In brief

UM-Flint to open new geographic center

FLINT — Besides providing valuable information to student and faculty researchers, a new center under construction in the UM-Flint Earth and Resource Science Department (ERS) could aid local and regional government and private businesses in making important decisions.

Faculty committees and Provost Gerard Voland recently approved the development of a Geographic Information Systems Center (GISC). Geographic Information Systems consist of computer software programs capable of inputting, displaying, and analyzing any data with location information, and the means to produce maps from those data.

Because of their mapping and analytical capabilities, Geographic Information Systems are used by professionals and academics all over the world to investigate problems ranging from the spread of disease to the damage caused by hurricanes. Locally, they might be used to help figure out where the best location is for a sanitary landfill. They work by manipulating different layers of data, primarily through the process of overlay. For example, if you have a layer of annual precipitation for a given area, and for that same area a layer of evaporation, you can tell if there are going to be water shortages, and where they might occur.

Professor Greg Rybarczyk of ERS will direct the operations of the GISC. The center will provide GIS support services to UM-Flint faculty on their research, and enable students to become more familiar with this technology through research collaboration with faculty working on grants and other service projects. In addition, the GISC will provide training and consulting services to local and regional governments and private businesses. — G.G.

John Sayer retires from Security Credit Union

FLINT — John Sayer, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Security Credit Union (SCU), has announced his retirement, effective June 30, after 35 years of service to the financial institution. A leader at SCU for more than three decades, Sayer has served in his current role for the past 19 years.

Under Sayer’s leadership, SCU significantly expanded its assets and reach, growing from a single-sponsor organization with two offices and assets of $30 million, to a full service community chartered credit union with nine offices and more than $367 million in assets. SCU membership has also increased from 20,000 to more than 49,000 during his tenure.

With more than 41 years in the financial services industry, Sayer has been involved in a variety of community and professional organizations, including the Clayton Township Board of Trustees; the Council of Finance and Administration of the Detroit Conference of the United Methodist Church; the Michigan Credit Union League Government Political Affairs Committee; and the Institute of Certified Credit Union Executives (ICCUE), where he served a three-year term on the board of directors, including two years as vice chairman.

Sayer holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University. He resides in Clayton Township. — G.G.

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