Notes on two interesting stories about GIS in education. Thanks to Adena Schutzberg’s All Points Blog for the heads up about the stories.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science to Achieve Results (USEPA-STAR) program has awarded a grant of nearly $500,000 to The Texas Center for Geographic Information Science in the Department of Geography at Texas State.
The grant will support a project entitled “Air Pollution-Exposure-Health Effects Indicators: Mining Massive Geographically Referenced Environmental Health Data to Identify Risk Factors for Birth Defects.”The three-year project will develop air pollution exposure assessment methods, visual geospatial data mining tools, and epidemiological analysis procedures to define new air pollution-exposure-health effect indicators that cover three components of the hazards-exposure-health effects-intervention paradigm.
Click here to see more EPA STAR Research Grant Announcements. The EPA STAR grants are just one of the types of research grants available through the US EPA National Center for Environmental Research. Click here for an overview of the Center’s research and fellowship opportunities. Check the Bucknell GIS Calendar (featured on the main page of the GIS blog) this fall for deadlines for student grant applications for the EPA GRO fellowships – awarded each year to undergraduate students in environmentally related fields of study. From the EPA Fellowships web page:
Eligible students will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer between their junior and senior years. The fellowship provides up to $19,700 per year of academic support and up to $9,500 of internship support for the three-month summer period, for a total of up to $48,900 for the two year period.
2. Grad students at Utah State University are collecting high resolution imagery of their campus using a small blimp.
Soaring above the Quad on Tuesday afternoon, a white blimp controlled by Utah State University graduate students was almost hard to spot against the Cache Valley’s overcast sky.The only object that was clearly visible was a black digital camera, snapping one picture every five seconds, providing color georeferenced aerial photography of the entire Quad in UTM (metric) coordinates.
The students were conducting a lab by running a blimp survey for Joseph M. Wheaton’s geographic information systems class. The objective: To provide aerial imagery of the entire Quad. The 1,000-plus pictures the blimp provides them with will be used to make an image that can fit “on top of” the images on Google map, said Bryan Watt, a USU graduate student in the class.
Could we do this at Bucknell? Twice in the last month I’ve had faculty (half-jokingly) suggest that we rent a plane to do a data collection fly-over of Lewisburg. Forget the plane, let’s figure out how to get our hands on a blimp!