Eau Claire: Geospatial education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is undergoing a significant transformation to provide students with real-world training, skills and workforce readiness necessary for successful careers in the growing geospatial industry.
An interdisciplinary Geospatial Education Initiative (GEI) developed at UW-Eau Claire by a team of faculty members from the geography and anthropology, physics and astronomy, computer science, and information systems departments has been awarded a three-year $418,869 grant from the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin Grants Program.
In addition to the GEI grant, UW-Eau Claire received a second Growth Agenda grant for a project to broaden the impact of undergraduate research on student success and economic development in Wisconsin. Together, UW-Eau Claire's grants represent almost one-third of the nearly $1.4 million awarded through the Growth Agenda grant program.
The purpose of the GEI is to develop and promote skills needed for today's students entering the geospatial workforce. Geospatial technology is a term used by industry and government to refer to the tools (hardware and software) used in global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), computer cartography, remote sensing and field sensors that help in acquiring, storing, processing, analyzing and communicating information connected to a specific location.
"These cutting-edge technologies are used to map, visualize and analyze the world around us," said Dr. Christina Hupy, an associate professor of geography and GEI project lead. "Increasingly, geospatial technologies and the resulting spatial data are in high demand as their utility in decision-making and problem-solving becomes evident across industries ranging from health care to business development. The GEI aims to increase the number of Wisconsin graduates placed within successful careers in the geospatial industry, as well as related industries, by directly improving access to high-quality academic programs and innovative educational opportunities."