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Interdisciplinary Research Experience in Hyperspectral Imaging (IDREHSI)


This REU site will utilize existing state-of-the-art resources from different research centers and laboratories at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) to provide student research and educational opportunities for IDRESHI participants.

Geoinformatics Training, Research, Education, and Extension (GeoTREE) Center (Dr. Andrey Petrov)

The 1,000 sq. ft. GeoTREE center is funded by NASA and housed in the newly remodeled Innovative Teaching & Technology Center (ITTC) on the UNI campus. The lab has "state-of-the-art" technologies that include 10 powerful Dell desktop computers (two 500 GB harddrives, 32 GB RAM, Intel Xeon 3.4 GHz processors with 64-bit Operating System) with GIS workstations utilizing the latest multi-media, and two servers with gigabyte Ethernet connection. These computers are loaded with GIS software (ESRI suite, IDRIS, etc.), Remote Sensing (ERDAS Imagine, eCognition, ENVI, etc.), and GPS (Trimbles Pathfinder office, ArcPad, etc.). For more information, click here (


Arctic, Remote and Cold Territories Interdisciplinary Center (ARCTICenter) (Dr. Andrey Petrov)

Partially funded by NSF and NASA, the center is a research center focusing on developing synergies and collaboration among faculty, staff and students in Geography and across campus for research and educational activities pertaining to the Arctic and other remote and cold regions. Examples of multiple projects being conducted in the lab include Taimyr Reindeer and Climate Change, Arctic Social Indicators, Arctic Human Development Report, Creative Arctic, Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, and Arctic Wildfires project, etc. The center has access to state-of-the art equipment and high spectral and spatial resolution imagery. For more information, click here (

Geospatial Sciences Lab (Dr. Bingqing Liang)

Two Geography GIS teaching labs at ITTC are equipped with 39 Dell Precision T1700s (E3-1234 V2 3.4 GHz, 32 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro K600, 2 x 500 GB HDDs) and 1 HP T2300 printer/plotter. In addition, the lab has 14 mapping-grade GPS units (Trimble Juno and GeoXH6000), 2 survey-grade GPS units (Trimble R6 and Geo7x), 1 total station (Trimble M3), 1 ASD 3 field hyperspectral radiometer, 8 ALTA spectrometer, and 9 Fluke 561r infrared thermometers. Some of the remote sensing, GPS and GIS software packages include Trimble Pathfinder Office, ERDAS Imagine, ENVI, eCognition, IDRISI and ESRI's full suite of products.

Low Altitude Remote Sensing Lab (LARS) (Dr. James Dietrich)

The LARS joins efforts of faculty and students who collect, process, and analyze very-high-resolution imagery acquired by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drone flying at a low altitude. The UAS include a professional fix-wing eBee mapping drone with five cameras (RGB, NIR, RedEdge, Thermal, and Sequoia) that is capable of collecting aerial photographs at a spatial resolution down to 1.5 cm/pixel. The lab also contains a rotary-wing DJI Inspire 1 Pro UAS with a professional camera that can film 4K pictures and HD videos. Important accessories include 2 Onset Hobo pyranometers with data logger that can measure solar irradiance with a range of 0-1280 W/m2 over a spectral range of 300-100nm. The UAV has been used to conduct studies for large-scale photogrammetry mapping, image processing technique validation and improvement, and agriculture and environmental applications.


Environmental Science and Hydrology Labs (Dr. Maureen Clayton and Dr. Mohammad Iqbal)

The labs are equipped with a Thermo Electron Flash EA elemental analyzer, an Applied Biosystems Attune acoustic focusing cytometer, a Zeiss confocal microscope, a Dionex DX-120 ion chromatography system with an AS40 autosampler and the Chromeleon chromatography management system, a Shimadzu RF-5301PC fluorescence spectrometer and an Armfield S11 groundwater flow simulation system in addition to standard laboratory equipment. In addition to these research facilities, we also have equipment for field work, including an Isco automatic water sampler; 2 boats; flow meters; sediment core and grab samplers; soil moisture probes; hand auger; lysimeters; groundwater level indicators; Kemmerer water samplers; and equipment for in situ analysis of water quality parameters, including GPS receivers, digital cameras, turbidity meters, and probes for luminescent dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, TDS and conductivity. For more information about the Hydorlogy lab, click here (


Physics Nano-technology Lab (Dr. Tim Kidd)

