Welcome to the Belize Geosciences Exchange (BGX) at Georgia State University!

BGX is led by Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne and Dr. Christy C. Visaggi in the Georgia State University Department of Geosciences

BGX Mission Statement:  To provide international research experiences for students in community geography and Geographic Information Systems in Belize that connect academic research to applied real-world problem solving.

Within this mission, BGX hosts a study abroad research program for 10-15 GSU students each Maymester; provides long-term research experiences in Belize for a select group of students during the year; and connects University of Belize students with opportunities at Georgia State University.  Working with the University of Belize and a diverse group of international partners, student researchers learn and apply GIS and related geospatial STEM research techniques to enhance geospatial research infrastructure in Belize. The collaboration seeks to develop an open-source, interactive geospatial data and mapping portal that provides open access to various research datasets and metadata, project findings and documentation, and geospatial training modules. Student researchers will also lead multiple geospatial field research training exercises for Belizean researchers and community members to strengthen in-country capacity for future geospatial research.  Students have already completed mapping and analysis in three research directions: distribution of agricultural parcels and property ownership with a focus on understanding the geographic relationships between agricultural production centers and communities/populations in need of agriculture crops; urban land use patterns in relation to disaster management strategies; and marine debris mapping in shoreline communities.

Why BGX?

  • Broadens participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields
  • Connects college students and community members/organizations across international boundaries for action-oriented research
  • Creates dynamic partnerships to pursue federal, international and foundation funding
  • Merges academic research with applied, real-world problem solving.



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