Geographic information systems (GIS) is part of an in-demand career skillset that can lead to safer streets in California communities. This project included a three-session bootcamp that introduced middle school students to transportation via GIS and gathered assessments on their awareness of transportation as a career pathway. The project built upon CSUTC TRANSPORTS’ Year 4 project, “K–12 Special Investigation Project: Mapping E-Commerce Locally and Beyond.” The bootcamp for this project was coordinated in partnership with Rio Hondo College, which provided the instructor and connection to the students at the Mountain View Unified School District in El Monte, CA. The bootcamp focused on developing safer communities and transportation systems as a context for the students to become familiar with GIS. The student feedback reported on student awareness of transportation and GIS prior to the bootcamp and how the curricular tools and activities impacted that awareness. Gathered data and feedback will inform the development of future middle school GIS curricula, an area that is underdeveloped.
Dr. Thomas O'Brien is the Executive Director of the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the Deputy Director of Long Beach Programs for the METRANS Transportation Consortium, a partnership of CSULB and the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Director of the FHWA Southwest Transportation Workforce Center (SWTWC). He previously served as CITT’s Director of Research. Dr. O’Brien is an instructor in CSULB’s Master of Science in Supply Chain Management (MSSCM). Dr. O’Brien is a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) where he served as President, is a member of the CUTC Workforce Development Taskforce, and Chair of the oversight committee of the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Intermodal Freight Transport Committee and Urban Freight and Operations Committee. He also serves on the Boards of the Southern California Roundtable of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Los Angeles Transportation Club, Foreign Trade Association, and National Transit Institute. Dr. O’Brien has a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Development and a PhD in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California. He is both an Eno and Eisenhower Transportation Fellow.
Ben Olson is the GIS and Data Manager at the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). At CITT, Ben manages the center’s GIS projects and research responsibilities. He leads the development of GIS applications and their integration into training programs for working professionals and K–12 audiences. Ben received his master’s in Geographic Information Science from CSULB and bachelor’s in Statistics and Spanish from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).