Geosciences Take Root in Afghanistan

Geosciences students demonstrate the practical projects they have accomplished.
Geosciences students demonstrate the practical projects they have accomplished.
Geosciences students gain advanced practical capability in GIS training
The geosciences department head is confident that advanced GIS training will give his students an edge in the tight job market.
Computer technology is everywhere and college students throughout the world face the challenge of learning to use more computer programs, or be edged out of the job market by someone that has. In Afghanistan, it is no different.
A group of 14 Kabul University geosciences students, including three women, had completed the basic geographic information system (GIS) training provided by USAID. GIS is computer technology that takes different types of geographical data and combines it into useful information, typically in the form of a map, like a road map. The students recognized that basic GIS understanding was just the tip of the iceberg and presented their need for additional GIS training to the USAID training program manager.
Being geosciences students, they are well aware that Afghanistan’s untapped natural resources hold the key to economic development in this landlocked nation. There has been much press coverage about the Chinese development of vast copper deposits near Kabul, the Afghan government taking bids for the development of large iron ore reserves near Bamyan Province, and issuing rights to conduct oil and gas exploration in northern Afghanistan. Mapping these natural resources in their geographic locations was done using GIS. These students know that as additional mining and drilling starts, the data generated about the quality of ore or the depth of oil at different locations will need to be collected and analyzed with GIS software.
The advanced GIS training results are complete and best described by the geosciences department head at Kabul University who said, “What these students learned to do with GIS software is beyond my greatest expectation.”
The confidence now displayed by this group of 14 students, who are about to graduate, assures a successful career is just around the corner.
“After this training, our self-confidence increased. It will help us find better jobs in the future,” said Eqbal Khan, a Kabul University student.

Last updated: January 12, 2015

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