The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) is a consortium of universities that advances the use of Geographic Information Science and Technologies (GIS&T) and spatial data in teaching and research. Our members also include affiliates and organizations whose missions are aligned with ours. As a membership organization, we bring value to our members in the form of research opportunities, professional development, support for curriculum development, community-building, mentoring, and encouraging governmental support of GIS&T. As the range of UCGIS activities indicates, geographic information science and technologies are broadly applicable to a large and diverse constituency.
As a consortium of universities, we offer value to institutions as a whole. Applications of GIS&T can now be found widely distributed across numerous and diverse sectors of academic institutions, from the sciences and humanities to engineering and other professional schools. Thus by design, our traditional, full membership is intended for whole institutions and generally represents campus-wide coalitions of all departments, centers, libraries, and other academic units that interact with GIS&T through teaching and/or research, or would like to do more so. We encourage prospective members to join at the institutional level and maximize the benefits that this may bring to their whole campus.
At the same time, the community-oriented mandate of UCGIS and the increasingly diverse set of constituencies involved with GIS&T suggest the need for alternatives to the full, flagship level institutional membership. In cases where institutional memberships are not viable, for example when only one single unit on a campus works with GIS&T, or a small college lacks any type of GIS&T-based research program, membership in the consortium is still possible. In these cases, a non-institutional membership at the department or unit level is available to prospective members. With this Basic membership level, we hope to expand access to UCGIS resources, enhance the diversity of the organization, and create opportunities for initial memberships at the non-institutional level that can, as their programs expand, be migrated to the institutional membership.
- Full Regular Membership: Colleges and universities, national laboratories, professional societies, and other non-profit organizations. Allowed full participation in all UCGIS activities, including voting. A Full Membership is our standard, flagship category, designed ideally for full academic institutions. The majority of UCGIS institutions hold this Full Membership.
- Basic Regular Membership: a single Department, Center, or School within a larger institution. Allowed participation in most UCGIS activities, including voting.
- Multi-Campus Members represent officially and externally recognized and organized consortia of multiple academic institutions. All individual campuses within these consortia are allowed full participation in all UCGIS activities, including holding office, though voting is limited.
- Non-Profit and Corporate Affiliate members are allowed full participation in all UCGIS activities, except for voting and holding office.
- International Affiliate members are colleges, universities, nonprofit research organizations, and government-funded research centers from countries outside the US that are allowed full participation in all UCGIS activities, except for voting and holding office.
- Government Affiliate members are identified as having a separate line item in the Federal Budget. They participate in various UCGIS activities as advisors and observers. Rights are restricted to avoid conflict of interest.