2019 Fall Regular Meeting Minutes

Thank you Lisa for recording the minutes. If there are any additions or corrections, please submit them now in the comment form below, or come prepared with them at the meeting.  There will be opportunity at the meeting to discuss the minutes prior to approving them.

These minutes are for the meeting with this agenda:

2019 Fall Regular Meeting Agenda

2019 Fall Regular Meeting Minutes – November 15, 2019

The meeting was called to order by Chairman, William Bernsen at 12:27 pm. The chair declared a quorum and asked that each participant introduce themselves. Those present were as follows:

Members (Quorum): William Bernsen, Noela Oliveira Garza, Brent Jones (remote attendance), Keith McNease, Steven Blaskey, Miguel Escobar, Mike Beavers, Dan Stone

Faculty and Staff: Hongzhi (Jessica) Song, Lucy Huang, Gary Jeffress, Davey Edwards, Philippe Tissot, Lisa Olmos, Christine Allman, Michael Starek (late), Antonio Medrano (late), Scott King (briefly)

GISSO Student Representatives: Heather Zavesky, Jose Congo

Members Absent: Ken Gold, Sheila Steffenson, Brandi Lowe, Sonia Gover, James Carr, Donny Sosa

Faculty Absent: Tianxing Chu

[Please note that there are several attachments provided at the bottom of this page.]

  1. Unfinished Business:
    William Bernsen asked if anyone had any unfinished business. The membership had none.
  2. Approval of the 2019 Spring Regular Meeting Minutes
    Spring 2019 Meeting Minutes were given to all in attendance. Call for approval of the last meeting minutes was made by Steve Blaskey. Miguel Escobar seconded the motion. Minutes were approved and accepted unanimously.
  3. GISSO Report as available
    Chair called for the GISSO report. Heather Zavesky, the GISSO president, gave the following report:
    • Meetings: Several companies have hired TAMUCC students and the hired graduates have made it a point to bring companies back to talk to current students in the GIS program. Companies that have visited this semester are Fenstermaker, SAM Inc, and Westwood which have all hired TAMUCC graduates. CobbFendley will be visiting on November 22nd.
    • Volunteering: On October 3rd at the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors conference in Marble Falls, twelve GISSO students volunteered and it was a great success. Heather Zavesky, GISSO president, was approached by TSPS to join the Administrative Affairs Committee as their new Publications Editor. On November 13th, GIS Day was held at Del Mar. It’s a day where high school and elementary students come in for career day. LIDAR scans were conducted which allowed for hands-on experience with technology and equipment. Six GISSO students volunteered. At this event, Del Mar offered CEUs for GIS and GISSO students were able to sit in on professional meetings. Local high schools, West Oso and Moody, approached TAMUCC GISSO students and would like for them to visit with their students about the program. Volunteering has been a great avenue for recruitment.
    • Recruitment – GISSO has presented at multiple introduction classes at the beginning of the semester and have made it a point to attend GIS/Island Day. Attendance is back up in numbers for GISSO. About twenty-five students show up regularly for meetings. There have been no campus visits this semester.
    • What’s Coming Next: At the NSPS competition in Washington DC, five students will be competing March 31st – April 2nd, 2020. The topic is Datum 2022. The first day is the competition, the 2nd-day CORBIN field exercises are being held, and then the following day is for awards. Davey Edwards mentioned TAMUCC GISSO students won 2nd place last year.
    • At this time, three additional students came in to provide feedback to the Academic Advisory Committee. The faculty and staff were asked to step out during this portion of the meeting. Faculty and staff returned at 2:00 pm and the regular meeting resumed.
    • Discussion of Student Comments: According to the board, positive comments were made about the professors – engaged and hardworking. Students mentioned wanting a Botany course for the program as an elective. William Bernsen stated maybe “there could be a short course that students can take”. Davey Edwards stated he holds discussions over trees and surveying in his courses. A discussion was held that students could have a lecture in courses about tree topics for surveying purposes.  Students would also like AutoCAD to be implemented in more classes after being used in Drafting class. Drafting course has a co-requisite of Plane Measurement II. Plane measurement II uses AutoCAD more frequently. Plane Measurement I uses AutoCAD toward the end of the semester. Davey Edwards mentioned he gathers data with students in AutoCAD within the Cadastral course. One negative comment was made by a student but is being addressed by faculty presently.

ACTION: Mike Beaver offered to help with the survey with the GIS component.

    • Gary Jeffress reported he used to get the results of Board exams and SIT exams. Website exam scores are no longer posted but the university can try to request this information.

