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About Us

The department offers leading-edge research-based master’s- and doctoral-degree programs in Spatial Information Science and Engineering and an ongoing master’s degree program in Information Systems.

The innovative graduate degrees in spatial information science and engineering focus on the design of information systems for the collection, management, and analysis of information that has a spatial component.  The forward looking information systems degree programs focus on technical, managerial, and policy issues associated with constructing and managing computer-based information systems for modern organizations.

The University of Maine is located in the small New England town of Orono, Maine just north of Bangor on the Penobscot River. Offices and classrooms are housed in the Edwards Wing of Boardman Hall located on the tree-lined campus mall.


The mission of the Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering is to educate students for professional practice within the fields of information systems and spatial information science and engineering by offering graduate courses that promote creative discovery, foster teamwork and leadership and prepare students for lifelong learning. This is accomplished by a commitment to the highest possible standards of quality in the areas of teaching, research, advising and service.


Our vision is to expand our role as a center for quality graduate education programs and research in spatial information science and engineering and in information systems generally to help fulfill the needs of the State of Maine and the Nation.


Our goal is to educate engineers, scientists and information specialists who have a breadth of knowledge across the core subject matter of information systems and spatial information engineering and can communicate and use that knowledge constructively for the benefit of others. Objectives in furtherance of this goal include assuring in our academic programs that students obtain foundation knowledge in mathematics, computation and basic science in order to pursue their engineering and science courses; gain knowledge in such a way that they can think independently and creatively; communicate their knowledge effectively to others and operate in society in a constructive, ethical and professional manner.

Curriculum – Continue to maintain a curriculum that stresses engineering and information system fundamentals, assures mathematical rigor, provides breadth and depth of course work, and focuses on design skills consistent with the needs of business and industry. Continually extend and evolve our graduate courses and programs to assure their responsiveness to the ever-changing societal needs for information.

Areas of Specialization – Continue to extend from current strengths. Over the next five years emphasis in research is likely to expand in the areas of spatio-temporal models, sensor-based systems, user interfaces and interactions, information extraction, information integration, and information policy issues related to access, security, privacy and intellectual property.  Among additional topics of interest include intelligent spatial technologies, spatial uncertainty, GIS user interface design, spatial reasoning, GIS interoperability, spatial genomics, visualization of spatial data quality, and location-based services as well as legal and ethical issues involved in the design of information systems.

Teaching – Continue to strengthen classroom teaching at the graduate level by (1) encouraging professors to participate in education based professional activities and workshops, (2) expanding the use of distance learning technologies, (3) recognizing outstanding teaching contributions through award nominations, and (4) encouraging professors to use midterm teaching evaluations and similar devices to gain reactions to teaching as courses progress.

Research – Promote a high level of research involvement by (1) encouraging faculty to continue the expansion in numbers of research proposals submitted to funding agencies, (2) recognizing outstanding research contributions through award nominations, (3) encouraging professors and graduate students to continue to publish at a high level in peer-reviewed outlets, and (4) encouraging faculty and graduate students to disseminate the findings from their work at conferences, seminars and in the classroom.

Professional Service – Encourage continued participation nationally and internationally on editorial boards, research proposal review committees, professional organization committees and in article peer-review processes.

Student Recruitment and Retention – Continue to attract top level students to the graduate programs from across the globe. Be responsive to the diverse needs of all students in the department through care and diligence in advising and through an emphasis on one-on-one advising by faculty.

Relations with Professions and Industry – Develop active relationships with private industry through sponsored research, collaborative efforts, internship programs, exchanges at professional meetings, and through student design projects.

Relations with Other Academic Units – Develop active relationships with other academic units supporting information science and system objectives, such as through the Four Plus One program.

A student project video: Intelligent Computer Resource Management

Student Studying