SAROI has three main components: pre-institute online materials; two residency workshops, held in two successive summers; and individual mentorship. The length of each cohort’s tenure is 1.5 years, beginning in March (2021, 2022) and ending the following August (2022, 2023).

Pre-institute Online Materials

The most effective use of SAROI’s face-to-face workshops requires that participants arrive with basic, common knowledge and skills in spatial methodologies.

Fellows will have access to online educational content geared towards spatial topics in archaeology and heritage management. Topics will include coordinate systems, datums and projections, georeferencing, aerial photography and photogrammetry, remote sensing, GPS, digital terrain modeling, LiDAR, vertical datums, 3D modeling, and use of archived spatial datasets. After acceptance, Fellows will be asked to complete an online self-evaluation covering their familiarity with geospatial technologies generally and the SAROI topics specifically. SAROI staff will suggest one or more modules to strengthen Fellows’ background prior to the first workshop; however, all modules will be available to all Fellows.

The initial online training materials will focus on the use of ArcGIS Pro, due to its 3D capabilities, ingest for point clouds and integration with databases. Participants may download the full ESRI suite and run it locally through the UA remote campus licensing structure or may utilize the virtual device interface (VDI) alternative which runs the software on campus servers and large NVIDIA GPUs and only requires a local display and adequate internet connectivity. We will also be prepared to support scholars interested in using/adopting the QGIS (FOSS) platform.

These online resources, including using the VDI platform to gain access to more specialized software related to Fellows’ specific research activities, will be offered for free, with no maximum limit for access, throughout the duration of each Fellow’s tenure.

The initial online training seeks to provide a common basis for all the fellows. Residency workshop training modules and fellow research topics can and will cover a broad range of spatial concepts and practices beyond GIS areas of research, below.

Residency Workshops

The Residency workshops will take place at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas, over the course of two consecutive summers. Travel stipends ($500 per workshop; $1000 total), on-campus conference housing, and meal vouchers will be provided, along with workspace, access to equipment and research facilities at CAST, individual and group lectures, and mentoring during the workshop sessions. Fellows will also be eligible to borrow equipment at no cost through CAST during the residency period.

The first institute workshop will be two weeks in length and focus on teaching principles of data collection and analysis. Topics for the first workshop include GNSS, geodetic control and coordinate systems, photogrammetry (aerial, close-range, and SfM), terrestrial and close-range scanning, microCT applications, sUAS thermal and multispectral imagery, LiDAR (aircraft and sUAS), and high-resolution satellite imagery. The second workshop will be one week in length, and concentrate on publication and archiving. Topics for the second workshop include post-product organization, visualization of large point clouds and data, digital data archiving standards and databases, and digital publication methods.

Fellows will travel to the UA campus on Sunday before the start of each workshop. The workshops will begin on Monday and each day will be divided into two major elements: a morning lecture session, to introduce various modalities, evaluate their various strengths and weaknesses, and provide example projects; and an afternoon mentoring session where Fellows focus with their Mentors on the particular technique(s) related to their individual projects. Evenings and weekends will contain social activities to allow the Fellows and institute staff to develop cohort cohesion.

Sustained  Mentorship

Each Fellow will be assigned a Mentor, who will be working with him/her closely throughout the SAROI fellowship on his/her particular research interests. Throughout, Mentors will help answer questions related to equipment usage, data processing, data analysis, and archiving and publication.