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The U.S. Census Bureau is conducting the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) to update our records regarding changes to legal boundaries, names, and governmental status of all governmental units effective on or before January 1, 2010. This voluntary survey is an important opportunity for you to ensure that we have the correct boundary and legal name for your county, as well as for the governments within your jurisdiction. The Census Bureau will use the boundary information you provide to report data from the 2010 Census and estimates from other programs and surveys, such as the Population Estimates Program (PEP) and the American Community Survey (ACS). The 2010 BAS is especially important as it is the last opportunity for participants to update their legal boundaries prior to the completion of the 2010 Census. Accurate legal boundaries will result in more accurate data tabulation for all of the census programs and surveys.

In preparation for the upcoming 2010 BAS, the U.S. Census Bureau is conducting BAS workshops in select cities across the country. The BAS workshops will be open to interested participants and will include both digital and paper BAS training. The training will have separate sessions for digital and paper participation procedures. You may choose to attend one or both sessions. Each session will provide an overview of the BAS, an explanation of geographic relationships, and information on why correct boundaries are important for the 2010 Census, PEP and ACS.

Digital BAS training will include demonstrations on how to complete the BAS using ArcGIS or the MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS). MTPS is a PC-based software application provided by the Census Bureau for participants to digitally update the Census Bureau maps and forms. There will be hands-on digital BAS training in select cities (please see the attachment). We encourage you to bring laptops along with your boundary data, so we may clarify any questions you may have.

Paper BAS training will include a detailed review of how to read and update paper maps and the BAS forms. Participants will learn how to properly annotate legal boundary updates and feature changes on the Census Bureau maps. We request you bring your annexation information since there will be an opportunity to update your boundaries on-site.

Space may be limited, so we encourage participants to sign up as soon as possible, and no later than the RSVP date listed for each of the respective workshops. Note that some of the workshop locations will require participants to show identification in order to access the building.

If you have any questions pertaining to the BAS program and the upcoming workshops, contact the BAS team via email at geo.bas@census.gov or via telephone at (301)-763-1099.

Additional information on the BAS program can be found on the BAS website:

Boundary and Annexation Survey Workshop Location in Indiana:

January 8, 2010 (RSVP by December 21, 2009)
8:30 AM – Noon Digital BAS Workshop
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM - Paper BAS Workshop

United States Census Bureau
National Processing Center
Building 87, Rooms 1 and 2
1201 East 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47132

Contributed by: Larry Biehl, Purdue University, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP)

Community College Students APPLY BY DECEMBER 15, 2009 for the National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program!

The National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) is a pilot program funded by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) and administered by NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). Community college students from across the nation who are interested in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics will apply to travel to NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) for a three day experience. This opportunity will provide a hands-on project featuring engineering career possibilities. Selected students will begin the semester commitment with Web-based preparation prior to visiting JSC. The only cost to the student is a $30 registration fee; NASA covers travel (up to $1000), food, and lodging.

Help Recruit Students for NCAS
Please help identify community college students you believe will benefit from this program and encourage them to apply by visiting our website. Students must complete online applications by December 15, 2009.

What is NCAS?
An interactive, online learning experience where students complete Web-based lessons during the school year and travel to NASA for a three-day (May 20-22, 2010) experience where they work with NASA engineers and scientists developing a proposal for a fictitious Martian rover.

Who is Eligible?
Community college students from across the nation (must be US citizens).

Who pays for NCAS?
There is a one time, non-refundable $30 registration fee (due at the time of acceptance); all travel (up to $1000), room, and food is included.

Student Benefits
* All-expense paid trip to NASA for workshop
* Network with other community college students from across the nation
* Discover career opportunities at NASA

Students Apply Online Now! https://aerospacescholars.jsc.nasa.gov/NCAS/
Contributed by: Larry Biehl, Purdue University, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP)

NASA announces a call for graduate fellowship proposals to the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program for the 2010-2011 academic year. This call for fellowship proposals solicits applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA's scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities.

The deadline for NEW applications is February 1, 2010, and the deadline for RENEWAL applications is March 15, 2010.

The NESSF call for proposals and submission instructions are located at the NESSF 09 solicitation index page at: http://nspires.nasaprs.com/
Click on "Solicitations"
Then click on "Open Solicitations"
Then select the "NESSF 10" announcement.

Also refer to "Proposal Submission Instructions" listed under "Other
Documents" on the NESSF 10 solicitation index page.

All proposals must be submitted in electronic format only through the NASA NSPIRES system. The advisor has an active role in the submission of the fellowship proposal. To use the NSPIRES system, the advisor, the student, and the university must all register. Extended instructions on how to submit an electronic proposal package are posted on the NESSF 10 solicitation index page listed above. You can register in NSPIRES at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/.