The laboratory is 600 square feet with amenities including a fume hood, dedicated earth ground, six standard 20 Amp 120 V circuits, overhead bus allowing modular electrical service up to 80A for single phase 120/240V and three phase service, and storage for multiple gas cylinders. The lab is well stocked with standard laboratory, and ultra-high vacuum experimentation and development and has the equipment necessary for electrical diagnostics, minor machining, and sample preparation. The lab also includes two dedicated PC's for data acquisition and analysis in addition to two PC's generally reserved for an SEM and EDX. Lab equipment includes following major items: Two UHV Chambers able to perform MBE, LEED/Auger system from OCI vacuum, Low Temperature Six Axis Manipulator, Tescan Vega II Variable Pressure SEM, E-Beam lithography, Sputter Coater, Agilent 5500 SPM's, Agilent 5400 AFM's, Vacuum oven, Bruker Quantax EDX system, Avantes NIR-UV optical spectrometer. Computational Facilities: The Co-Pl has a modem PC with internet connection in the office. There are many computer labs on campus for student use including one within the physics building. The physics building has been recently renovated and includes full wireless access to the internet. In addition, there are several PC's located within the research labs as well as a cluster used by the department's solid state computationalists.


Environmental Characterization and Analysis Lab (EnCAL) and Soils Labs (Dr. Patrick Pease and Dr. Dennis Dahms)

The two labs at UNI are multifunctional facilities housing three analytical systems. The labs contain a hyperspectral imaging analysis system. The system is capable of imaging objects ranging from microscopic scale to bench scale (-10µ - 50 cm) across a spectral range of 400 nm to 2500 nm. The system in also equipped with a programmable translation stage for scanner larger object, and has a calibrated, full-spectrum lighting system. The EnCAL lab also houses a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy system for elemental analysis. The LIBS can be configured for bulk sample analysis or used for individual particle examination for grains as small as 100 µ. The EnCAL lab also houses a hyperspectral imaging analysis system. The system is capable of imaging objects ranging from microscopic scale to bench scale (-10µ - 50 cm) across a spectral range of 400 nm to 2500 nm. The system in also equipped with a programmable translation stage for scanner larger object, and has a calibrated, full-spectrum lighting system. The third capability is a Rigaku X-ray Diffractometry useful for identification and quantification of crystalline mineralogical materials.


High Performance Computing (HPC) Lab (Dr. Ben Schafer)

High performance computing resources at the University of Northern Iowa include three cluster systems, comprising twenty-four 1U dual-socket, quad-core Opteron systems up to our newly-acquired 24-blade cluster of dual-socket, 24-core Nehalem systems. Two additional (5U) Nehalem systems are equipped with dual Fermi GPGPU accelerators. Tesla 240-core Cl060 GPGPU units are available for general­ purpose GPGPU programming. These resources are connected together with a 40Gbit Infiniband network and supported by a customized distributed Lustre filesystem for computational simulations that require high-throughput. Large data storage needs are supported by a contiguous l 2TB array, two 8TB SAS/iSCSI arrays and a 6TB FiberChannel array.


STORM Center (Science centerfor Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology) and Earth Science (ER) Lab (Dr. Alan Czarnetzki and Dr. Chad Heinze)

Funded by NOAA, the STORM Center includes a computer classroom with 24 student workstations, 2 ultra microbalances (capable of massing to the nearest microgram), 2 particulate monitors, an ultraviolet LiDAR, a trailer-mounted SODAR that profiles wind speed and direction up to 200 m above the surface, and a microwave temperature profiler that produces continuous measurements of temperature and moisture up to 10 km. The Earth Science Lab has equipment for physical geology, paleontology, geochemistry, and petrographic analyses and is available for field characterization, sampling, and camping. For example, 2 Zeiss and 25 Nikon Eclipse E400 polarizing microscopes, 4 drying ovens, Hillquest thin section machine, sieve shakers, X-ray diffraction and fluorescence equipment, Philips Analytical x-ray BV, Vreeland Spectroscope, Frantz Magnetic Spectroscope, Oyo mini seismograph Mcseis-3, refrigerator, ministaltic pump, pH/Eh meters, dissolved oxygen meter, Conductivity of Total Dissolved Solid meters, lysimeters, water pollution detection and teaching kit, long handled water dippers, water sampling set, pvc bailer, bailer retriever, purging pump, water level indicator, ultraviolet lamp, soil moisture/temp meter.

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