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LEARN EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AT BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE – BGCCCI


How much area of the overall land cover is under vegetation in New York City? How does it compare with the area of the land cover in 2010? How is urbanization [built up] changing the distribution of the area under land cover? These and many other spatial questions we ask are critical for understanding changes in the environment. Geospatial Technology can help us in these scientific investigations. For example high-resolution satellite data may be mined for extracting key and relevant environmental variables. The extracted data may be analyzed and modeled to derive intelligent information that may assist in decision-making process. Geospatial Technologies are emerging fields of study that has many applications and includes key areas of Geographic Information Systems [GIS], Remote Sensing [RS] and Global Positioning Systems [GPS]. It is a high growth industry but one that is also facing critical shortage in skilled labor.

Since fall 2015, students at Bronx Community College [BCC] and other campuses of the City University of New York [CUNY] have enrolled in geospatial PATHWAY courses. The courses [GIS 11– Introduction to Geographic Information Systems & GIS 12 – Introduction to Remote Sensing] have presented opportunities to students to learn spatial concepts and acquire hands-on skills. The hands-on skills are provided at the state-of-the-art Geospatial Computing Center [330, Meister Hall], which is equipped with a wide array of industry standard software and equipment. Students have been using this software to analyze and model data in their courses and in research projects. Published learning materials authored by faculty are designed with a place-based approach to foster spatial thinking. The two [2] pathway courses are offered at BCC in all three [3] semesters by on-campus and online modes. Students who may desire to learn geospatial technology from any CUNY campus may enroll in these courses by using the e-permit option. Since Fall 2015, 269 students have enrolled in them and successfully completed the required course work [Source: Office of institutional research, BCC, May 2020]. The BCC Geospatial Center of the CUNY CREST Institute [BGCCCI] until under the office of Academic Affairs has been supporting the growth and development of geospatial technology on campus. It is a satellite center under the CUNY CREST Institute that was formed after an official memorandum of understanding was signed between BCC and the CUNY CREST Institute [CCNY-CUNY] on the 3rd October 2014. The center has been promoting research and education in geospatial technology since 2010. Students from BCC-CUNY and other institutions participate in interdisciplinary research projects, and workshops at BGCCCI to acquire critical workforce skills. Affiliated faculty of BGCCCI has mentored interns on research projects that were funded by NASA-Space Grant [York College-CUNY], NSF-ATE and NASA-MISTC [BCC-Medgar Evers-CUNY] programs. The Summer Workforce Research Internship [SWIP] activity funded by NSF-ATE enables participants from schools and colleges to work on a dedicated project [6-10 weeks] with an expert mentor and industry collaborator. Students and interns have used geospatial data from grants awarded by the industry and have presented research projects at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to students at CUNY, the center has also trained educators from institutions in the New York City region. Professional development programs or PDP funded by NSF-ATE and NASA-MISTC programs provide educators from schools and colleges to learn geospatial technology and develop innovative cost effective models to deliver them at their institutions. The center’s affiliated faculty has a history of collaborating on cutting-edge research with faculty and researchers from U.S. and abroad. These efforts have led to new opportunities for BCC-CUNY students to participate in cutting-edge research and publications in peer-reviewed journals.The geospatial center has a history of working with the industry whose representatives form a major part of the BGCCCI advisory board. The National Science Foundation [NSF] and National Aeronautical Space Administration [NASA] have awarded BCC with major grant funding to drive national agenda of creating geospatial pathways and careers’ and ‘Increasing number of underrepresented communities in STEM’. The center has made several contributions, which are showcased on the NSF and NASA websites [https://atecentral.net/msites/PGTC]. In addition to the grant from NASA and NSF, BGCCCI faculty was awarded several grants from the private industry including those from Digital Globe, PCI Geomatica, ESRI, and L3 Harris.The geospatial center has a history of working with the industry whose representatives form a major part of the BGCCCI advisory board. The National Science Foundation [NSF] and National Aeronautical Space Administration [NASA] have awarded BCC with major grant funding to drive national agenda of creating geospatial pathways and careers’ and ‘Increasing number of underrepresented communities in STEM’. The center has made several contributions, which are showcased on the NSF and NASA websites [https://atecentral.net/msites/PGTC]. In addition to the grant from NASA and NSF, BGCCCI faculty was awarded several grants from the private industry including those from Digital Globe, PCI Geomatica, ESRI, and L3 Harris.The center is designing innovative distance learning techniques by collaborating with amazon Web Services [AWS] to deliver 2020 summer workshops in the distance-learning mode. For more information about the BCC Geospatial Center of the CUNY CREST Institute please visit http://www.bcc.cuny.edu/academics/geospatial-center-of-the-cuny-crest-institute/

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