What is the CADIS Internship Program?
In 1999, Northwest Arkansas community leaders formed a summer GIS internship program for local high school students. This effort became known as the summer "CADIS project" at CAST, which was originally a partnership between the University of Arkansas, local EAST schools, Fayetteville community leaders and the private sector. The success of this initial ten week internship opportunity for EAST students was so successful in its first year that local community leaders gathered resources to continue this program for every summer for eight years straight! The CADIS project wouldn't have been possible without the leadership of John Lewis at the Bank of Fayetteville.
What precipitated the 1999 CADIS internship program?
During the spring of 1999, concerns over the rapid population growth within Northwest Arkansas presented an opportunity for an exciting collaboration between area community leaders, academia and area high school students. Looking back, it is difficult to piece together the exact sequence of events that led to this ongoing partnership, but much of the credit for its success would have to be given to Carol Lindsey and fellow members of the Northwest Arkansas Council and John Lewis, President of the Bank of Fayetteville. During the summer of 1999, these community leaders provided an opportunity for students, enrolled in an Arkansas-based high school technology/civic service program called the Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) initiative, to apply their technical skills to a problem facing Northwest Arkansas, rapid population growth. During a ten week period of their 1999 summer break, four area high school students worked with the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) at the University of Arkansas to develop a prototype, on-line decision support system they dubbed the Community Asset and Development Information System (CADIS). This project resulted in two on-line mapping prototypes they called, Landfinder and CivicCenter, which were geared for newcomers to Northwest Arkansas (CAST Website, 2003). Somehow the name "CADIS" has become the brand-name for these "projects" completed by EAST program students that have been assembled each summer to develop pilot projects or technology demonstrations aimed towards education and/or decision support for our community leaders.