The RS/GIS Laboratory provides an environment where faculty, staff and students work together to advance knowledge in the application of geospatial technologies in ecosystem science and natural resource management. Our mission is to:
The RS/GIS Laboratory began in 1987 as part of the academic program in Remote Sensing and GIS within the Department of History and Geography at Utah State University. Shortly thereafter a new Department of Geography and Earth Resources was established in the College of Natural Resources (CNR) and the RS/GIS Laboratory was transferred to the CNR. In 1990 the National Science Foundation awarded the department an Instrumental and Laboratory Improvement Grant to create a teaching laboratory for remote sensing, GIS and cartography.
A new Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratory was added as part of the S. J. and Jessie E. Quinney Natural Resource Library, funded by the Quinney Foundation in 1991. In 1997, Utah State University was awarded a grant from NASA that provided two additional teaching laboratories and upgraded the two existing laboratories.
The Quinney Foundation provided the College of Natural Resources funding to design and renovate an existing building on the USU campus as a center for the advancement of geospatial technologies in natural resources in 2002, and construction of the facility was finished in the spring of 2003. The RS/GIS Laboratory currently resides within the Spatial Modeling and Analysis Center of Janet Quinney Lawson building on the Utah State University Campus. In 2004 the laboratory received a multi-year NASA grant to develop the Intermountain Region Digital Image Archive Center (IRDIAC). IRDIAC is currently serving roughly a terabyte of digital geospatial data to a wide variety of users via the world wide web.
The RS/GIS Laboratory is funded exclusively from contracts and grants. The faculty, professional staff, graduate and undergraduate students associated with the laboratory conduct research to meet the requirements of the contracting agencies which include: the USDI Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, the US Department of Defense, the National Guard Bureau, the US Geological Survey, NASA and various state and international agencies and organizations.
The RS/GIS Laboratory occupies approximately 1000 sq. ft. of dedicated space within the Spatial Modeling and Analysis Center and shares another 1000 sq. ft. with other laboratories at the center. Shared space includes a 500 sq. ft. conference area and 250 sq. ft. climate controlled computer server room.
Hardware dedicated to the RS/GIS Laboratory includes:
Software currently in use by the RSGIS Laboratory includes:
In addition, the RSGIS lab owns five four-wheel drive vehicles used for field work, and one flatbed trailer.