Esri Development Center (EDC)

Penn State’s online geospatial program is one of a small number of academic units around the world recognized as an Esri Development Center (EDC).  The EDC program seeks to promote GIS software and application development by providing students special access to Esri software and opportunities to be recognized for their accomplishments.

Students in the Earth and Mineral Sciences (including online geospatial programs, and the Department of Geography) can acquire, at no charge, any of Esri's current software packages. Please contact the Center coordinator, Jim Detwiler, for more information about this possibility at

Esri training for faculty/staff

A benefit of the EDC program is 2 complimentary Esri training classes per calendar year for faculty/staff interested in software/application development using Esri technology.  If you are a faculty or staff member of the College of Earth & Mineral Sciences who would like to complete an Esri training class ( in support of your teaching or research, please contact the Center coordinator, Jim Detwiler, at

Tech support

Recognizing that developers often encounter technical problems that must be escalated to staff with deeper expertise, another of our EDC benefits is the ability to obtain developer-level tech support.  If you are a College of EMS faculty/staff/student who would like to open this kind of support ticket, contact the Center coordinator, Jim Detwiler, at

Penn State courses for GIS developers

Student of the Year Award

Each year, a Penn State student is recognized for his/her accomplishments in the area of GIS development.  This student earns a cash award and is considered along with other EDC winners for recognition as Esri’s International EDC Student of the Year.

Past Penn State EDC winners:

  • 2018 - Curran McBride
  • 2017 – Tim Naegeli
  • 2016 – Ruthann Ligon
  • 2015 – Heather Widlund
  • 2014 – Meredith Moore

If you’re a student and think your development accomplishments are worthy of this award, please contact the Center coordinator, Jim Detwiler, at