1. UCGIS is a nonprofit association of 60+ universities with multidisciplinary graduate education and advanced research programs in geospatial and geographic information science. It is governed by an elected nine-member board of directors, with a Council of Delegates from member universities.
2. Through a national symposium each year, UCGIS brings together top national and international scholars to discuss the latest research as well as issues related to improving geographic information science research and education and encouraging cooperation on campus among various departments and schools with GIS components.
3. At the symposium and in other activities during the year, UCGIS recognizes the most outstanding junior faculty and top graduate students through research paper competitions and peer review.
4. During the symposium, UCGIS delegates interact with senior level federal officials from agencies that provide financial support for GIS education and research, to provide briefings on recent developments and upcoming program changes. The Winter Meeting also provides an opportunity for contact with each university’s federal relations representatives as well as members of Congress and their staff.
5. UCGIS sponsors workshops, ongoing curriculum-related projects, and other special initiatives that lead to publication of books that are highly regarded, e.g., A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science, CRC Press, 2005; Geographic Information Science & Technology Body Of Knowledge, AAG Press, 2007; Computation and Visualization for Understanding Dynamics in Geographic Domains, CRC Press, 2008. In each instance, UCGIS provided an organizational framework, developed resources, and provided project management for the work.
6. The UCGIS web site and two listserves provide Internet-based access to critical information about grants and contracts in the field, as well as news and other professional information, and an opportunity for member universities to list position openings at no charge for a targeted GIS audience.
7. UCGIS often serves as subcontractor, channeling grants on a competitive basis to member universities. Within the past several years, a four-year NSF grant concluded after awarding annual contracts to four universities, a Department of Defense contract was shared with two member universities, and a post-doctoral fellowship, funded by the U. S. Geological Survey, was awarded to another member university.
8. UCGIS is the professional hub of the advanced GIS community, facilitating collaborative forums for representatives from geography, computer science, information science, medicine, landscape architecture, oceanography, anthropology/archaeology, planning, engineering, veterinary medicine, statistics, public and environmental health, and many other disciplines – see collaboration proposition.
9. UCGIS serves as a national voice and advocate for its members’ geographic information science interests, providing opportunities for members to discuss major professional issues and act collectively.