Skip to main content

Citizen Science GIS NSF REU/RET Site Overview: This summer virtually through Citizen Science GIS at University of Central Florida, we are pleased to host the 7th year of our National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates & Teachers (REU/RET) Site “Preparing the Next Generation of Scholars through Community GIS and Citizen Science.” Our in-person program offers fully funded summer research experiences for eight undergraduate students and four K-12 teachers. Participants will be in both Orlando and Belize for the summer as part of the program.

Program Dates: June 12-July 27, 2023.

Program Info & Application Deadline: Learn more about us and apply at: Priority application deadline: February 24 at 5 pm Eastern.

Wednesday, February 15 Zoom session: Join us at 4 pm Eastern on Zoom to ask questions and learn more about the program. Register in advance:

Eligibility requirements: As an NSF-funded program, we are open to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We are interdisciplinary emphasizing community geography, community GIS, and citizen science through mixed methods, including sketch mapping, mobile mapping applications, focus groups, in-depth interviews, GIS, spatial analysis, and drones. Since 2016, over 70% of participants have been from underrepresented groups in STEM, and from several disciplines including geography, GIS, environmental studies, sociology, anthropology, biology, chemistry, political science, business/economics, education, and more.

Accessibility statement: Our NSF REU/RET Site and learning community is committed to including and supporting students and teachers with identities that are commonly underrepresented in the field sciences. Specifically, program faculty and staff have experience in supporting and mentoring students with disabilities, and we have partnered with the International Association for Geoscience Diversity ( in this effort.

Research directions: Work with community partners and mentors from University of Central Florida, Esri, University of Belize, and The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program. Research Direction 1: Leveraging community geography & GIS to map disparities in flooding. Research Direction 2: Leveraging community geography & GIS to reduce waste and prevent marine debris.

Funding: $4200 research stipend, $750 for post-REU conference travel or industry visits, technology support, and all expenses covered for 2023 Belize fieldwork.

Questions directed to:

  • Dr. Timothy Hawthorne: Principal Investigator, Associate Professor of Geographic Information Systems, 2023 National Geographic Explorer, and Director of Citizen Science GIS at University of Central Florida. Email:

Check us out on the web & share on social media: