CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is taking the lead in filling high-paying geospatial jobs around the world. The University’s Conrad Blucher Institute has recently signed two agreements with universities in China and Russia to provide qualified, four-year degreed surveyors opportunities to enroll in the Master of Science in Geospatial Survey Engineering program (see video at http://gisc.tamucc.edu/) at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The United States Department of Labor predicts a severe deficit of skilled workers with graduate degrees in Geospatial Sciences. In Texas, there are more practicing surveyors over the age of 70 than under the age of 40.
“Unless we start filling these positions soon, the U.S. could fall way behind in the competition,” said Dr. Gary Jeffress, Director of the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “Future world markets will be dominated by those countries with the best educated workforce.”
Through these newly-signed agreements, the CBI has found a solution to address the shortage of expertise in these fields. This will allow graduates to either fill jobs here in the U.S. or return to their home country.
Geospatial Surveying Engineering and Geographic Information Science involve the use of scientific and mathematical principles to model the Earth. These professionals collect geospatial and land surveying data as well as other information resources to create manageable maps and databases for display and analysis that are needed throughout the world. For example, surveyors provide information to be utilized by the latest GPS navigations systems; to help monitor coastal threats such as hurricanes and beach erosion; and to assist with NASA-sponsored research and recovery efforts.
“The Conrad Blucher Institute has officially made a name for itself worldwide for training and educating the next generation of professional land surveyors and GIS professionals,” said Jeffress. “These international programs are designed to prepare all students to be productive in the ever-expanding global economy.”
Jeffress and Dr. Lucy Huang of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi arranged an agreement with Jiangxi Normal University in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China, in 2012 that would allow advanced Chinese students to enter into the five-year combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program. Later that year, Jeffress arranged a cooperative agreement between the Moscow State University Cartography and Geodesy and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The agreements were signed by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi President and CEO, Dr. Flavius Killebrew.
Jeffress is in talks with Moscow State University to explore education and research opportunity with the University and the CBI.
“Their goal is to send 10 to 12 students as early as summer 2014 for the first of many collaborative educational activities in partnership with the Conrad Blucher Institute,” said Jeffress.
Jeffress is also exploring opportunities for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to teach short courses in Moscow as early as 2014.
About the CBI: About the Conrad Blucher Institute:The Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) conducts innovative research and encourages scientists and professional engineers to develop and apply technology solutions relevant to surveying, scientific measurements, and to the issues in the Gulf of Mexico region. The Institute, which is home to the largest endowed GIS (Geographic information systems) institution in the United States, has achieved and maintains a national reputation for developing innovative geospatial science research and serves as a focused resource area for geospatial datasets relevant to the coastal environment.
About Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi:Offering more than 60 of the most popular degree programs in the state, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has proudly provided a solid academic reputation, renowned faculty, and highly-rated degree programs since 1947. The Island University has earned its spot as a premier doctoral-granting institution, supporting two institutes and 13 research centers and labs. Discover your island at http://www.tamucc.edu/.