Geospatial Semester students sweep awards at ESRI’s International Conference


by Lynn Radocha ('18)


Students in JMU’s renowned Geospatial Semester were big winners in the Map Gallery competition at the ESRI International User’s Conference held July 8-11 in San Diego, California. 

The maps, based on students’ final projects in their dual enrollment geospatial technology class, took first, second and third place in the teen category at the conference, attended by 18,000 geospatial professionals from around the world.  

Anastasia Stoltz and Nabneet Kaur from Tuscarora High School in Loudon County, Virginia, achieved first place with their impressive Analysis of Shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. Jatin Palvai and Ronak Badam from Rock Ridge High School secured second place with their comprehensive Analysis of Urbanization in Virginia. Katelyn Miller from Loudon County High School showcased her exceptional skills and creativity by earning third place with Still Seward's Icebox.: An Exploration of Permafrost Thaw in Alaska.

“These award-winning projects are wonderful examples of the problem-solving and technology skills that students learn in the Geospatial Semester,” said Bob Kolvoord, co-founder of the Geospatial Semester and dean of the JMU College of Integrated Science and Engineering. “I’m delighted to see the students’ work being recognized by the GIS community”.

The Geospatial Semester is a unique partnership between high schools in Virginia and the College of Integrated Science and Engineering at JMU. High school seniors participating in the Geospatial Semester take classes on geospatial technology at their home school and earn credit from JMU. A key aspect of the program is focusing on local projects connecting students, technology, and their community. To learn more about the Geospatial Semester, contact Bob Kolvoord at or visit the website.

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Published: Friday, July 21, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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