GIS Site License Provides Alaskan Youth with Critical Skills

Redlands, California—June 01, 2011—Though GIS has been taught at a number of schools in Alaska for the past several years, the signing of a statewide education site license with Esri brings the technology to all K–12 students in the state. Students, educators, and administrators in all of Alaska's primary and secondary schools will have access to Esri's full range of ArcGIS software, plus unlimited seats in self-paced training through Esri's Virtual Campus.

"Many instructors are currently teaching GIS in the classroom, and others are using it to augment their science and geography curriculums," says Katie Kennedy, education and outreach coordinator for the University of Alaska Geography Program. "However, we believe that the technology has the potential to change the way students and their teachers fundamentally approach a topic, and we intend to introduce it throughout the state as a hands-on tool that supports inquiry-based learning."

In preparation for this broad distribution of the technology, the Alaska Geographic Alliance is developing a statewide teacher training program to introduce GIS into the classroom with an emphasis on the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses.

"Alaska has a long tradition in GIS," says Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri's schools program manager. "The state's rich natural heritage, cultural traditions, and unique environment require attention when blending conservation and growth. A world of opportunity beckons every student in Alaska."

For more information about Esri's K–12 education programs, visit

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at


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