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capstoners with dr shah_usaidMyCOE SERVIR Capstone Fellows with Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, Washington, D.C. April 2014

MyCOE / SERVIR Global Fellowship Program: 2012-2014

The MyCOE / SERVIR Global Fellowship Program is a partnership between the AAG’s MyCOE program and the NASA SERVIR program, a collaborative venture among the NASA Earth Science Division Applied Sciences Program, USAID, and worldwide partner institutions, to help university students living and studying in developing regions conduct long-term research or educational activities in response to sustainable development needs in their countries. The 2012-2014 fellowship program provided 120 university undergraduate and graduate students training in geographic in geographic technologies for sustainable development. Four regional rounds of the fellowship program were conducted in East Africa, Himalayas, West Africa and Southeast Asia.  Each round centered around a 10-day launch workshop led by an instructional team of professors, specialists, and professionals in relevant fields. MyCOE Program Director Dr. Patricia Solis, Marcela Zeballos, Astrid Ng, Matthew Hamilton, and Candida Mannozzi of the Association of American Geographers provided on and off-site support to student-mentor teams during each workshop and for the length of the fellowship program.

The workshops were held in collaboration with the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya; the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, Nepal; the Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS) in Accra, Ghana; and USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) in Bangkok, Thailand.  Students received technical training, fieldwork methods and professional development sessions. Following the workshop, fellows spent 3-6 months conducting necessary research and later implementing the outreach component of their projects to share their results with local stakeholders.

The MyCOE / SERVIR Capstone Event, which took place April 3-12, 2014, celebrated the global program carried out over the past two years with representation from outstanding program fellows selected to showcase the work they accomplished during the MyCOE / SERVIR Global Fellowship Program. The 14 capstone fellows presented to officials at USAID and NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., appeared live on NASA TV, visited Goddard Space Flight Center and presented their work at a featured illustrated paper session during the AAG’s Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida.  See Capstone Fellows testimonials following their presentations at NASA and USAID by visiting the SERVIR Global Youtube Site.

Participants received a modest research stipend, travel support, instruction during workshops, mentoring and access to data and other resources to improve projects. They also received geographic data and SERVIR resources to help them conduct their three- to six-month long projects. Over the life of the fellowship, fellows had the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with approximately 60 other teams from around the world that were selected through MyCOE / SERVIR global initiatives.

The program succeeded in fostering communication among student researchers from different countries, increasing promotion of women in science and innovation, building long-term capacity in developing regions using Geography/ GIS for sustainable development goals and raising the awareness of Geography/GIS contributions toward climate change issues.

For more information about the MyCOE / SERVIR Fellowship program, please visit http://www.aag.org/mycoe.servir.