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US varsity opens geographic research centre

US: The University of the Virgin Islands unveiled a state-of-the-art research centre for geographic and spatial data. A $500,000 renovation of the annex that housed the business offices was funded by the Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and the National Science Foundation.

The building now houses the Geocomputational Analysis and Statistics Institute, a new lab for the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies and offices for the Green Technology Center.

It was clear from the remarks of university officials during the opening ceremony that the renovation was designed to promote a synergy among researchers in the three domains of green technology, geography and marine science and to boost the profile of the university in those areas.

“What the centre and this institute will do will demonstrate that we can attract some of the most outstanding faculty members who can teach our outstanding students in some of the cutting-edge research that is going on throughout the world,” University President David Hall said.

Hall also said that the Green Technology Center and the Geocomputational Analysis and Statistics Institute would be resources the local government could use to address the territory”s economic and environmental crises.

“The critical issue facing the Virgin Islands is issues of energy and our energy consumption,” Hall said. “If through our centre for green technology, working with the Legislature, working with the governor and others, we can begin to find viable answers to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, then we will have stimulated this economy in ways that none of us can imagine.

“The geospatial institute will have an impact as well on the economy because business leaders need to have valuable, reliable, informative analysis in order to make decisions, and the government needs that as well,” Hall said.

Source: Virgin Islands Daily