ACTION: Christine Allman will look at other program objectives of other GIS/Geomatics ABET-accredited programs to get more ideas of measurement.

    • Program in General Updates – Currently enrollment is 50 students (13 Freshman, 8 Sophomore, 8 Junior, 19 Senior, 2 Post Baccalaureate). Hongzhi Song reported on the recruiting-related ongoing projects. The board was given the 2019-2020 BS-GIS 8 Semester Plan (handout). The proposal adding the 6 SCH was approved by the THECB starting August 1, 2019. Students with a declared BS GIS major before August 1, 2019, have until August 8, 2022, to complete the degree with 120 credit hours. Any student in the degree program after August 8, 2022, will automatically be switched to the 126 credit hours degree plan.
    • All students under the 120 credit hours program are eligible to switch to the 126 credit hours degree plan at any time. The new degree plan includes additional mathematics and/or science courses and will allow the program to seek ABET Accreditation under ABET’s Engineering Accreditation Commission. Currently, the BS in GIS is accredited under the Applied and Natural Sciences Accreditation Commission.
    • Geospatial System I is going to join the first-year learning community in Fall 2020 so freshmen and undecided major students will be able to take a GIS focused Triad/Tetrad. Hongzhi Song asked if the board approved of the co-requisites and pre-requisites for the program curriculum. Noela Garcia had concerns about students who needed to take College Algebra first instead of Calculus which wouldn’t meet the prerequisite for GISC 1470, Geospatial Systems I. Hongzhi stated the course Geospatial Systems I is offered in both Fall and Spring in case student needs to take MATH 1314 College Algebra in Fall instead of GISC 1470. The board approved the new degree plan. Steven Blaskey stated History of Texas Land Ownership should be an elective and not a core course. A discussion was held over this topic. Davey Edwards commented that in 2021 Texas will need to start taking the national Professional Surveyors exam.

ACTION: Follow-up in next AAC meeting whether GISC 4371 History of Texas Land Ownership should be changed to History of Land Ownership, be made an elective, or remain a core course.

    • Philippe Tissot discussed enrollment and whether Surveying and GIS need to be merged together in a program. A discussion was held over this topic. Hongzhi Song learned from ESRI that industries are merging surveying and GIS. The program has the correct vision. Regarding enrollment and recruitment, Christine Allman stated GIS faculty/students can post directly on Facebook about GIS/Surveying to gather attention.
    • Davey Edwards discussed how legislature has changed. Students can now get their associates or bachelor’s degree in GIS as long as they have 32 hours of courses. This is an obstacle because students will want to get into workforce faster but in the bachelor’s program, students have opportunities to excel. FS Exam Results versus Education (1st Time Takers – NCEES handout), given by Davey Edwards, shows scores from 2016-current. Surveying degree test-takers do exceptionally better on the FS Exam compared to associate degree test takers. No degree test-takers score higher than associate degree test-takers. Recruiting would benefit the GIS program. The Career Center will start recruiting students for GIS and will send recruiters to different locations to get more students for the program (started in October 2019). Noela Garcia stated a visual component when recruiting would be helpful. GIS faculty continue to use their spare time to do recruitment as they do not have funding or a budget to get a recruiter.

ACTION: AAC will follow up on recruiting, branding, and marketing at the next meeting. Mike Beavers will assist GIS recruit by helping with software development.

    • Regarding Cardinal, Steven Blaskey stated there are minor issues but overall approves.  

  1. Spring Meeting Potential Time and Content
    • Steven Blaskey and Keith McNease motioned that there are several follow-up action items for the content of next meeting. Mike Beavers suggested meeting about emerging technologies, how they are being deployed by customers, and the possibility of putting it into curriculum. Philippe Tissot mentioned Artificial Intelligence, recruiting, and learning objectives as topics. Hongzhi Song will contact new chair in January to give 30 days’ notice. The beginning of March may be best for board and faculty.
  2. Other Business
    • Davey Edwards will be entering the TAMUCC GISc program into NCEES for a reward of money and, if the program wins, will put money toward recruitment.
  3. Elections for Chair
    • Vice-Chair: Nomination – William Bernsen made by Noela Garcia and seconded by Dan Stone. All motioned for William Bernsen to be vice-chair.
    • Chair: Nomination – Steve Blaskey made by Noela and seconded by Mike Beavers. All motioned for Steve Blaskey to be chair.
    • William Bernsen will continue to work on the website. Noella Garcia suggested if AAC board member misses three meetings in a row, they will need to replace board member.
  4. Adjournment:
    • There was no further business. The meeting was adjourned at 3:24 pm

Respectfully submitted by

Lisa Olmos

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