Service to the state and community is a vital aspect of the Department of Geography. While individual geography faculty members engage their students in applied projects in the Cedar Valley and across Iowa, departmental centers/organizations are campus leaders in providing expertise and training to the state and region:
Geographic Alliance of Iowa (GAI)
The Geographic Alliance of Iowa (GAI) provides professional development opportunities for K-12 geography/social studies educators across Iowa. Funded by the National Geographic Society (NGS) and an endowment from the Wallace Genetic Foundation, the GAI has a membership of over 2,500 teachers in 98 of Iowa's counties. In addition to providing exemplary professional development opportunities that follow accepted best practices, the GAI also endeavors to offer a statewide clearinghouse of accessible, high quality, standards-based curricular materials that support Iowa teachers' develoment of stand-alone geography courses and a more systematic infusion of geography skills, technology, knowledge, and concepts into literacy, STEM, history, and other content areas.
Geoinformatics Training, Research, Education, and Extension Center (GeoTREE)
The Geoinformatics Training, Research, Education, and Extension Center (GeoTREE) provides a means for transfering geospatial technologies to federal, state, local, and tribal government (FSLT) agencies through education, multi-disciplinary research, and outreach activities. GeoTREE brings together NASA scientists, other scholars, and members from FSLT agencies to integrate remote sensing data into GIS in order to improve decision-making through Decision Support Systems (DSS). In recent years GeoTREE has worked in close collaboration with a variety of organizations entities such as Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Cedar Falls Utilities, the Iowa Water Center, John Deere, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Geological Survey.