Enhancing Geographic Information Science Technology Education (eGIST)

Geographic Information Science Technology (GIST) is expanding in many industries as more sophisticated technologies are developed. Geomatics, an emerging interdisciplinary field within GIST, uses modern imaging technologies to measure and map natural and man-made geographical features, making it critical to national security and significant to businesses as they solve U.S. and global societal, economic, and environmental challenges. This project aims to improve STEM postsecondary education through collaboration with regional public and private employers, post-secondary institutions, a national ATE center, and relevant ATE projects to prepare a pipeline of diverse skilled workers in Geomatics and other GIST-related fields. The project incorporates "real-world" hands-on exercises proven to recruit and retain women and other underrepresented students in STEM fields, and expands partnerships with industries and postsecondary institutions to bring this emerging STEM field to regions across the U.S.

The goal of the project is to create a career pathway with industry-validated curriculum in a one-year certificate in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and a two-year degree in Geomatics that fills critically needed existing and emerging jobs through collaboration with private/public partners in government, science and engineering firms. Along with creating the new Geomatics degree, the project embeds geospatial concepts, geodesy, and mapping into targeted existing engineering technology courses to expand understanding of new approaches needed in these fields. The project examines the impact of industry partners' participation in upgrading students' technical skills through collaboration on revised curriculum and work-based learning and internships; the role of updated laboratory resources and peer tutors in improving the learning environment quality; and how the updated curriculum affects retention of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM. Formative and summative evaluation using quantitative and qualitative measures will be conducted to ensure that the project's goals and objectives are met, outcomes and effectiveness are documented, and benefits to project partners and the wider educational community are disseminated. 

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
July 1st, 2019
ATE Expiration Date
June 30th, 2023
ATE Principal Investigator
Christina Friedle
Primary Institution
Portland Community College
Record Type
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