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With A $5 Million Agreement, SLU Geospatial Institute Will Train DOD and NGA Workforce

02/03/2021Media Inquiries

Carrie Bebermeyer
Public Relations Director

Reserved for members of the media.

ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis University’s Geospatial Institute (GeoSLU) has been awarded $5 million to train the Department of Defense and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in geoinformatics and geospatial data sciences.

Over the next five years, SLU faculty will teach GIS mapping, remote sensing, photogrammetry, geomatics, geoinformatics, data science, geospatial analytics, coding, computer vision, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), human geography and cybersecurity as a part of the GEOINT Learning through Academic Programs (GLAP).

The geospatial science and technology field has been rapidly evolving in the last two decades with the societal digital revolution and omnipresence of geolocated data. The agreement allows the existing workforce to be trained in these new technologies and methodologies. It also reaffirms GeoSLU’s role as a leader in geospatial training and continues to build St. Louis’s reputation as a national and international hub for geospatial science and technologies. 

Vasit Sagan, Ph.D., faculty director of GeoSLU will lead the effort at SLU. The new workforce training program supports the Institute’s mission to train experts in the field. GeoSLU is partnering with SLU’s Workforce Center to provide the program’s high quality training.

“The St. Louis region is emerging as a global center for innovative research and technology, driven by a vibrant entrepreneurial community, excellent research universities, a robust network of established industry thought-leaders and the presence of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency,” Sagan said. “Building St. Louis as the geospatial intelligence hub of the nation requires training the workforce in new skills used by geospatial professionals, preparing imagery scientists, data scientists, analysts and GEOINT leaders who can take on future challenges.

“The demand for geospatial experts has been outpacing the supply of skilled personnel for many years,” said Sagan, who also is an associate professor of geospatial science in the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and leads SLU’s Remote Sensing Lab. “This agreement allows SLU to train the global workforce of the Department of Defense and NGA.”

In addition, the agreement will allow SLU faculty to engage with GeoSLU and will help to build connections between students and government agencies, creating career and internship opportunities for SLU students.

Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers more than 12,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.

Approved for public release #21-220