UCF NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site

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This summer the University of Central Florida is hosting the third year of the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site “Preparing the Next Generation of Scholars through Community GIS and Citizen Science.” This program offers fully funded summer research experiences for at least 8 undergraduate students in Belize for 5 weeks and Orlando for two weeks. The program is open to all U.S. students and runs June 25-August 10, 2018.  It is interdisciplinary in nature--emphasizing community GIS and citizen science through mixed methods, including sketch mapping, mobile mapping applications, in-depth interviews, GIS, and spatial analysis. 

Research opportunities: Students will work in one of three research directions with community partners and mentors from University of Central Florida, University of Belize, Georgia State University, The Hopkins Belize Village Council, and The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program:

  • Research Direction 1: Mapping disparities in flooding & disaster management
  • Research Direction 2: Mapping marine debris & mitigating impacts on coastal communities
  • Research Direction 3: Mapping island resiliency with drones and spatial storytelling (new in 2018 with additional NSF funding)

Compensation: Each REU student will receive a competitive funding package, including a $3500 research stipend, a meal allowance, free shared housing in Belize and Orlando, up to $750 in travel support to/from the REU Site, up to $750 for post-REU conference travel, and 2 research methods books.

Application process: The priority application deadline is Friday, March 2nd @ 5 PM EST.  Complete program information and application instructions can be found at

Student reflections from the field: “Challenging, emotional, fun, collaborative, thought-provoking, interesting, real-life, and eye-opening.”  These are some of the words used by students to describe our previous research program.  Check out a short video from our REU fieldwork at:  

Questions can be directed to:

Dr. Timothy Hawthorne: Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Systems at University of Central Florida
phone: 407.823.1030

Dr. Christy Visaggi: Co-Principal Investigator, Lecturer of Geosciences at Georgia State University
phone: 404.413.5755


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Kayleigh Haskin
  • Created: 01/30/2018
  • Modified By: Kayleigh Haskin
  • Modified: 01/30/2018


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