The Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System Research was established at SBU in 1999 as one of the earliest RS&GIS centers in Iran. The main goals of this research center have then been to offer a wide range of educational programs and to conduct interdisciplinary research within the fields of Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Currently the research center is home to 9 academic members, including one professor in remote sensing, one associate professor in climate change, four assistant professors in remote sensing and GIS, and three researchers. The overall objective of educational programs is to increase knowledge and skills in RS and GIS related matters towards the sustainable development at national and international levels, through nurturing qualified students with degrees in PhD (since 2016) and master’s (since 1999), as well as short training courses. Early 2021, the total number of students at the RS&GIS research center is 93, including two PhD students of RS, two PhD students of GIS, 17 PhD students of RS & GIS, 10 master’s students of RS & GIS, 32 master’s students of RS, and 30 master’s students of GIS. The RS & GIS Research center is proud to have an alumni society of 172 talented graduates in RS & GIS who are either studying or working across the world. The facilitated networking, coordinating and maintaining RS, GIS and Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure across the center have increased research collaborations between academic members, postgraduate students, and common academic-industrial grant applications on a national and international level. Especially students benefit from the advantages of available infrastructure and resources to begin to work during their program and to carry out experiments on geospatial data analysis under the supervision of academic members. In order to manage different university-industry joint projects, the center has been well equipped with the required hardware, software and satellite data center. Most of the students begin to work during their program to carry out experiments on digital data analysis. Moreover, the center has established a RS laboratory with primary facilities to focus on Earth system sciences and interdisciplinary science, such as geology, geography, agriculture, forestry, range management, watershed management, water resources, fishery, oceanography, meteorology, agrology, photogrammetry, urban studies, climatology and climate change research, and environmental studies.
A selected list of completed academic-industrial projects includes: designing and implementing GIS in the Iranian Department of Environment (case study conducted in Sorkhe Hesar Park), GIS diffusion study in the Iranian Department of Environment, hazardous waste land fill site selection, feasibility studies and needs assessment analysis of GIS in Kerman city, strategic studies of designing stimulating projects of the city of Tehran’s development, acquisition and processing satellite images, audit processing of satellite images and its function in GIS, studying the impacts of climate change and drought management, identification of agricultural drought using remote sensing, feasibility study of drought management-based Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), retrieval of vegetation biochemical and biophysical parameters, crop mapping using remote sensing data, wheat yield estimation , etc.