MCC Receives NSF Grant

NSF Grant Advances Career and Educational Pathways in Geospatial Technologies

Grant funds a collaboration between Mesa Community College and Northern Arizona University

NSF logoNSF logo Mesa Community College has been awarded a $448,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support career and educational pathways in geospatial technologies. The project period is from 9/1/13 to 8/31/16.

Geospatial technologies includes equipment used in visualization, measurement, and analysis of earth’s features, typically involving such systems as global positioning systems (GPS), geographical information systems (GIS), and remote sensing (RS).

Through the Geospatial Connections Promoting Advancement to Careers and Higher Education, or GEOCACHE, project, MCC will partner with Northern Arizona University to provide professional development and support for two cohorts of 20 secondary teachers and college faculty; cohorts will integrate project-based learning utilizing geospatial technologies into new and existing courses, promoting student spatial awareness and participation in the geospatial industry. 

“This grant will facilitate the development of career pathways from K-12 through two-year and four-year institutions for students interested in geospatial technologies,” said Karen Blevins, geography faculty at MCC.  “This will also facilitate the integration of geospatial technologies into other disciplines.”

The grant supports a variety of geospatial projects for students at MCC, including a data-collection project in the college’s Rose Garden.

The U.S. Department of Labor considers the field a high-growth industry and projects GST employment to increase 35 percent by 2020.

Lori Ann Rubino-Hare, professional development coordinator at NAU’s Center for Science Teaching and Learning, said, “NAU and MCC will see more students entering geospatial certification and degree programs, and industry partners will benefit from increased and better-qualified applicants.”

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students who attend annually to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. Please direct media inquiries to Sally Mesarosh at  or the Office of Institutional Advancement at 480-461-7445.  IA website:

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, September 18, 2013