August’s GIS Ambassador: Claude Brun del Re

August 13, 2020 Angela Alexander

Claude Brun del Re is August’s GIS Ambassador of the month! Discover what this retired teacher has done during her professional career and presently to support the use of spatial technologies in K-12 education for French teachers and learners.

This month’s GIS Ambassador is Claude Brun del Re, a retired teacher from Gatineau, Québec who supports French-speaking teachers in their use of GIS in K-12 through resource development, workshop facilitation and translation support. With a lifetime of experience, we will highlight some of the important work she’s done professionally before her retirement in 2016 and more recently as a GIS Ambassador.

Teaching at both secondary and university levels, Claude’s experiences have given her a strong foundation in understanding how GIS is a tool for student engagement, critical thinking and inquiry. Early in her career, she was an instructor in the geography department at the University of Ottawa and Cégep de l'Outaouais. She taught geography, French and geomatics at various schools in Ottawa and Québec where she influenced students to go into the field of geography in post-secondary studies.

While working as an instructor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa during a partial secondment from the Ottawa Carleton School Board, Claude helped to develop the geographic framework for courses that integrated geotechnologies in both English and French for the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Claude’s upbringing in Saguenay, Québec influenced her career path in teaching geography and working in the spatial technologies field. “The majestic landscapes of the Canadian Shield, the St. Lawrence River and the Saguenay Fjord left a permanent imprint on me and definitely inspired my career choices.”

Claude’s also worked with private and governmental organizations. In 1994, Claude was involved in a pilot project that included a partnership between Intermap, PCI Geomatics, Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing and the Canadian Space Agency to support high school teachers in creating an Earth observation curriculum. This program helped to integrate remote sensing into the Earth and Space Science, Grade 12 course in the Ontario high school curriculum.

Since her retirement in 2016, Claude continues to promote the use of GIS to K-12 teachers and is committed to providing French resources for teaching geography. Through her work as the French representative for the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education (OAGEE), she facilitates workshops in French at OAGEE conferences and helps to translate English ArcGIS resources to French.

Recently, Suzelle Lavallée, a program specialist with the Department of Education (French First Language) in Newfoundland and Labrador has been working with Claude on a project aimed at introducing high school students to GIS. She was so impressed by Claude’s enthusiasm. Suzelle told us that “Claude’s dedication to teaching geography in French is boundless! She has a passion for GIS and geography that makes you want to know more!”

In support of the Ontario grade 9 academic and applied Canadian and World Studies courses, Claude has written a teacher’s global positioning system (GPS) guide for Le CLÉ on EduSource, a site that’s part of Le Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques (CFORP) to provide teachers with educational resources in French.

Claude has developed GIS activities for Canadian geography textbooks. Earlier this year, she worked on the French version of the Nelson Geography in Action textbook for grade 9 which will be released in September.

Claude (pictured in the first row, far right) was among the new Fellows elected to the College of Fellows on November 1, 2018. Image from the RCGS web site.

Claude’s assisted the Esri Canada K-12 group to translate the Home Page of the French ArcGIS Online for Ontario Schools subscription and create French versions of ArcCanada content (by/par claudetbr). We thank Claude for her continued support.

Looking ahead, Claude plans to continue working with teachers as schools are planning to reopen next month. She hopes to provide virtual training to teachers and share the power of story maps and some of the cool French basemaps that are available in ArcGIS Online.

We appreciate all the work she has done to ensure Canadian teachers and students have access to French resources for geography. If you would like to connect with Claude, email us at k12@esri.ca.

Read about other dedicated GIS Ambassadors who are supporting teachers in their community.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Angela Alexander

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

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