College of the Environment Spatial Institute

About the Spatial Institute

The Spatial Institute is an interdisciplinary center for spatial research in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geography, Resilience, and related fields. Housed within the College of the Environment, the Institute provides opportunities for collaboration within the College, across Western Washington University, and with the broader community. The Spatial Institute supports both undergraduate and graduate-level research and instruction. Recent and current research projects include GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS, Cartography, Interactive Mapping, and Disaster Response.

In addition to affiliated faculty and research projects, the Spatial Institute maintains spatial data servers providing data both on-campus and online as well as the Spatial Analysis Lab and related web site which provide students, faculty, and the larger academic community with information regarding spatial data resources, tools, and other assistance. A GIS minor, GIS certificate, and suite of courses are available through the College of the Environment. The Western Map Collection (a National Map Repository) is considered a major collection in the United States and houses over 250,000 maps and 1,000 atlases.


Spatial Institute Lab door, room 430 in Arntzen Hall. The Spatial Institute's mission is to provide leadership in the dissemination of spatial information on campus and to the broader community; to promote the use of this information for education and research; to provide GIS, RS, Cartography, web-mapping, and spatial analysis services (on and off-campus); and to provide a venue for collaborative research and exchange of spatial information.

Spatial Institute Computer Labs and Related Campus Facilities

  • AH-16 The Spatial Analysis Lab ("SAL")
  • AH-24 Spatial Analysis Homework Lab
  • ES-318 The Planning Studio/computer lab
  • ES-341 Tree Ring Lab
  • ES-430 Landscape Ecology Lab
  • WL-290 (2 East) WWU Map Collection (formerly the "College of the Environment Map Library")