For further information contact Russell Deyoung, Program
Administrator for NESSF Earth Science Research, Telephone: (757)
864-1472, E-mail: larc-nessf-Earth@lists.nasa.gov or Dolores Holland,
Program Administrator for NESSF Heliophysics Research, Planetary
Science Research, and Astrophysics Research, Telephone: (202)
358-0734, E-mail: hq-nessf-Space@nasa.gov
Contributed by: David Nail, USGS Geospatial Liaison to Indiana

WASHINGTON, D.C.—“US Topo” is the next generation of topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey. Digital US Topo maps are designed to look, feel, and perform like the traditional paper topographic maps for which the USGS is so well known. However, in contrast to paper-based maps, US Topo maps provide technical advantages that support faster, wider public distribution and enable basic, on-screen geographic analysis for all users.

“The public’s high regard for USGS topographic maps stretches over a century,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “Because Survey maps consistently describe our nation’s entire landscape, they are the standard mapping reference for scientists, land managers, property owners, and every variety of outdoor enthusiast.”

“So I am very pleased,” continued Secretary Salazar, “that this new type of USGS topographic map not only preserves the best qualities of older topographic maps but now, in a popular digital format, can better serve both specialized users and the general public.”

Arranged in the familiar 7.5-minute quadrangle format, US Topo maps are available free on the Web. Each map quadrangle is constructed in GeoPDF® format from key layers of geographic data — orthoimagery, roads, geographic names, topographic contours, and hydrographic features — found in The National Map, a nationwide collection of integrated data from local, state, federal, and other sources.

“The USGS has always been at the forefront of new mapping technologies, but what distinguishes US Topo is the new methodology for delivering the product to users from all walks of life,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “These digital maps can be as simple or as sophisticated as the need dictates, easily customized on the spot.”

US Topo users can turn geographic data layers on and off as needed, zoom in and out to highlight specific features or see a broader context, and print the maps — in their entirety or in customized sections — on a wide variety of printing devices. File size for each digital US Topo 7.5-minute quadrangle, about 15-20 megabytes, is convenient for most computer users. Electronic analytical tools are also available for free download.

“Everyone who learns about this new kind of USGS topographic map immediately wants to know how it compares to other electronic maps available on the Internet,” said Mark DeMulder, Chief of the USGS National Geospatial Program. “Here is how US Topo differs from most other electronic maps:

· Nationally consistent data quality assured to high standards
· Looks and feels like legacy paper USGS topographic maps but has technical advantages
· Can be used on the computer or printed to scale
· Downloadable free from the on-line USGS Store
· Users can select from various reference systems, e.g lat-long, UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator)
· Direct "mash-up" capabilities with Google Maps®
· Continuous evolution and incorporation of additional data layers.”

Further information about how to download and use US Topo, currently available coverage, and the timetable for production of US Topo maps can be found online at: http://nationalmap.usgs.gov/ustopo.

New US Topo maps for Indiana will be available in 2010

The prototype of US Topo, Digital Map – Beta, has been available since June 2009. A US Topo map includes all of the content of the earlier Digital Map – Beta plus integrated contours and hydrographic features. As the US Topo product evolves, the USGS will provide digital, historical versions of USGS topographic map quadrangles and will incorporate additional geographic data layers from The National Map.

Public feedback about US Topo will assist the USGS in improving the US Topo concept.
Send comments to: http://nationalmap.usgs.gov/ustopo/ustopo_feedback
Contributed by: Roger Koelpin, Indiana Department of Homeland Security


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today officially launched Virtual USA, an innovative information-sharing initiative—developed in collaboration with the emergency response community and state and local governments across the nation—that helps federal, state, local and tribal first responders communicate during emergencies.

“Our first responders need interoperable tools to make accurate and timely decisions during emergencies,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Virtual USA makes it possible for new and existing technologies to work together seamlessly during disaster response and recovery and gives the public an opportunity to contribute information in real-time to support the efforts of police officers, firefighters and other emergency management officials.”

The announcement came as part of the White House Open Government Initiative and reflects President Obama and Secretary Napolitano’s shared commitment to making government more efficient and fostering a culture of transparency, participation and collaboration.

Virtual USA links disparate tools and technologies in order to share the location and status of critical assets and information—such as power and water lines, flood detectors, helicopter-capable landing sites, emergency vehicle and ambulance locations, weather and traffic conditions, evacuation routes, and school and government building floor plans—across federal, state, local and tribal governments.

Virtual USA:
· Integrates Existing Frameworks and Investments: Virtual USA utilizes current information-sharing platforms to permit new and existing technologies to seamlessly exchange information with one another.

· Draws on Local Input: Virtual USA is based on the needs of local and state first responders to manage data access within their own jurisdictions and to share information with relevant jurisdictions across the nation.

· Employs a Comprehensive Approach: Virtual USA is not limited to information exchanges between two agencies; instead, the initiative fosters dynamic information sharing among all federal, state, local and tribal practitioners.

· Provides a Flexible, Accessible Platform: Because Virtual USA uses open data standards and open source software, more states and localities can join this information exchange project.

· Involves Everyone: Virtual USA allows Americans in their own communities to contribute information—in real-time—to support the efforts of police, fire and emergency management officials during disasters and recovery efforts.

Developed by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Virtual USA currently operates as a pilot in eight states—Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia and Tennessee—with plans to incorporate additional states underway. In Virginia alone, Virtual USA has reduced response times to incidents involving hazardous materials by 70 percent.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.