PGC News & Announcements (March 31, 2023)

PGC News and Announcements

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PGC Science and Operations Advisory Committee
Call for Nominations

The Polar Geospatial Center is seeking nominations for their Science and Operations Advisory Committee (SOAC). PGC is recruiting members to represent 3 communities: 1) NSF Facilities, 2) Polar Operations/Logistics, and 3) NSF-funded Polar science. Candidates can be any community members that are supported or impacted by PGC activities. The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2023.

To learn more about the committee and nomination process, visit our website:

ICYMI – PGC’s Work Beyond the Poles

In case you missed it, PGC’s work beyond the poles was published as the cover story for this month’s issue of Nature. PGC aided NASA researchers in leveraging satellite imagery to produce a census of trees across the Sahara. PGC both supplied over 300,000 of the high-resolution satellite images used in the project and created the visualization tool that allows scientists and the public to explore the data. You can explore the data here:


We are thrilled to have shared our resources and expertise in efforts beyond the poles to better understand and monitor Earth’s systems. Read about the project from the NASA press release and watch their video for more information.

PGC Improves Spatial Locations of 11,000+ Antarctic Features

The USGS recently updated the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) which includes Antarctic feature names recognized by the United States. The update contains over 11,000 improvements to Antarctic feature name coordinate locations made by PGC and accepted by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (ACAN). This makes the Antarctic features in GNIS more accurate than ever before.  Accurate feature name locations are an important component for continued Antarctic mapping efforts, international collaboration, and field safety. A web map is now available to search Antarctic place names, check it out here.

Conference Connections

This spring PGC can be found and will be seeking connections with the polar science community at the following conferences. If you will be in attendance and want to meet, reach out to us at Conferences are a crucial piece in our networking, exploration, soliciting feedback, and having fun while learning something new.

PGC Broader Impacts

K-12 Presentation on Black Polar Explorers: The US polar science community is one of the least diverse STEM fields. We want all youth to be able to envision themselves in polar work! PGC member, Cathleen Torres Parisian, visited a local Minneapolis elementary school during Black History month to present on black polar explorers. She read Deborah Hopkinson’s children’s story Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of the North Pole, informed students of the first black Antarctic explorer, George W. Gibbs Jr., and shared stories of all types of people working in Antarctica – including herself.

PGC All-Hands DEI Strategic Planning Meeting: PGC’s partner affiliate, Diana Dalbotten, and PGC member, Cathleen Torres Parisian, led PGC’s first Justice, Equity, Diversity, Accessibility & Inclusion Strategic Planning Meeting earlier this month. The goal of this meeting was to come together and discuss opportunities to scale up our impact from core users to broader audiences, consider barriers to research and accessibility to science, and proactively implement broader impacts across the organization, not just within outreach.

ESCI Confronting Colonization: Four members of PGC participated in the Earth and Environmental Sciences (ESCI) Confronting Colonization group reflection activities. Over the winter months, PGC members engaged in reading materials that prioritize and center Indigenous rights and issues of tribal sovereignty. Reflection exercises worked on accounting for past and ongoing harms inflicted on Indigenous peoples, lands, and waters by our institution and our discipline, especially related to the Arctic.

Acme of Antarctica

After a two year hiatus, a PGC crew of 3 staff and 1 undergraduate student provided mapping support for science and logistic operations from October through January. There were some lowlights (contracting covid) but many highlights of work and play to have us excited for the next season.

📸 Shane Loeffler in his big red (top left), Philippe viewing radio viewshed map (top right), Erik Husby geocaching (bottom left), Erik Husby, Rachel de Sobrino and Jesse Bakker on Observation Hill

PGC Position Available: Applications Developer

The Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is seeking an application developer and software engineer to join the Products & Data team. Initial application review begins next week (April 3 – 6).

Learn more about the position and how to apply by visiting:



Check out the original PGC Newsletter post here.

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