UNAVCO, a non-profit university-governed consortium, facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy.
Transforming understanding of Earth systems and hazards using geodesy.
Geodesy is the study of Earth’s shape, gravity field, and rotation. Geodetic research defines the terrestrial reference frame; and quantifies changes in the properties of Earth’s surface and subsurface, ice sheets and glaciers, and oceans and atmosphere. Geodesy’s broader benefits include help with preparedness and mitigation of hazards; and foundational support for space-based operations, navigation, communications, surveying, resource management, and national security. Read more about our community's Science.
The GAGE Facility
Under a 2013 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), UNAVCO operates the National Earth Science Geodetic Facility, known as the Geodesy Advancing Geosciences and EarthScope (GAGE) Facility. UNAVCO’s NSF- and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-funded core activities are now integrated under this umbrella. The GAGE Facility provides support to the NSF investigator community for geodesy, related research, education and workforce training with broad societal benefits. NSF-funded geodesy investigators are active on every continent, across a broad spectrum of the geosciences and facilitated by UNAVCO data, engineering, and education services.
Supporting services include:
- (1) The Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), an integrated set of geodetic networks (cGPS, real-time GPS, borehole strainmeters, tiltmeters and seismometers, and metpacks) that forms the world-class geodesy component of EarthScope,
- (2) a facility that provides engineering, instrumentation, and data services to NSF-funded investigators who use terrestrial and satellite geodetic technologies (e.g., TLS, GPS, and InSAR) in Earth science research as well as Geosciences more broadly,
- (3) network operations to support NSF-funded community GPS networks for Earth, atmospheric, and polar science applications, and the NASA's Global GNSS Network (GGN), and
- (4) PI planning support and core programs to advance geoscience education resources and geodesy community engagement.
NSF's Earth Sciences Division (EAR) and Division of Polar Programs (PLR) fund facility support for PI geodesy research and GPS networks around the world, including Greenland and Antarctica, while NASA funds support for operations of the GGN and the activities of the IGS Central Bureau that make millimeter-level global geodesy possible.