Project Overview

This Office of Naval Research funded project (award #N00014-16-1-2801) is focusing on using geospatial information systems and technologies to help train the next generation of Naval Scientists and engineers. The project is designed to provide students in ROTC, as well as student veterans, with an opportunity to use geospatial thinking in a relevant and hands-on environment. NAVIGATE is an immersive science, engineering, technology, and mathematics, or STEM, training program that will provide students with specialized, defense-related training in geospatial technology. This interdisciplinary team is led by Principal investigator Sara Chavarria, Co-PI Karen Siderelis, and Co-PI Michelle Higgins, and also includes partnerships with the University of Arizona's College of Education, STEM Learning Center, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Veterans Education and Transition Services, UA's Navy ROTC and Raytheon Missile Systems. 


Project NAVIGATE is more than a class. This project includes interactive events, field experiences, networking opportunities and a trip to Washington, DC to attend a professional conference!



Project StoryMap - 



Project Faculty and Staff




  • Course 1 - Introduction to Geospatial Concepts and Naval Applications (RNR140)

  • Course 2 - Geospatial Practicum for Naval Applications (RNR142)  

NAVIGATE Mentoring

  • A team of US military veterans works closely with students in RNR140 and RNR142 to help provide context, advise and answer any questions students may have related to academics, the military or workforce. 
  • This team made up of student veterans and industry professionals, help relate what is learned in the STEM classroom to National Defense applications and industry. 


NAVIGATE Challenge - November 5th, 2016  - Flyer 

  • The NAVIGATE Challenge is an annual competitive point by point land navigation event. Teams of three will use GIS modeling of the environment in the classroom as well as GPS coordinates, and topographic maps to locate points in the Madera Canyon wilderness.
  • Bar-B-Que following the event provided by the V.F.W. 
NAVIGATE Trip to Washington, D.C. -  ESRI Federal User Conference - February 11th-15th, 2017


NROTC Midshipmen Will Brace and student veteran
mentor Craig Bal at the Esri Federal User Conference in 2017


NAVIGATE in the News

Contact us 

Contact Alex Ruff- Project Coordinator via Email
Click here to be added to the project NAVIGATE interest list. We will send you more information on how to sign up for the class.
Project Flyer