Geospatial Research Initiative Launches

Geospatial Research Initiative Launches

Exciting developments on the topic of geospatial science have unfolded at Washington University that signal a promising future for geospatial work on campus, and we anticipate that there will be more to follow.

Launch of the Geospatial Research Initiative

With backing from Provost Beverly Wendland, along with Dean Feng Sheng Hu (Arts & Sciences) and Dean Aaron Bobick (McKelvey School of Engineering) through Here and Next, the Geospatial Research Initiative (GRI) has been established. The GRI is a two-year project to accelerate research in geospatial science on campus. The GRI will support seminars, grant development workshops, and seed grants, all aimed at fostering interdisciplinary geospatial research with the potential for external funding. The initial leadership team for the GRI consists of Alex Bradley (co-director, EEPS), Nathan Jacobs (co-director, CSE), Michael Frachetti (Anthropology) and Jennifer Moore (University Libraries). 


Expansion of the CRADA with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Washington University has broadened the scope of its Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The expanded agreement encompasses cooperative research on machine learning, Earth and Lunar geodesy, and environmental and climate security. These focus areas complement the existing CRADA focus areas of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and imaging science.


WashU-NGA Technical Exchange Meeting

On September 22, a WashU-NGA Technical Exchange Meeting took place in Umrath Hall. The event began with a panel featuring NGA Deputy Director Tonya P. Wilkerson and NGA West Executive Bill Caniano, along with Provost Wendland, Dean Hu (A&S), and Dean Bobick (Engineering). All panel members emphasized the significance of this collaboration in furthering the missions of both NGA and WashU. Strategic talks included discussions of topics ranging from environmental research and climate security to public health, quantum sensing, human-machine teaming, and Lunar mapping. Technical talks and breakout sessions in the afternoon allowed researchers from WashU and NGA to connect and lay the groundwork for future research projects.


Upcoming Colloquium

The first GRI-sponsored colloquium will take place on October 20 at 11 am in Whitaker 218. The GRI will host Hannah Kerner, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Arizona State University, for a talk titled "Unlocking the Potential of Planetary-Scale Machine Learning for a Sustainable Future."


Taylor Geospatial Institute selects an Inaugural Director

Nadine Alameh has been selected as the inaugural director of the Taylor Geospatial Institute (TGI). TGI is a geospatial research collaborative of eight Midwest universities, including Washington University, and serves to anchor the Saint Louis region’s leadership in geospatial science. Washington University faculty and research staff are eligible to become a TGI Associate, and participate in TGI activities.


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