Who we are
We are a research group based at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. Jim Pollard, our principal investigator, leads over four full time research-assistants and a handful of part-time research assistants. We are in a cooperative partnership with the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) portion of the United States Forest Service as well as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
Both UNLV and SUU operate under agreements which benefit both parties. Our funding comes from FIA and give our team, as well as the university, funds to support our program. Our program here at SUU receives funding to train and employ several individuals in professional positions. In return, SUU provides information management research and solutions as well as educational outreach. This saves a lot of money by employing students rather than professionals, who may demand a higher wage. UNLV and FIA began working together in 1998 on much smaller quality assurance and information management agreements. Today, the program has extended to SUU and the agreements have brought in several million dollars of funding for both groups.
What we do
We are charged with working on several government projects and applications, but mainly the Design and Analysis Toolkit for Inventory and Monitoring (DATIM). Our duties include, but are not limited to, QA/functionality testing, Section 508 accessibility testing, note taking on meetings and conference calls, original research, all forms of documentation, presenting at professional conferences, and academic outreach. Each of our full and part time research assistants have been through a training program to familiarize them with forest management, documentation, research and other duties as assigned. We aim to promote research, train students in technical procedures and raise awareness for the applications we work with.
Why we do it
We are dedicated to providing students with legitimate research opportunities and the skills required to be a part of a functional research team. Our partnership with the FIA provides students with the opportunity to support and learn about forest inventory and management practices. Southern Utah University works in coordination with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to accomplish these goals. Southern Utah University seeks to provide students with experiential learning opportunities, and we help fulfill that goal.