HU Offers GIS Course Free to Furloughed Federal Workers


Joe Zebrowski

Las Vegas, New Mexico – New Mexico Highlands University is offering a free online geographic information systems class to furloughed federal employees beginning Jan. 16.

The eight-week two-credit class is called Introduction to Geospatial Technology.

“This course introduces students to emerging mapping technology including global positioning systems, geographic information systems, and remote sensing,” said Joe Zebrowski, geospatial technology director at Highlands and the class instructor. “Students will learn how to display and analyze geographic information and understand how this technology impacts their daily lives.”

Zebrowski said the class offers flexibility for students to access the online sessions on their own time and at their own pace.

“Highlands President Sam Minner wanted to offer this free GIS online course to support furloughed federal workers who are going through challenges and stressors,” said Ian Williamson, Highlands’ vice president of academic affairs. “It’s also the kind of class that can apply to many career fields such as business, geology, biology, forestry, the social sciences, and more.”

Zebrowski said according to the U.S. Department of Labor, geospatial technology is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States.

Williamson said Los Alamos National Laboratory financially supported the development of the online GIS class.

“It’s fitting that Highlands gives back to federal employees after receiving federal funding for this class,” Williamson said.

New Mexico is ranked second in the nation as a state most affected by the government shutdown, according to a report prepared by wallethub.com. Only Washington, D.C. was ranked higher. The shutdown began Dec. 22, 2018.

“We have two national laboratories in New Mexico that employ thousands of federal workers along with vast amount of public land managed by federal agencies,” Zebrowski said. “Geospatial technology is widely used in these federal agencies as well as a wide variety of others ranging from the U.S. Department of Transportation to U.S. Health and Human Services.”

Furloughed federal employees can register online for the Introduction to Geospatial Technology class at www.nmhu.edu/GIS

For more information about registration, contact the Highlands Registrar’s Office at 505-454-3437. To learn more about the class, contact Zebrowski at jpzebrowski@nmhu.edu