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Continuing Education Partners

In collaboration with the Institiute for Advanced Education in GeoSpatial Sciences (IAEGS) and Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Saint Mary's has teamed up with two of the leading industries in geospatial technology. Courses available for the departments Continuing Education initiative are offered through collaborations with the IAEGS and ESRI.

ESRI was founded as Environmental Systems Research Institute in 1969 as a privately held consulting firm that specialized in land use analysis projects. The worldwide headquarters of ESRI are anchored in a multi-campus environment in Redlands, California.

ESRI evolved from a small consulting firm to the largest research and development organization dedicated to GIS by focusing on its user community. The relationship between ESRI and its users is synergistic. Over the years a unique culture has evolved a culture that is user-focused and which emphasizes a team-based approach.

Today, ESRI GIS products are poised for even greater growth. Innovations in computer technology allow sophisticated GIS operations to be performed in the field on a personal digital assistant (PDA), on desktops, and throughout the enterprise. Faster and cheaper computers, network processing, electronic data publishing, and easier-to-use tools are fueling rapid growth in the desktop arena. Private businesses are adopting GIS technology as a decision support tool. And with the introduction of live mapping applications to the Web, anyone with a computer has access to the benefits of GIS technology.

ESRI Virtual Campus offers many training options for learning ESRI software and GIS concepts. The Virtual Campus allows for GIS education and training of the web.

University of Mississippi - IAEGS

In an extensive study conducted by American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and NASA in 1999, it was estimated that 175,000 people are employed in the United States remote sensing and geospatial industry. The report shows that the industry is growing at the rate of 9 to 14 percent every year since new technological advances support the application of remote sensing to a wider range of disciplines. IAEGS (Institute for Advanced Education in Geospatial Sciences) proposed to facilitate the training and education needs of the market, ensuring that sufficient human resources are available to meet these growing demands.

Responding to the needs of the geospatial industry, IAEGS was established in July 2001 as a collaborative course development center, based at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. The goal of this project is to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers to assume the responsibilities necessary to expand the knowledge of the Earth from space.

IAEGS is a collaborative learning center that is developing a repository of dynamic online courseware specific to Earch science education and its application, authored by leading industry and academic experts within the remote sensing and GIS community.