March 28, 2013, Bronx, New York—In the increasingly competitive field of geospatial research, Bronx Community College (BCC) has taken a major step towards becoming a national center of recognition. The school was awarded a grant by two geospatial industrial giants, Environmental Systems Research Institute and Canada-based PCI Geomatics. Dr. Sunil Bhaskaran, an assistant professor at BCC and an expert in geospatial technology, is the principal investigator. Other team members include faculty members Professor Therese Soosairaj, Dr. Nicolas Anuku, Dr. John Molina, and Ms. Maryam Karimi, and environmental sciences undergraduate students Karolyn Jimenez, Francine Frances, and Leroy Brown.
The award, which is valued at $100,000, includes cutting-edge geospatial software, time-series of satellite data over New York City and virtual training. Geospatial technology is a new and unprecedented way to understand the world. Sensors are mounted on satellites that orbit the earth and deliver photographs and other information, which is used to make discoveries about geography and human behavior. Not surprisingly, it is useful to scientists, doctors, and even politicians looking to better serve their constituents.
Dr. Bhaskaran has been dedicated to making BCC a geospatial center since he arrived at the college in 2010, and this grant will help considerably. “The implications are huge,” he say. Since geospatial technology can be used for areas outside of the STEM, fields, Dr. Bhaskaran and his team can investigate everything from the cause of asthma in the Bronx to something non-scientific such as income levels of New York City’s population through various decades. Says the professor: “The grant will be used in fostering geospatial education and multi-disciplinary research at BCC, as well as for developing spatial solutions for Natural Resources in the New York region.”
Students who have helped make Dr. Bhaskaran’s classes extremely popular can also get involved. “Any who are interested will be invited for discussion and assigned faculty to mentor them,” he explains, adding that this is a high-growth industry with many career options.
For more information related to the project, contact Dr. Sunil Bhaskaran at Sunil.Bhaskaran@bcc.cuny.edu.