UNCW Part of $5 Million Contract with National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

Monday, February 01, 2021

UNCW is among 11 universities selected as members of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s Academic Consortium that will deliver training courses for current and future government employees. The courses are a part of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s GEOINT Learning through Academic Programs, a $5 million initiative slated to run through 2025.

The consortium comprises UNCW, Pennsylvania State University, George Mason University, University of Maryland, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Dallas, Delta State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins University.

The NGA is a combat support agency under the U.S. Department of Defense and a member of the U.S. intelligence community whose primary mission is collecting, analyzing and distributing geospatial intelligence in support of national security. In addition to using GEOINT for U.S. military and intelligence efforts, NGA provides assistance during natural and man-made disasters, and security planning for major events, such as the Olympic Games.

“I am absolutely delighted for UNCW to be a part of this initiative that has never before been awarded to institutions of higher learning through a fixed price contract from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency,” said Narcisa Pricope, associate professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences and the UNCW GLAP program manager. “What this means for UNCW is the opportunity to offer our geospatial curriculum that spans several departments – primarily earth and ocean sciences, statistics and environmental sciences – to current and future government employees. This will create a unique synergy between not only academia and government but between education, training and professional development, both for the participants taking the coursework and the instructors offering it.”

In fall 2018, under Pricope’s leadership, UNCW received the USGIF Geospatial Intelligence accreditation, which recognizes the university’s geospatial sciences program with a coastal security focus as cutting-edge and unique among the nationally accredited institutions. These synergistic collaborations have the potential to lead to further research opportunities in the intelligence space, Pricope added.

“As one of the youngest GEOINT-accredited programs among the roughly 17 in the United States, UNCW is especially fortunate to be participating in this unique initiative,” she added. “Such increasingly creative collaborations between academia, government and industry are critical to furthering the field of geospatial intelligence, which is inherently an interdisciplinary and collaborative field focused on the collection, processing and integration of multiple streams of data into actionable, decision-making ready information. Driving the field further, developing the skillsets of a highly diverse workforce, and having educator exposure to the latest trends and needs in workforce development are going to positively impact how we educate and train our students who hope to enter that workforce in the future.”

--Venita Jenkins