Value Proposition & Benefits of Membership

The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) enables scholars within its 60+ member institutions (universities and colleges, federal agencies, industry partners, and international affiliates) to collaboratively engage in interdisciplinary research and teaching to advance GIScience.  UCGIS facilitates and supports scholarly communities and networks to undertake large scale projects that serve the GIS community as a whole.  We are the professional hub for the academic GIS community.   

Institutional membership in UCGIS enables:
Participation in formulation of cutting edge research activities

  • UCGIS scholars are developing a forthcoming research agenda for the GIScience field, building on our earlier effort, A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science (McMaster & Usery, 2005) that documents the state-of-the-art research topics in GIScience; a Call for Proposals is out, and this will be a focus of our 2016 Symposium;
  • UCGIS member institutions and partners are revising and updating the original GIS&T Body of Knowledge (the BoK).  The BoK is a framework and a guide for students, educators, professionals and regulators, and educational materials and content are being developed for member access only;
  • UCGIS is championing the Sustainability Learning Communities Network (SLCN) to engage in collaborative and interdisciplinary research on sustainability and resilience;
  • UCGIS awards merit-based travel support to students from member organizations to encourage and promote sharing of their research at our Symposia;

Collaboration and networking for successful research

  • Scholars from UCGIS member institutions form small teams and collaborate for funding for research projects.  Recent successes include an NSF-funded CyberGIS project on high performance computing and collaboration software integration directed at developing an environment to support community-wide geospatial research activities. A second area in 2015 is a series of professional development activities for Women in GIScience. By serving as the lead for group proposals, UCGIS resources are leveraged to produce proposals that are competitive in their budget yet reach a far wider audience in their scope;
  • Partnerships with HUD and the Department of Homeland Security resulted in funding and support for scholars from UCGIS member institutions to conduct exploratory research to develop a national network of regional GIS nodes, supported by a GeoSpatial Extension Program to support workforce development;
  • Through our Symposia and other avenues, young scholars are able to network and connect with established scholars and journal editors to receive advice and feedback in a supportive environment. Our Graduate Student Research Award is exclusively for those within our member network.

Access to the most current information about the greater geospatial community

  • UCGIS Board of Directors and appointed representatives are active in a variety of national geospatial organizations, such as the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) and the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI), so that we can monitor current trends and identify key issues that will impact GIS researchers and educators. We convey this pertinent information to our membership, including topics such as certification, accreditation, new federal research trends and policies, education priorities, legislation related to geospatial issues; and funding opportunities, among others.
  • UCGIS coordinates Memorandums of Understanding with sister geospatial organizations worldwide, such as the Association of Geographic Information Labs in Europe (AGILE) and the International Cartographic Association (ICA).  Partnerships with these organizations allow us to provide our Delegates and members with the most current news and opportunities;
  • Through our Webinar series, UCGIS offers its members free access to information, resources, and inspiration for a diverse range of relevant geospatial topics that support research, education, and professional development. 
  • An agreement with the Centre for Spatial Law & Policy entitles people affiliated with UCGIS institutions to receive discounts on the Centre's weekly annotated updates on important geospatial policy and legal developments from around the world. 

Connections with the Higher Education GIScience Community

  • UCGIS maintains list-servs that allow individuals from member institutions to post new job positions, announce Calls for Papers, and share other GIS and GISc information with an audience that is ideally aligned with those interests;
  • UCGIS hosts a Symposium each year at which participants learn about the most current in GIScience ideas and issues. Research and Education Awards are granted, and our discipline’s highest achievers are acknowledged as Fellows. This environment is optimal for networking, and registration is discounted for participants from member institutions. All pre-Symposium Workshops are always available at no charge to those from member institutions who attend the Symposium.

Contributing to the Higher Education GIScience Community

  • All of our activities are possible because of our members, and UCGIS in-turn creates the opportunities for the students and faculty of our member institutions to participate and contribute. Our size allows us to be both flexible and responsive in support of our members, while our scope reaches throughout the geospatial academic community in higher education.  Have your voice be heard within that community by being part of the UCGIS network.