Moses Kamu Thiong’o of Kenyatta University emerged the winning candidate of the 2018 Esri Young Scholars Program award within the Eastern Africa region. Currently in 3rd year, Moses is undertaking a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management in the School of Environmental Studies. The Esri Young Scholars Program was launched in 2012 by Esri president Jack Dangermond with the objective of promoting the use of geospatial technologies in education and research to solve cross-cutting issues locally and internationally. The program recognizes the exemplary works of current undergraduate and graduate students majoring in disciplines that leverage on geospatial tools and technology.
The Program is coordinated by Esri's international distributors and the company's international and education teams. Winning entries are selected by a university panel formed by Esri's distributor in the recipient's respective country. Award winners travel to San Diego to present their work and join more than 15,500 GIS professionals in a weeklong program of presentations, workshops, and social events during the annual Esri User Conference in the US. This year, the Conference will take place from 9th to 13th July. This year's Young Scholars program attracted a huge number of applicants. Winning projects spanned a wide range of topics from climate change, smart agriculture, transport, government to food security. Moses will have a chance to present a poster about his project titled “Mapping the 2017 Spreading pattern of Fall Armyworm and its Implication on Maize in Molo, Nakuru County, Kenya”. He used geospatial knowledge to map the spread pattern of the infamous fall army worm that wrecked huge losses to farmers in the Rift valley.
“I am really excited to learn that I’m the winning candidate of this year’s Esri Young Scholars Program award”, said Moses when he was announced the winner. “It will be my first time to visit the United States and to participate in such an event that attracts GIS enthusiasts, professionals, students, nerds, government agencies and the corporate world.” He thanked the University administration together with Esri Eastern Africa for making it possible for his dream come to reality. Moses hopes to become a professional GIS developer when he graduates so that he can apply the knowledge of spatial Science in promoting food security through smart agriculture in Kenya.
Kenyatta University has made substantial progress in equipping students with skills required to solve the day-to-day challenges of the ever evolving world. Geospatial knowledge is arguably one of the keys that is unlocking opportunities across a broad spectrum of industries.
You can follow the live proceedings of the 2018 Esri User Conference via the link;