Many two-year colleges offer instruction in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and some introduce Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in conjunction with GIS. Remote sensing is rarely offered, even though it accounts for much of the growth in the geospatial industry. Yet integrated instruction in all three technologies is essential for two-year programs that aim to meet modern geospatial workforce needs.
iGETT is partnering with forty GIS educators at over twenty two-year colleges to produce and disseminate: 1) a faculty training program, based on the integration of remote sensing, GIS, and GPS, that can be replicated using resources on an iGETT Web site, and 2) model instructional programs at the participating institutions that meet regional needs for two-year geospatial technology education and short-term training for working professionals.
Project participants are being drawn from all STEM disciplines that employ geospatial technology. Recruiting aims for nationwide representation and strong participation by institutions with underserved populations. The participants have in common solid backgrounds in GIS and administrative support for the development of model geospatial programs. They are attending a two-week summer institute focused on remote sensing and related GPS applications, the integration of these technologies with GIS, and workforce applications of geospatial technologies. During the following academic year, they complete an on-line remote sensing course and work with project staff to develop model programs that integrate GIS, GPS, and remote sensing. A second week-long summer institute helps them finalize their model programs. The iGETT website provides detailed descriptions of these programs in order to facilitate similar initiatives at other institutions.
iGETT is a three-year collaboration by the National Council for Geographic Education, Del Mar College, the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Science Systems and Applications Inc. at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and the U.S. Geological Survey Remote Sensing Program.