The Spatial Science Institute’s vibrant online M.S. in Geographic Information Science and Technology has a secret resource to ensure that the curriculum prepares students for the job market. That resource is USC’s 15 year history of engagement with UNIGIS, an international consortium of universities offering online education in geographic information science and pursuing geospatial research.
The USC GIST curriculum follows UNIGIS standards, and the network of universities involved, ranging from Holland, Hungary, and Spain, to Canberra, Australia, provides a ready set of collaborators for international research and education.
UNIGIS runs on the contributions of its member universities and USC is an active participant. In October of 2013, Dr. John Wilson and Dr. Darren Ruddell travelled to Krakow, Poland for the Annual UNIGIS Business Meeting. Attendees at the Krakow business meeting spent three days discussing strategies to advance the UNIGIS mission.
UNIGIS makes substantial contributions at increasing spatial literacy across numerous academic disciplines and industries by producing hundreds of highly qualified graduates each year with training in advanced geospatial technologies. UNIGIS’s model of a ‘Virtual University of GIScience’ draws upon worldwide teaching competencies from various academic departments and has evolved over more than 20 years from an ambitious initiative into a widely recognized and highly regarded set of international qualifications.
Dr. John P. Wilson, Director of USC’s Spatial Sciences Institute, and UNIGIS member since 1998, was joined at the meeting by Dr. Darren Ruddell who reported enjoying the discussions on curriculum development and e-learning strategies with a rich and diverse group of international experts.
UNIGIS members board of directors include chair Dr. Josef Strobl from the University of Salzburg, Jasper Dekkers (VU Amsterdam), Gemma Boix (U de Girona), Graham Smith (Manchester MU), and Jacek Kozak (JU Krakow).