NCGIA Education Initiatives

NCGIA-Maine was committed to advancing education and training in Geographic Information Science. Through the Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering, NCGIA supported graduate studies leading to MS and PhD degrees in Spatial Information Science and Engineering. The Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering also offers an MS degree in Information Science and a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems.

Sensor Science, Engineering and Informatics IGERTSensor Science, Engineering and Informatics IGERT

The Sensor Science, Engineering and Informatics (SSEI) IGERT was an NSF funded multidisciplinary PhD training program that covered the science and engineering of new materials, sensing mechanisms, and sensor networks through to the interpretation of sensor data. The design and management of effective sensor systems requires a holistic understanding of how information is collected, stored, integrated, evaluated, and communicated within sensing systems and to decision makers in diverse application contexts.

The SSEI IGERT weaved together three research focus areas: (1) Sensor Materials and Devices, (2) Sensor Systems and Networks, and (3) Sensor Informatics. The intellectual merit of the project includes education and research activities that are designed to ensure a feedback loop so that SSEI IGERT trainees are able to transform new knowledge from sensor-generated data to further development of sensor systems and networks and advances in sensor materials and devices, and vice versa. Innovative components of the program include (1) development and use of a testbed prototype that will require interdisciplinary interaction across the three research areas; (2) a tight integration of the social, legal, ethical, and economic dimensions of sensing environments in both research and training, (3) expanded relationships with companies and federal laboratories engaged in sensor research, (4) international collaborations, and (5) synergistic integration with sensor science and engineering education at the middle, high school, and undergraduate level.

The broader impacts of the SSEI IGERT program are a new breed of scientists and engineers who will be versatile in dealing with the diverse technical components that contribute to sensing systems, knowledgeable in the legal, social, and ethical contexts of heavily sensed environments, and aware of the human values that must be preserved, protected and promoted within such systems.

IGERT is an NSF-wide program intended to meet the challenges of educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers with the interdisciplinary background, deep knowledge in a chosen discipline, and the technical, professional, and personal skills needed for the career demands of the future. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries.