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Become a UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champion! 

Based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the Institute for Geospatial Understanding through an Integrative Discovery Environment (I-GUIDE, iguide.illinois.edu), is pursuing advances to transform geospatial data-intensive sciences as it integrates AI and cyberGIS, reproducible data-intensive analytics and modeling, FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data principles, and innovative education and workforce development programs. Funded by NSF, this new national institute is enabling geospatial data-driven scientific discovery to better understand the risks and impacts of climate change and disasters, with a particular emphasis on food and water security.

“The goal of I-GUIDE is to revolutionize theories, concepts, methods, and tools focused on data-intensive geospatial understanding for driving innovative cyberGIS and cyberinfrastructure capabilities to address the most pressing resilience and sustainability challenges of our world such as biodiversity, food security, and water security,” said Shaowen Wang, head of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science at U of I and founding director of the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies (CyberGIS Center), who will lead the institute.

Would you like to get involved with I-GUIDE?  Do you have current research or educational practices that align with I-GUIDE's mission, and are you already involved with key I-GUIDE areas, such as cyberGIS, geospatial AI, and geospatial data science? 

UCGIS expects to offer an annual opportunity to serve as UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champions, to help expand the community reach of I-GUIDE.  These individuals will be able to participate directly with I-GUIDE's activities and contribute to outreach as we pursue a range of broad impacts. The vision is that these individuals would each propose to work on a small-scale project of their own design that would align with that year's proposed I-GUIDE focal areas.

Focus:  For Year 1 of the project (October 1, 2021 - September 30, 2022), the focus of the Community Champions’ work will supplement either 1) tasks being undertaken with the GIS&T Body of Knowledge in the context of cyberGIS and geospatial AI & data science or 2) workforce development activities of the I-GUIDE Education & Workforce Development Team. So your proposed activities should be aligned with those general topics, overall.  Pending funding, we expect to be able to offer this program in years 2-5 of the project, when there will be other or additional foci, including for example serving as a mentor during a Summer School, BootCamp, or other community engagement events.

Benefits and Eligibility:  UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champions

  • are eligible to receive a $3,000 stipend for their efforts
  • must currently be affiliated with a UCGIS member institution
  • may be a Ph.D. student, a researcher or post-doc, or a faculty member

Up to 3 UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champions may be funded this year. 

Applications and Notifications:  To be considered for this opportunity, complete a brief online application that will be reviewed by the I-GUIDE and UCGIS Executive Committees. You will be asked to relate your background, expertise, and interests to the 2021-22 focus areas.  You'll also be asked to provide a 2-page, NSF-style biosketch. 

Important Dates:

  • March 1, 2022: Applications Due
  • March 31, 2022: All Decisions Announced
  • September 30, 2022:  Work by the 1st Cohort of UCGIS I-GUIDE Champions Complete
  • Fall 2022: Applications for the 2nd Cohort becomes available

To learn more about I-GUIDE, we invite you to watch this introductory webinar presentation by Dr. Diana Sinton, a UCGIS senior research fellow.

Have questions?  Please write to Diana Sinton ([email protected]). 

I-GUIDE is one of the five institutes that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded through its Harnessing the Data Revolution initiative to explore questions at the frontiers of science and engineering. Over 40 researchers from UCGIS and other universities and organizations, including Columbia University, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), Florida International University, Michigan State University, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Purdue University, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Utah State University, as well as other partners, are actively involved with the I-GUIDE project.