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The Geospatial Science Center of Excellence (GSCE) is a joint collaboration between South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the United States Geological Survey's National Center for Earth Resources Observation and Sciences (EROS). The purpose of the GSCE is to enable South Dakota State University faculty and students, and EROS scientists to carry out collaborative research, seek professional development, and implement educational programs in the applications of geographic information science.

The idea for the GSCE was formed and implemented by administrative leaders at SDSU, EROS, and the South Dakota State Board of Regents, and represents a unique partnership that strengthens both SDSU and EROS. EROS, a longtime collaborator with researchers at SDSU, is the largest civilian repository of remotely sensed data sets and a renowned center of applied earth systems science. In recognizing these strengths, a primary emphasis of the GIScCE will be the use of remotely sensed data sets to study the land surface and it's modification over time.

The GSCE will employ the capabilities of geographic information science, namely remote sensing, geographic information systems, digital mapping, and geostatistics, to document and understand the changing earth. To fully achieve this, an interdisciplinary center of study is required, one which utilizes engineering principles to efficiently and accurately process earth observation data, geographic principles to create meaningful thematic depictions of land cover and land use change, and applications which focus on the resultant effects of change on the geosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere. To date, 13 researchers from SDSU and EROS have been recruited to constitute the GSCE staff of Senior Scientists. By serving the South Dakota, national and international communities through the teaching and research investigations of the GSCE staff, we expect SDSU to be recognized as a global center of expertise in geographic information science studies.