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Technology Program

Welcome to the CLA Faculty GIS Grant Program!

Color image of Hartley Nature Center GIS Map

The purpose of the CLA GIS Grant is to provide CLA faculty with access to extended and personalized GIS support for a research project or teaching needs through the Geospatial Analysis Center. GIS support may include data management, spatial analysis and/or geographic visualization as well as one-on-one training related to ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online software. Faculty may also use this grant to implement an extended (> 2 class periods) GIS-related project in the classroom requiring GAC development and/or support.

GAC can also assist by creating maps to demonstrate the spatial components of your research. Whether you are submitting a paper to a journal, or a full-length book to a publisher, GAC can illustrate the spatial nature of your work.

Please fill out the online application form as completely as possible. Note that the scope and budget of the proposal will be developed in collaboration with GAC before the grant is reviewed by CLA. If you have questions about this form, please contact Stacey Stark at 218.726.7438

Grants will be funded by the College of Liberal Arts at the discretion of the Dean. The CLA Technology Committee will evaluate the grant proposals. Up to $6,000 will be available from Fall 2017 through Summer 2018, with a limit of $2,000 for each request. Grant proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Grant Eligibility

  • The applicant is a current CLA faculty member, instructor, or staff.
  • The activity is not part of a larger funded project.
  • The work will be completed within a timeline of 2 to 9 months.
  • The products (i.e. maps and data) produced by this work will be used to further faculty research and/or classroom experience.


  • Budgets will include a minimum of one staff hour for every 5 student hours, and will be developed using current internal sales rates based on the skills needed and GAC staff availability.
  • Projects funded will be based on staff interest/skill match, current workload, and funding availability.
  • Projects should include 10-100 hours of student time.
  • The project will be listed on the GAC website.

Those of you who have been thinking about a spatial analysis, web mapping, GIS application in your class or research, we hope this will provide you with the support you need!   Please contact me with any questions: Stacey Stark at 218.726.7438 or

Funded Projects 2016-2017

Mapping the Toledo District of Belize
This semester GAC worked with Jennifer Gomez Menjivar, Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, to create maps of Belize and the Toledo District in particular. These will accompany her article Mopan in Context: Mayan Identity, Belizean Citizenship and the Future of a Language, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the research journal Native American and Indigenous Studies.

Randy Hanson, Geography, Urban, Environment, & Sustainability Studies
GAC is working with Randy Hanson to produce an interactive map of the UMD Land Lab, depicting seasonal rotations in crops, native pollinator installations, small fruit areas, and raised beds. The audience of this map will be students and community partners interested in activities at the Land Lab (via the Land Lab website). In addition, the documentation of the last 5 years of spatial patterns of crop rotation will be used in an application for formal organic certification.

Funded Projects 2015-2016

David Syring, Sociology and AnthropologyImage of David Syring and some of his students harvesting a local favorite - blueberries! During the fall semester of 2015, Professor David Syring collaborated with GAC to create a Duluth Community Plant Story Map with his Ethnobotany class. His students worked to answer the following questions: What plants do people pay attention to? What plants have a traditional use as food or medicine? Students integrated their research into a Story Map that will serve as a community resource, and be added to by future ethnobotany students and local residents. A KUMD interview with Professor Syring about the project is available.

Check out the story map! The community is also invited to participate by submitting suggestions and additions as the Story Map evolves.

During the spring semester of 2016, GAC assisted Professor Syring again, this time in his Anthropology and Environment class. All students learned how to create story maps using ArcGIS Online, and for their final projects each student made his or her own story map about an indigenous tribe of their choosing.

Jennifer Jones, Sociology and Anthropologylink to image of Prof. Jennifer Jones Archaeological Mapping GIS Project Jennifer Jones, Associate Professor of Anthropology, is currently conducting archaeological research into the consequences of the population aggregation that developed around 5,000 years ago in the southern Levant. Jones received a CLA Faculty GIS Grant for GAC assistance to create a detailed topographic map of al- Lajjun, an ancient site in Jordan. GAC assisted in mapping various subsets of the data collected by Dr. Jones in 2012, as well as creating a basemap to add data to in the future, e.g., photos, artifact densities in certain transects, additional architectural features or data, and plan maps of complete architectural structures.