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. UCGIS promotes the ethical use of and access to geographic information and technologies.
Institutional membership in UCGIS enables:
Participation in formulation of cutting edge research activities
- UCGIS scholars are developing a 2015-2025 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;
- UCGIS member institutions and partners are revising and updating the GIS&T Body of Knowledge (the BoK). The BoK is a framework and a guide for students, educators, professionals and regulators;
- UCGIS is championing the Sustainability Learning Communities Network to engage in collaborative and interdisciplinary research on sustainability and resilience;
- UCGIS maintains ongoing ties to international GIScience research activities, working with consortia such as the Association of Geographic Information Labs in Europe (AGILE) and the Global Spatial Network (GSN);
- UCGIS awards merit-based travel support to scholars (both faculty and students) from member organizations to encourage and promote participation in UCGIS meetings;
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;
- 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;
Access to current information regarding geospatial education and policy
- UCGIS is one of the founding members of the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI). GISCI offers credentialing to individuals by offered the GISP certification. UCGIS members are active contributors to the certification standards in partnership with sister geospatial organizations;
- UCGIS board of directors and appointed representatives are active in a variety of national geospatial organizations 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 provides access to resources to support the most effective teaching and learning of GIS&T today. Make connections with your counterparts and peers as you share instructional strategies and best-practices.
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 any 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.