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ORURISA Members’ Training Needs Survey

September 17, 2018


At its May 2018, Board of Directors Retreat, the Oregon-Southwest Washington Chapter of Urban-Regional Information Services Association decided to survey chapter members to better understand training needs and interests. A team of board members drafted survey questions for the board to review and finalized the survey after incorporating their comments. The survey opened August 1 and closed Aug. 27, 2018 after receiving 151 responses. The rate of response is unknown, because active membership cannot be readily determined. The chapter maintains an email list of about 1500 members, but active membership—defined as participating in chapter activities or paying chapter dues—may be significantly lower.

Context for this survey

This is the first of three surveys members will be asked to complete. This survey deals with training needs; the next survey will consider various paths for moving ORURISA forward, in terms of benefits and expectations that accompany membership in ORURISA. The final survey will explore members’ interests in volunteering and other opportunities to increase the value of ORURISA membership. All three surveys are projected to be completed in 2018.


  • Virtually all respondents (91%) said they need training to improve their GIS skills (Q1). The top five training needs they identified were Python (67% of respondents), basic programming (48%), project management (44%), LiDAR (42%), and data collection and processing for drones (34%) (Q3).
  • Half of respondents will pay up to $250, and nearly half will travel up to 75 miles, to attend training (Q2). Sixty percent (60%) identified “full-day workshop” as their preferred format for training (Q4). Binning the “most” and “somewhat” preferable responses to Question 4 indicates either option is preferable to online or multi-day training events.
  • There appears to be ample interest across the range of the training topics provided (Q3).
  • Of several incentives suggested to encourage attending training, the most persuasive appears to be low or no cost to attend (identified as most or somewhat important by 78% of respondents) (Q6). 
  • About half of the respondents affirmed receiving training at several events sponsored by ORURISA or one of its sections or special interest groups; however, forty two percent (42%) said they had never received ORURISA-sponsored training.

For more information contact John Bragg, Coastal Training Program Coordinator, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, PO Box 5417, Charleston, Oregon, 97420., (541) 888-5558 x 129

Cy Smith, Theresa Burcsu, Robb Kirkman, Lesley Hedgewald, Alexa Todd, John Bragg

Do you need training graphTravel graphTraining needs graph

Training format graphWilling to pay graphIncentive importance graphEvent Training graphAppendix Comments Graph


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