Become a UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champion! 

Based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the Institute for Geospatial Understanding through an Integrative Discovery Environment (I-GUIDE,, is pursuing advances to transform geospatial data-intensive sciences as it integrates AI and cyberGIS, reproducible data-intensive analytics and modeling, FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data principles, and innovative education and workforce development programs. Funded by NSF, this new national institute is enabling geospatial data-driven scientific discovery to better understand the risks and impacts of climate change and disasters, with a particular emphasis on food and water security.

“The goal of I-GUIDE is to revolutionize theories, concepts, methods, and tools focused on data-intensive geospatial understanding for driving innovative cyberGIS and cyberinfrastructure capabilities to address the most pressing resilience and sustainability challenges of our world such as biodiversity, food security, and water security,” said Shaowen Wang, head of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science at U of I and founding director of the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies (CyberGIS Center), is leading the Institute.

Would you like to get involved with I-GUIDE?  Do you have current research or educational practices that align with I-GUIDE's mission, and are you already involved with key I-GUIDE areas, such as cyberGIS, geospatial AI, and geospatial data science? 

UCGIS is offering an annual opportunity to serve as UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champions, to help expand the community reach of I-GUIDE.  These individuals will be able to participate directly with I-GUIDE's activities and contribute to outreach as we pursue a range of broad impacts. The vision is that these individuals would each propose to work on a small-scale project of their own design that would align with that year's proposed I-GUIDE focal areas.

Focus:  For Year 2 of the project (October 1, 2022 - September 30, 2023), the focus of the Community Champions’ work will connect with the I-GUIDE Convergent Curriculum for Geospatial Data Science.



We are interested in supporting projects that advance and contribute to these curriculum efforts, including (but not limited to):

  • organizing or developing open educational content,
  • assisting in implementing systematic review of the curriculum for evaluation and quality control,
  • evaluating usage of the evolving curriculum for its relevancy and applicability to new convergent problems and use cases. 

We are particularly interested in proposals from individuals with educationally-oriented expertise in geospatial statistics, geospatial machine and deep learning, or familiarity with diverse types of convergent problems and solutions involving geospatial data science.

Benefits and Eligibility:  UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champions

  • are eligible to receive a $3,000 stipend for their efforts
  • must currently be affiliated with a UCGIS member institution
  • may be a Ph.D. student, a researcher or post-doc, or a faculty member

Up to 3 UCGIS I-GUIDE Community Champions may be funded this year. 

Applications and Notifications:  To be considered for this opportunity, complete a brief online application that will be reviewed by the I-GUIDE and UCGIS Executive Committees. You will be asked to relate your background, expertise, and interests to the 2022-23 focus area, as well as your ideas for disseminating I-GUIDE's educational products and knowledge.  You'll also need to provide a 2-page, NSF-style biosketch. 

Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 3 - 4 pm Eastern: Zoom meeting for Q&A about I-GUIDE, the Convergent Curriculum, or the Community Champions program.  Recording of Zoom presentation can be found here
  • Friday, September 2, 2022: Applications due
  • Tuesday, September 20, 2022: All decisions announced
  • Saturday, October 1, 2022:  Project work can begin

To learn more about I-GUIDE, we invite you to watch this introductory webinar presentation by Dr. Diana Sinton, a UCGIS senior research fellow.

Have questions?  Please write to Diana Sinton ([email protected]). 

I-GUIDE is one of the five institutes that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded through its Harnessing the Data Revolution initiative to explore questions at the frontiers of science and engineering. Over 40 researchers from UCGIS and other universities and organizations, including Columbia University, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), Florida International University, Michigan State University, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Purdue University, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Utah State University, as well as other partners, are actively involved with the I-GUIDE project.