About the PGC

Founded in 2007, the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) solves geospatial problems at both poles by working with researchers on mapping and remote sensing projects in the most remote locations on Earth.


The Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) is a polar science and logistics support organization at the University of Minnesota with core funding provided by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP).

PGC provides three primary services:
  • Domain and institutional knowledge to solve a broad range of polar geospatial problems
  • Access to sub-meter commercial satellite imagery for the Antarctic and Arctic, and the expertise to task, manage, process, and deliver high-level, value-added products
  • Educational courses and online material to transfer PGC’s knowledge and experience to the community


PGC's milestones from founding to present day.

February 2007

NSF Antarctic Geospatial Information Center (AGIC) founded.


First year of on-ice support at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.


First commercial imagery data acquired from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).


NSF Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) funded to provide science and logistics support to both the Antarctic and Arctic.

July 2014

PGC hosts first Summer Polar Boot Camp.


PGC receives six-month supplemental funding to launch Arctic Digital Elevation Model (ArcticDEM) project. President Obama announces initiative during visit to Alaska.

May 2016

NSF PGC cooperative agreement renewed for five years, extending through 2021. ArcticDEM project funding included in Cooperative Agreement.


The Polar Geospatial Center has been awarded the following funding opportunities:

National Science Foundation Awards

The Polar Geospatial Center (PGC): Community and Facility Support
NSF Award #1559691
Funding Division: Office of Polar Programs (OPP)
Active: May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2022
View Award

ArcticDEM Production
NSF Award #1614673
Funding Division: Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI)
Active: May 18, 2016 to April 30, 2019
View Award

Workshop to Explore Extended Access to the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) by Earth-Science Investigators
NSF Award #1645384
Funding Division: Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)
Active: September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2018
View Award

The Polar Geospatial Center (PGC): Joint Support
NSF Award #1043681
Funding Division: Office of Polar Programs (OPP)
Active: February 15, 2011 to January 31, 2017
View Award

The Antarctic Geospatial Information Center (AGIC): Collecting, Creating, Delivering and Archiving for the Community
NSF Award #0753663
Funding Division: Office of Polar Programs (OPP)
Active: December 15, 2007 to November 30, 2011
View Award

NASA Awards

PGC: Commercial Imagery Support for the Cryosphere
Active: May 31, 2016 to May 30, 2020

Polar Geospatial Center Support for NASA ABoVE
Active: December 9, 2014 to December 8, 2018
View Award

Science Operations Committee

The Science Operations Committee (SOC) is an advisory group to provide advice and guidance regarding the management and strategic direction of the Polar Geospatial Center.

SOC Members

  • Dr. Heather Lynch (chair)
  • Stony Brook University
  • Read Bio

  • Dr. Michael Gooseff
  • University of Colorado
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  • Dr. Terry Wilson
  • The Ohio State University
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  • Anna Liljedahl
  • Woods Hole Research Center
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  • Sridhar Anandakrishnan
  • Penn State University
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  • Dr. Craig Tweedie
  • University of Texas at El Paso
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