George Perkins Marsh Institute
Grounded in nearly a century of applied research at Clark University, the George Perkins Marsh Institute advances scientific understanding of the ways in which humans influence–and are influenced by–our surrounding natural, technological and socioeconomic environments. Working within a collaborative agenda, the Institute coordinates resources from Clark University and elsewhere to study human transformation of the environment and responses to this change. Among the hallmarks of the Institute are collaborative research efforts that challenge traditional disciplinary boundaries in search of novel approaches and solutions, along with systems-based perspectives to wicked challenges such as climate change and human development. The Institute is home to more than 50 research faculty and staff, many of whom have joint appointments with other departments
It is home to the Jeanne X. Kasperson Research Library specializing in publications on environmental risks and hazards and more.
Based within the world-renowned Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, Clark Labs is dedicated to the research and development of geospatial technologies for effective and responsible decision making for environmental management, sustainable resource development and equitable resource allocation. Clark Labs is best known for development of pioneering software products. IDRISI was the first GIS software system specifically targeted at the microcomputer platform. Since its introduction in 1987, it has grown to become one of the most widely used raster systems of its type with installation in more than 180 countries.
Partnering with such organizations as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Esri Inc., Conservation International, World Conservation Society, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the United Nations, Clark Labs leverages its academic base to develop innovative and customized research tools, provide software solutions to organizations in need and apply geospatial expertise to a range of real-world problems. Clark Labs has the largest proportional research and development (R&D) budget in the industry devoted to the analytical development of geographic information technology.
In 2015, Clark Labs released the TerrSet Geospatial Monitoring and Modeling software which includes the IDRISI GIS and Image Processing tools, along with an additional constellation of software tools for monitoring and modeling the earth system. These include the Land Change Modeler, Earth Trends Modeler, GeOSIRIS, Ecosystems Services Modeler, Habitat and Biodiversity Modeler, and Climate Change Adaption Modeler.
Areas of significant research and development include:
- Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
- Land Change Analysis
- Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)
- Machine Learning and Neural Networks
- Soft Classifiers
- Multi-Criteria/Multi-Objective Decision Making
- Spatial Processes
- Dynamic Modeling