NEW YORK - New tools for visualizing the extent of world environmental problems are expected to result from an agreement between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Sam Houston State University.

UNEP's Global Resource Information Database (GRID) and Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, have agreed to form a strategic alliance under which SHSU will operate as a GRID-Compatible Center. The agreement was signed by Dr. Ashbindu Singh, GRID director, and Dr. B. K. Marks, interim president of Sam Houston State.

GRID is a global system for the exchange and management of data and information concerning natural resources and the environment. Dr. Singh said UNEP encourages people to take a broad view when it comes to environmental problems and solutions.

"If you look very locally you may not feel that a problem is that serious," he said. "We encourage people to think globally."

SHSU will contribute expertise in the area of visual computing, which displays computer data as 3-D visuals and other aids. Dr. Singh calls such techniques "a powerful way of communicating in a wider context."

Sam Houston State University, through its Institute for Innovative Collaborative Programs and its Texas Regional Institute for Environmental Studies, has developed a specialization in visual computing work.

Under the agreement UNEP will provide data, scientific reports and other information materials and will keep SHSU updated on current policy and strategies. SHSU will provide data sets, software, tools and reports, and work with authorities and organizations who need and use the data in its improved format.

"We are eager to help in this exciting and vital work," said Dr. Marks. "The United Nations Environment Programme has taken a commendable approach in working for a clean environment within the context of sustainable development."

Global Resource Information Database headquarters for North America is in Sioux Falls, N. D.; UNEP is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with regional offices in Geneva, Mexico City, Bangkok, Bahrain and New York City.


Additional Contacts:

Dr. Gordon Plishker, director, Institute for Innovative Collaborative Programs, SHSU; Tel: 409-294-3692; e-mail: rgs_gap@shsu.edu

Dr. Michael Warnock, director, Texas Regional Institute for Environmental Studies, SHSU; Tel: 409-294-3715; e-mail: bio_mjw@shsu.edu

Dr. Richard Payne, associate director, Texas Regional Institute for Environmental Studies, SHSU; Tel: 409-294-1457; e-mail: gov_rhp@shsu.edu
(Dr. Payne recently attended a UNEP conference in Paris)

Terry Collins, senior information officer, UNEP Regional Office for North America, DC2-0803 Two UN Plaza, New York N. Y. 10017; Tel: 212-963-8098; Fax: 212-963-7341; e-mail: collinst@un.org

SHSU PR Contact: Frank Krystyniak at 409-294-1833, 409-295-8541 (home), or e-mail pin_frk@shsu.edu.

Nov. 16, 1995