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The Centre for the Application of Resources Information Systems (LU-CARIS) was the creation of the late Professor Hendrik (Hans) Westbroek back in 1983. Hans taught photogrammetry at Lakehead from the early 1970's until his passing in 1994. He envisioned early on that effective GIS and remote sensing education required a different approach than traditional university programs. To accommodate the high costs of computer hardware and software as well as the need to cope with challenges involving government and industrial resource inventories, Hans modelled LU-CARIS on the Dutch ITC (International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation). This model combines modest cost-recovery for training and technology transfer, robust academic criteria, and short term problem solving in the real world.
Hans saw the role of LU-CARIS as a springboard for young people, and his vision has come to fruition. Numerous natural resources management and GIS/remote sensing professionals working throughout North America began their careers as staff or student on LU-CARIS. Every year, students benefit from learning the tools and expertise to succeed, in the form of required courses, electives, undergraduate and graduate theses, and work with off-campus professionals. From the early days when LU-CARIS created GIS databases with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, it has now moved to GIS modelling and remote sensing with a focus on industrial solutions and better integration with the Natural Resources Management programs at Lakehead University.
Fostering increased collaboration with off-campus natural resources professionals and others, through informal partnerships with undergraduate and graduate students is the current priority. LU-CARIS's intent is to provide technology transfer in return for student exposure to GIS/remote sensing challenges in industry, as well as to garner support for equipment costs, logistical support, and co-supervision for student research.
Distributed learning (distance education) combined with geomatics requires solutions to specific problems, and LU-CARIS is actively engaged to create diverse approaches. Distributed learning is a key component in reaching out beyond the two Lakehead University campuses, and LU-CARIS is ready to meet the challenge.
For More Information, please contact:
Dr. Ulf Runesson, R.P.F