GeoExpo2006 – Geospatial Contributions to Disaster Management A Hit

The Geospatial Community Gathered in Galvez Building, Listened to Presentations, Shared Success Stories, Improved Their Art

Baton Rouge, LA, June 9, 2006: The Annual GeoExpo2006 was deemed a success by event Chairman, Ms. Dina Knight, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) specialist at LSU Center for GeoInformatics. (C4G) She said, “Success was demonstrated by significantly increased support, especially from our sponsors. Without them we would have struggled to pull it off.”

This year’s event was once again housed at the Galvez building in downtown Baton Rouge. Its theme was reflective of events of the last year; a year that experienced the U.S.’ largest natural disaster, hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The GIS groups within many of the state’s agencies were called upon and contributed the necessary foundation of data that permitted the more visible responders to succeed.

Keynote speaker was Ms. Jo Jordon, Federal Emergency Management Agency Region II GIS Coordinator, Department of Homeland Security. She presented "Beyond Katrina: Improving Disaster Management and Response with Geospatial Technology." Unprecedented use of geospatial information and technology was gathered and produced in the wake of the storms. Ms. Jordon then fielded questions from a very interested audience.

Today’s agenda included four other speakers who addressed diverse topics. J. Anthony Cavell from LSU C4G opened the day’s program described supporting efforts of the Humane Society of the United States rescue mission of pets in the greater New Orleans area. James E. Mitchell, Ph.D. from the La. Dept. of Transportation and Development described operations, before, during, and After the Storms of 2005. The afternoon program included “Terrebonne Parish Emergency Response GIS" presented by Jack Gardner, Geographic Information Systems Manager, Terrebonne Parish and Victor Leotta, Geospatial Technologies Manager, C-K Associates, LLC closed out the day describing how he was able to assess flood damage using residential consumer data from Entergy and 1946 aerial photography.

GeoExpo2006 exhibitors included: Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government, GIS Dept., LSU Center for GeoInformatics, LSU Continuing Education, LSU GIS Clearinghouse, La. Geographic Information Center, La. Dept. of Natural Resources, La. Dept. of Environmental Quality, La. Dept. of Transportation and Development, La. Dept. of Labor, La. Oil Spill Coordinators Office, U.S. Dept. of Commerce – NOAA – National Geodetic Survey, U.S. Dept. of the Interior – U.S. Geological Survey, and NASA – Regional Application Center.

GeoExpo2006 Sponsors were: LSU Center For GeoInformatics, ESRI, C-K Associates, LLC, La. Dept. of Environmental Quality, Navigation Electronics, Inc., C&C Technologies, Inc., and Entergy.