The Field Technical Support Center for GIS (FTSC) at the University of Rhode Island provides GIS services and support to National Park Service (NPS) parks and offices throughout the Northeast Region (NER). The goal of this partnership between the NPS and URI is to foster research and education using GIS to support and promote natural and cultural resource preservation, recreation, and local/regional planning in partnership with state and local government agencies, as well as nonprofit conservation and historic preservation organizations. The FTSC provides an arena for land management agencies and organizations to coordinate data collection and analysis on landscape scales and for researchers, students, land managers and planners to work together on issues related to this evolving technology and to learn from each other. Innovative applications, new data and procedure development methods, and technical forums provide researchers and students with opportunities to enhance their GIS skills using National Parks and other areas with complex land management issues as living laboratories.
URI maintains a full complement of the most current GIS software which includes Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (ESRI) ArcGIS software for spatial data development, management, analysis, and output. ERDAS Imagine and ERMapper software are available for image processing. The Environmental Data Center maintains state-of-the-art computer hardware to run the GIS software and generate presentation-quality maps. The lab is connected via local area network with direct access to the campus-wide area network and the Internet.
Established in 1986, the EDC has a diverse staff with extensive experience in applying GIS to address environmental, social, cultural, and economic issues.