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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Summit to address Geographic Information System capabilities in the borderlands

Experts in Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities and water resource management in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands will meet at the University of Texas at El Paso April 10 and 11 to discuss the development of a geographic information system capability that can be used to examine the impact of the border area's rapid population growth and industrial development on water resources and environmental health.

pher Brown, associate professor of geography at New Mexico State University, is co-chairing the research summit. Bobby Creel, associate director of the Water Resources Research Institute at NMSU, is also participating.

A binational GIS is crucial for monitoring changes and developing future environmental protection and urban growth plans in the border region.

Topics to be discussed at the summit include regional and comprehensive GIS activities, data gaps based on emerging environmental issues, funding strategies, date sharing and availability of data over the Internet, binational data integration and scale issues, standards and documentation, and approaches for keeping data current.

Outcomes of the summit, which will help coordinate future GIS efforts by agencies and researchers in the border area, will be discussed during the Eighth Annual Border Institute being hosted by the Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy in May 2006 in Rio Rico, Arizona. Leaders from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy also will sign a memorandum of understanding that will facilitate binational cooperation and leverage the assets that each organization possesses.

"Having such a talented and experienced group of GIS experts attend this Summit is an honor and will provide much needed input and expertise to the task we are trying to advance," Brown said. "This event also reflects a very broad and deep commitment to binational cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico at a time when we often hear more about conflict and challenges on issues of immigration and security."

April 7, 2006
Bob Nosbisch