CTSP 1999, Bigger and Better than Ever!
The 1999 CTSP grants showed continued expansion in several important
areas. It was our largest year for international grants ever, With applications
from 8 countries, and grants to 5. Critical to our international success
has been our "Mentorship" approach, where all international
grants are done in close cooperation with a US-based mentor who helps
provide training and on-site support. This allowed our International grants
to increase tenfold over all prior years.
MESSAGE FROM CTSP DIRECTOR
When I first started building a non-profit GIS support organization in 1995, "CTSP" was a distant and somewhat mysterious black box, out of which could come incredible resources to turn visions into reality. Trips to the James Reserve near the time of the ESRI User Conferences fleshed out that remote image with its most important dimension, people. Sitting in the small meadow there, I was so impressed at the range of people doing inspired conservation GIS, often with very modest resources. After being around this community for a couple of years, the whole world of CTSP seemed to gain focus and identity.
A year ago, I was asked if I would take over managing the CTSP program. After capably administering CTSP since its founding, Marshall Mayer of Desktop Assistance was moving into other endeavors with his new venture eBase (www.ebase.org). Since October, my team at GreenInfo Network (www.greeninfo.org) has been working to continue and, where possible, improve CTSP -- and at the same time find the resources to sustain the program. I'd like to share with you some of the learning that has come our way in that time.
1. CTSP is its people: I can't say enough about how terrific all the people involved with CTSP are, but I'll try:
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS: These eight people are the machine that keeps CTSP moving, and each of them deserves gold medals for engagement, leadership and effort.
THE REVIEWERS: Each grant cycle, 25-30 people from all aspects of the conservation and GIS world pitch in and give very thoughtful reviews to a total of 150 applications. This is matched by a couple of CTSP board members, who review every single application, a huge task.
(Photo: CTSP Director and Reviewer Steve Beckwitt (left) explains Conservation GIS to Dr. Paul Ehrlich (center) and Dr. Michael Soule (behind Dr. Ehrlich) at a 1992 Stanford workshop. C. Convis)
THE APPLICANTS AND GRANTEES: Over 500 groups have asked CTSP for support, with about a third gaining grants. Whether successful or not, each of these applications is a gift, as it informs CTSP and the reviewers about important work and ideas. And watching those who get the awards put them to work is the greatest aspect of the program.
2. Without our sponsors and funders, there would be no CTSP: ESRI
and Hewlett Packard have been nothing short of phenomenal in their commitment
to CTSP -- there really are few other such durable partnerships in the
nation. Particular thanks go to ESRI's Charles Convis, who pours so much
of his mind and heart into supporting conservation GIS, and to HP's unflappable
Forrest Whitt, who has made this program one of the most successful in
all HP's grant-making. Additional thanks are due the Hewlett Foundation
which has been a long time partner for CTSP and, just recently, to the
Packard Foundation. Other past sponsors (Apple, Trimble and others) are
also due credit.
CTSP is also very appreciative of ESRI and SCGIS for helping develop this publication, and we look forward to even more collaboration in the years ahead.
After working with CTSP for the past year, it now almost seems intimate, compared to my earlier sense of it. I hope this brochure will make it seem a bit more accessible to you, too, because CTSP belongs to all of us.
All text © by the respective organizations, November 15, 1999
Compilation & web design: Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program, November 15, 1999