Antioch University has taken another large step in literally plotting its “Roadmap to the Future” with a renewed emphasis on integrating spatial analysis and remote sensing into its education programs. This advancement was inspired by one of AUNE’s international graduate students making a presentation on its environmental programs to the University’s Board, one of whom funded the new program and sophisticated equipment.
AU Chancellor, Felice Nudelman, indicated that “The gift will upgrade AUNE’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratory into a hub for GIS technology service for each of Antioch University’s five campuses. For the first time, advanced GIS systems and equipment will be installed on the Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Midwest AU campuses. With the new system capability and the use of national and international databases, each campus can offer a wide range of introductory and specialized courses to students, faculty, researchers and local community resource planners. Many courses will be available thru the internet and augmented with on- site expertise and support.”
Advanced GIS capability and sophisticated tools are essential for graduate education and faculty research in a growing number of disciplines. Retiring AUNE President, David Caruso, said “GIS tools are key to current social, health, and environmental disciplines. This includes the graduate programs in environmental studies at AUNE, urban sustainability at AULA, environment and community at AUS, and the undergraduate concentration in sustainability at AUSB and AUM.”
This initiative will position Antioch University’s students and faculty as leaders in a growing field. Through the new system, Antioch students will be introduced to the tools of spatial analysis, and learn how to apply these tools to finding solutions to real-world problems. More careers these days require professionals with skills in advanced computer mapping technologies, spatial analysis, and remote sensing. At the same time, geospatial technologies are being used to solve societal and environmental problems in areas such as urban and rural land use, global change and earth-system monitoring, and landscape ecology.
The donor was Bruce Bedford, who was recently awarded an honorary PhD by the University for his many contributions to, and years of service on the AU Board of Governors. He has also served as CEO and Treasurer of the University. He currently chairs its Investment Committee, and will be joining the Executive Committee. He has an MBA from Harvard, and a BE from Yale University.