JMU Research Center in Staunton

In today’s Daily News Leader I saw a post saying that the Staunton Downtown Development Authority is partnering with the Applied Spatial Research Center at James Madison University to locate a satellite office in downtown Staunton. The research center will inhabit the Stratton Building in downtown Staunton, and the center will provide expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), digital cartography and remote sensing. Additionally, the new research center will provide internship opportunities for James Madison University and Mary Baldwin College students.

Over the years JMU’s Applied Spatial Research Center has worked with the Shenandoah Valley Water 2000 Forum, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, National Park Service, and the Shenandoah National Battlefields Historic District.

As a Geographic Science major at JMU, I am very pleased to see this announcement. The new Applied Spatial Research Center will allow students to connect with the local community and gain real world GIS experience. Students will see how GIS can be used in real estate development, urban planning, public administration, and infrastructure management. Furthermore, local businesses and organizations can use the GIS help to accomplish their endeavors. I just wish that I was around for another year so that I could take advantage of this opportunity.

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