chance to explore some ideas, and connect with resources early in the year so they might better be able to leverage the PODs training.


Featured Participants

Among others, you’ll have the chance to meet with:

Emily Champagne – GIS Supervisor, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)

Emily has worked at MMSD since 2011, managing staff and maintaining spatial data, maps, and drawings of facilities and assets (not just sewer pipes – MMSD also has jurisdiction over local streams, rivers, green infrastructure projects and two wastewater reclamation facilities). Emily leads a team that develops applications and solutions as well as GIS maps.

Emily earned a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from the University of Minnesota and a GIS Master’s Certificate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She has had a career in geospatial information and land records for 20 years working in a variety of jobs that include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Dane County Regional Planning Commission, City of Muskego, and AECOM (Engineering firm).

Emily earned GIS Professional certification in 2009. She is an active member of the local GIS community including Wisconsin GeoMentors, Esri Wisconsin User Group, and the Wisconsin Land Information Association, which she is currently serving as Past President on the Board of Directors.


Donna Genzmer, GISP – Director, Cartography & GIS Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Donna is a Higher Education Professional and campus leader in GIS implementation in academic research and instruction, outreach, and collaboration, specializing in cartography and geospatial analysis.  She is a recognized leader in facilitating collaboration with campus and community partners to achieve positive outcomes. Donna has been at the forefront of initiatives to get GIS into Wisconsin K-12 schools.


Auriana Gilliland-Lloyd – Conservation Assistant, Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative, Zoological Society of Milwaukee

The Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s field conservation program, the Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative (BCBI), is a multifaceted conservation program that strives to ensure the survival of the bonobo and forest elephant. BCBI operates in the Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Salonga is Africa’s largest rain-forested park, and harbors >40% of the world’s bonobo population. BCBI’s key program areas include 1) support for ICCN anti-poaching patrols and guard training, 2) bonobo and elephant population monitoring and ecological research, and 3) community outreach and support.

Training park guards is BCBI’s number one investment in safeguarding the Salonga. We train park guards in navigation and GPS use, biomonitoring, and data entry. For guards who lack basic reading and writing skills, BCBI provides literacy instruction at Etate. In coordination with our conservation partners, we use GIS to provide baseline ecological data (species distribution), and to pinpoint poaching hotspots in the park, which in turn inform strategic anti-poaching patrols. Auriana assists the BCBI program in data management, and also helps to coordinate the Bonobo Species Survival Plan that is based at the Zoological Society of Milwaukee.


Lawrence Hoffman – GIS Program Manager, Groundwork Milwaukee

As a conservation land trust focused on issues of environmental and economic justice, Groundwork Milwaukee’s work is inherently spatial. This realization led to the founding of the Groundwork GIS program in 2017. Groundwork GIS aspires to leverage geographic information systems (GIS) to enhance existing Groundwork programming. By providing technical training, tools for data collection and analysis, and production of thought provoking maps and web products, Groundwork GIS supports all other Groundwork Milwaukee programming, allowing the organization to understand their work from new perspectives.

Lawrence mangages GIS programming for Groundwork’s initiatives. This has included a commercial property survey using Loveland Technologies for the Brew City Match.Throughout the spring of 2018 Groundwork’s Green Team (5-10 high school aged youth workers) conducted property surveys of 8 Milwaukee BIDs for a forthcoming program called the Brew City Match which is intended to match vacant commercial properties with aspiring entrepreneurs. Teens were provided mobile devices and led on survey outings and asked to take pictures of and fill out a short survey on each property. Loveland uploads this data to a nation-wide parcel layer where it can be styled and analysed using a set of basic tools. Students were exposed to the utility of GIS field tools and challenged to think about the history that led to the current economic conditions encountered in the BIDs. Groundwork’s Green Team is also working with Mapillary and ESRI’s collector app to collect imagery and site inventories of Groundwork gardens.


Beth Haskovec – Program Officer, LISC Milwaukee

At LISC Milwaukee, Beth oversees commercial corridor revitalization and creative placemaking strategies that resist displacement and utilize equitable economic development practices to ensure that economic growth is inclusive of people and neighborhoods who have traditionally faced barriers to economic mobility. Beth brings over 15 years of experience to her role working at the intersection of the arts and economic development. LISC utilizes the Loveland property data tool to inform land use decisions at the neighborhood level, and shape priorities within LISC’s commercial corridor revitalization strategy.

Prior to joining LISC Beth served as Executive Director of Artists Working in Education, where she strategically grew organizational impact through aligning arts and culture programming with neighborhood development goals. Beth received her BA from the University of Northern Iowa, and is an alumna of Peace Corps and Americorps VISTA. She has served on the board of the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network, the Milwaukee County Arts Fund, Womankind Worldwide, and the Milwaukee Forum.


Kate Madison – Policy Analyst, UWM’s Center for Economic Development

Kate is a policy analyst at the Center. She has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and certificate in GIS from UW-Milwaukee, and Bachelor’s Degrees in Anthropology and Geology from the University of Pittsburgh. Kate’s work focuses on urban redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization, transit issues and job connectivity, affordable housing, environmental/water issues, and the spatial dynamics of cities and neighborhoods. Kate provides assistance to community partners on market analysis, project feasibility studies, socio-economic assessments, creative placemaking, and GIS and spatial data needs. Kate is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Certified Planners.


Dr. Aleksandra Snowden Ph.D. – Assistant Professor Social & Cultural Sciences, Marquette University

Aleksandra is a big proponent of community engaged learning, so her students work with residents and community organizations to examine spatial issues related to crime, alcohol availability and other neighborhood characteristics. In collaboration with her Marquette University colleagues, she was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to design and implement a three-day workshop on spatial analysis that trained Marquette’s students in using spatial analytics to explore a variety of topics, including crime patterns, water resource management, and computational geometry algorithms.


Kirsten Tighe – Geospatial Program Manager, US Forest Service, Eastern Region

In her work with the US Forest Service, Kirsten uses GIS tools for public land management across 22 states covering 14 forests and tall grass prairie, a role that includes outreach work with communities and schools. Kirsten attended graduate school at North Carolina State for International Forestry with a minor in GIS. Prior to that, she was an Anthropology major at San Diego State before spending time in Guatemala with the Peace Corp and Bolivia with USAID.


Michael Timm – Reflo

Michael Timm manages the Milwaukee Community Map as part of the nonprofit Reflo – Sustainable Water Solutions’ Milwaukee Water Stories program. The Milwaukee Community Map is a free interactive map using Google Earth to share, explore, and create Milwaukee’s community water stories. The map hosts Water Stories, featuring local groups making a difference in our city’s collective water story; Basemaps, featuring geographic areas like watersheds, the sewer service area, and historic waterways; and Deeper Dives, featuring animated thematic tours.

The MCM is curated by the Milwaukee nonprofit Reflo – Sustainable Water Solutions and supported by grants from Brico Fund and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program.

Michael is a Freelance Writer, Game Designer, Public Engagement Specialist, and Science Communicator. With over seven years as a journalist and a master’s degree from the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences, Michael is passionate about innovative ways to share Milwaukee’s hidden water stories.


Thursday January 10, 2019
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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Ward 4
313 Plankinton Ave
Milwaukee, WI United States
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2023-24 Collab Labs

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