The mission of the Geospatial Research and Education (GRE) Laboratory is to serve the faculty, students, and staff of Towson University and the people of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region by providing a focal point for geospatial research, education, and outreach activities. The objectives of the GRE Laboratory, which is located with the Department of Geography and Environmental Planning, are:
to foster multidisciplinary research on geographic information sciences;
to promote geographic information systems (GIS) education across the K-16 curriculum;
to develop partnerships with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and schools interested in geospatial research and education;
to conduct grant and contract research;
to engage undergraduate and graduate students in meaningful service-learning and internship experiences.
The GRE Laboratory provides geospatial research, education, and outreach activities including but not limited to cartographic visualization, environmental inventory and analysis, geographic education, GIS education, hazards analysis and risk assessment, homeland security and emergency management, natural resources planning and management, outdoor recreation planning and management, remote sensing and digital image processing, urban social geography, and urban sprawl and land use planning. Services available from the GRE Laboratory include:
Conducting multidisciplinary research where the analysis and visualization of geospatial data is a component of the project.
Developing Web mapping applications using open source APIs (Google Maps and OpenLayers).
Conducting research projects that involve quantitative analysis of geospatial databases (including the use of advanced geostatistical and data mining techniques).
Developing land cover and related maps through the use of remotely sensed imagery and digital image processing techniques (including classification and regression trees, neural networks, and object-oriented image classification).
Building and interfacing spatial models with ArcGIS 10.x (Environmental Systems Research Institute) through the use of the Spatial Analyst Extension and Model Builder.
Providing advice and assistance on the use of advanced GIS software, including selected ArcGIS 10.x Desktop Extensions (3D Analyst, Business Analyst, Geostatistical Analyst, Network Analyst, Publisher, and Spatial Analyst).
Providing advice and assistance on cartographic visualization techniques, "best practices" for GIS-based map design and production, and developing maps for special populations particularly the blind.
Conducting classroom workshops on various geospatial topics, technologies, and techniques.
Conducting GIS workshops for K-16 teachers and developing tutorials and other pedagogical materials in support of GIS education.
Undertaking geographic education projects, such as developing lesson plans and other instructional materials, in support of K-12 teachers in Maryland and around the world.
Providing GIS-savvy external graduate assistantships for government agencies and businesses.
Faculty Research Fellows and Research Associates
The following faculty are Research Fellows of the GRE Laboratory:
Kent B. Barnes, Ph.D., Rutgers, 1984, Associate Professor (Geography) - natural and technological hazards, environmental planning and impact analysis.
Natalia Fath, Ph.D., Moscow State University, 1993, Adjunct Assistant Professor (Geography) - human dimensions of climate change, landscape responses to climate and land use/land cover changes, monitoring natural hazards by means of GIS, remote sensing.
Kang Shou Lu, Ph.D., Clemson, 2001, Associate Professor (Geography) - spatial analysis, land use planning, tourism management, GIS, East Asia.
John M. Morgan III, Ph.D., Maryland, 1980, Professor (Geography) - GIS, remote sensing, homeland security and emergency management, outdoor recreation planning and management, Alaska.
Martin C. Roberge, Ph.D., Arizona State, 1999, Associate Professor (Geography) - environmental, biogeography, GIS.
Paporn Thebpanya, Ph.D., Georgia, 2003, Assistant Professor (Geography) - cartography, geographic visualization, GIS, remote sensing.
Jane L. Wolfson, Ph.D., SUNY Stony Brook, 1978, Associate Professor (Environmental Science and Studies) - academic environmental curricula, agricultural education, agroecology, career development of minority youth
The following individuals are Research Associates of the GRE Laboratory:
Kutz, Frederick W. (Rick), Ph.D., Purdue, 1972, Senior Research Associate - environmental public health and ecological assessments with emphasis on landscape science approaches. Retired U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official and senior research associate of the GRE Laboratory.
Lilly, Gregory H., M.A., Towson, 1996, Research Associate - photogrammetry, remote sensing.
Mueller, Thomas R. Illinois, 1999, Senior Research Associate - Professor (Geography) - California University of Pennsylvania - GIS, crime mapping, demographic and housing issues.
The GRE Laboratory also endeavors to involve faculty from other academic departments in jointly developing research proposals and grants and contracts. Although proposals will be submitted by the GRE Laboratory, the Research Fellow who takes the lead in developing the proposal will serve as principal investigator for the proposal. In other words, the GRE Laboratory will function as a consortium, or collaboratory, of faculty members involved in geospatial education and research. Currently, an effort is underway to identify faculty in other Towson University academic departments who would like to participate in interdisciplinary geospatial research and education projects.
The GRE Laboratory provides service-learning and internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and graduate assistantships within the laboratory. Students working in the Laboratory have the opportunity to work on "cutting edge" projects using the latest hardware and software with the advice and assistance of a faculty mentor.
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