The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) gathered members of the GEOINT Community Oct. 5-7 to discuss new opportunities and professional development activities within the Community.

Academic Accreditation

USGIF hosted a daylong academic summit Oct. 5 with more than 15 representatives from USGIF-accredited colleges and universities. Participants were from Fayetteville State University, Northeastern University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Missouri, the University of Redlands, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Dallas, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the University of Utah. Representatives from the University of Maryland and the University of Mary Washington, who are currently seeking USGIF Collegiate Accreditation, were also in attendance. Participants heard presentations from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Vencore, and Riverside Research on opportunities for their programs and students.

“The USGIF Accredited Programs Summit brought together faculty from our affiliated schools for face-to-face discussions about collaborative opportunities to support both GEOINT workforce development and analytical research and development,” said Dr. Maxwell Baber, USGIF’s director of academic programs. “This year’s summit focused on strengthening collegiate connections with NGA, explored prospects for grant funding opportunities, and captured academic input for USGIF’s Universal GEOINT Certification.”

NGA representatives spoke about opportunities for partnership between the agency and USGIF-accredited institutions, specifically research grants via NGA’s Academic Research Program. Additionally, NGA encouraged attendees to participate in the agency’s Visiting Scientists Program, which allows academics to work with NGA scientists for a period of time to help meet mission and research needs. NSF also spoke about funding opportunities for the schools to consider.

Attendees also heard from Vencore and Riverside Research about how the companies are working to promote GEOINT education. Vencore encouraged academia to participate in its upcoming First Responder Challenge, in which participants will work directly with first responders to define unmet needs and develop solutions using predictive analytics and real-time data feeds. The challenge will take place over four weeks beginning Nov. 16.

Riverside Research also told the group about its new graduate-level textbook, “The Phenomenology of Intelligence-focused Remote Sensing,” and how the textbook could be used in their classrooms. Proceeds from textbook sales fund the Ken Miller Scholarship for Advanced Remote Sensing Applications, created in partnership with USGIF.

The State of GEOINT

USGIF on Oct. 6 hosted the second annual State of GEOINT Content Exchange. Government, industry, and academia contributed to this half-day discussion of current and future global geospatial intelligence trends. Participants volunteered to write papers on the various topics, which will be published in the second annual State of GEOINT Report. The report aims to inform GEOINT Community interests and professional requirements by identifying “what’s not, hot, and on the horizon.”

“The State of GEOINT Content Exchange is a fabulous way to take the pulse of our community,” said USGIF Vice President of Professional Development Dr. Darryl Murdock. “We had a lively set of discussions, and teams have self-formed to write short papers on a wide range of topics that span technology, policy, and training. The importance of the State of GEOINT Report will also be felt as USGIF’s Universal GEOINT Certification Program is rolled out. The report helps inform the Certification Governance Board about trends and topics that might merit consideration for inclusion on revisions of the GEOINT Essential Body of Knowledge and certification exams.”

The 2016 report will be published online in February. Read the 2015 State of GEOINT report here.

Universal GEOINT Pilot Exams

Closing out the week of events were pilot exam sessions for USGIF’s Universal GEOINT Certification. USGIF administered pilot exams at its headquarters Oct. 7 for two exams: “remote sensing and imagery analysis” and “GIS and analysis tools.” Successfully passing all three required exams result in the achievement of USGIF’s Universal GEOINT Certification. There are still seats available for free pilot exams Nov. 7 and Dec. 5. The third pilot exam in “data management” will be available beginning Nov. 7.

Read trajectory magazine’s recent cover story to learn more about USGIF’s Universal GEOINT Certification.

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Posted by Lindsay Tilton Mitchell

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