[ Over the last few years a 4-H group has been coming to San Diego a few days early for UC to do real-world projects around the county. Last year they visited with the San Diego Wild Animal Park and did some GPS'ing. This year they worked with the San Diego County Animal Services Department. Good stuff! ]
The 4-H Technology Team at UC
In the early morning of Friday August 1st 2008, twenty 4-H'ers and their adult leaders from eleven states boarded the San Diego trolley. A couple dozen people—all wearing blue shirts—boarding the trolley at the same time drew a lot of attention. People wonder who they are and what they're doing. The answer: the national 4-H Technology Team, in town for the international ESRI User Conference. They were headed for the San Diego County Animal Services office.
After that morning trolley ride, the team met with a couple of the staff at the animal control facility—both to learn and to teach. Laura Warde, an Animal Service officer, talked to the team about the San Diego Animal Service's role in emergency animal evacuation. In the event of a disaster the Animal Services and Humane Society officers go into evacuated areas and provide food and water for abandoned animals. If necessary, they evacuate the animals as well.
GIS plays a big part in their emergency evacuation work. Ward said the San Diego Animal Service isn't very "tech savvy," but would like to be. The 4-H Tech team helped them with that a little. In the time available, the team took data about locations of issued kennel licenses and Geo-Coded the addresses. With the Geo-Coded data, they will be able to create maps for the Animal Service.
The group also heard from Captain Denise Gove from the San Diego Humane Society and from the Glynn County Pirates 4-H club, a part of the 4-H Tech Team from Georgia who has done a lot to prepare their county for future emergencies. They've made emergency evacuation kits, maps showing shelters, and information packets for county residents.