(Editor's Note: The following was contributed by Adriana Meeks, West Potomac High School Media Liasion)
On April 23, students from Ms. Frances Coffey’s AP Human Geography class were treated to a visit from Ms. Cathi Hoefler and Mr. Steven Keating from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. The NGA’s mission is to provide “timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security.”
As both a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and a Department of Defense Combat Support Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency supports the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security in their respective roles in responding to natural disasters in which the United States provides relief both abroad and domestically.
Ms. Hoefler and Mr. Keating discussed the importance of using data to better predict and respond to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 earthquake off the coast of Japan and tsunami. Students asked questions about how relief efforts are influenced by geography. The speakers also discussed how understanding cultural values and norms is important in military efforts worldwide.
In addition, Ms. Hoefler and Mr. Keating shared with students information about career and internships opportunities. Students were eager to learn what coursework and college majors are particularly valued at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.