ACC GIS program recognized for innovation, best practices


ACC’s Sally Holl, Mary Beth Booth, and Sean Moran receive the Special Achievement in GIS award.

Austin Community College’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program recently received a Special Achievement in GIS award from Esri, a provider of GIS technology. The college was the only higher education institution selected from more than 300,000 eligible public and private companies, governments, and organizations.

The award recognizes innovative application of technology, data collection, geospatial information visualization, and thought leadership.

“A Special Achievement in GIS award recognizes best practices for organizations implementing technology to change the world,” says Esri Founder and President Jack Dangermond. “Highlighting good work benefits the entire GIS community, and that’s very valuable.”


Lauren Kirk displays her award-winning map of Enchanted Rock State Park.

Esri announced the awards at its recent Users Conference, which also featured a student competition with entries from around the world. ACC student Lauren Kirk won second place in the Student Map – Postsecondary category.

ACC’s GIS Program began in 2000 with a single introductory course created and taught by Dr. Mary Beth Booth. The program now offers 13 GIS courses, a GIS associate degree, and two GIS certificates.

“I believe ACC GIS stands apart because we’re focused on teaching academic, technical, and professional skills,” says Department Chair Sean Moran. “Students learn core GIS concepts while using industry-standard software to complete real-world projects.”

Moran says students in the program range from high school graduates and university students to college graduates and working professionals seeking to learn new skills. Program graduates work at Google, Apple, Drillinginfo, AECOM, ONE Gas, City of Austin, Austin Fire Department, Travis County, Williamson County, Texas Governor’s Office, U.S. Geological Survey, and more.

For more information on ACC’s GIS Program, visit the GIS@ACC website.


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