SDSU creates partnership with EROS

Nancy Preteau

Nancy Preteau

The Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence will soon start at SDSU. The center will be a partnership between SDSU and the United States Geological Survey and the EROS Data Center to combine research facilities and knowledge.

Ed Hogan, former head of SDSU’s geography department for 19 years, helped write the Center of Excellence proposal, which was given to the South Dakota Board of Regents.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for both organizations and I am confident that it will be very successful,” Hogan said.

Hogan explained that there will be two co-directors of the center. One of them is Thomas Loveland, the other will be picked by the university.

The co-directors will be in charge of research projects in different geographical areas. There will be six scientists at SDSU as well as six at the EROS Data Center. They will be split into teams of two individuals, each team focusing on a different research project.

Besides working on research projects, scientists will also teach courses at SDSU.

“Together, the combination of SDSU and EROS can become a major research group,” said Jim Sturdevant, the deputy chief of EROS. “SDSU has access to grant funding that EROS does not, and EROS has access to grant funding that SDSU does not. With the combined capabilities, the Center of Excellence could become one of the most major research facilities in the area.”

The Center of Excellence will engage both graduate and undergraduate students of many majors including geography, computer engineering, mathematics, wildlife and forestry and biological sciences.

Students will have the opportunity to apply to be involved in the program as a junior or higher.

However, students must be recommended by two faculty members.

While working through the program, students will complete an internship with Center of Excellence scientists as well as work on at least one project or have one publication acceptedby a professional journal.

In committing to this program, SDSU is expected to fulfill certain duties. SDSU must supply a co-director and a staff of scientists. On-campus space must also be provided for the South Dakota Science Center of Excellence.

Programs offered through the center will meet the standards of organizations such as the United States Geographical Survey, as well as the CIA and Department of Homeland Security.