NIMBioS logo banner.

Map image.

Spatial Analysis Lab

The Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL) at NIMBioS offers state-of-the-art spatial analysis capabilities to researchers interested in understanding biological, geographic, and socio-economic processes. SAL enables cross-disciplinary research for those in academia, government and industry who are engaged in biogeographical modeling, spatial statistics, and anthropogenic dimensions of biodiversity conservation.

The lab is also used for training students in spatial data collection and analysis, for supporting the work of researchers at NIMBioS, and for tutorials and workshops offered through NIMBioS, including online courses.

A unique component of SAL is a sub-concentration on spatial analysis in biology. Biology at SAL, or BaSAL, supports research activities that collect and synthesize large-scale spatial data to understand biological and socio-economic processes, especially in the areas of biodiversity, disease ecology, and human-environment interface.

Analytical Lab Capabilities

  • Large-scale spatial data capture and collection
  • Data visualization and analysis (ArcGIS, ENVI, Trimble Pathfinder Office, FARO SCENE)
  • Data storage
  • Training and outreach

Field Instrumentation

  • Terrestrial laser scanner
  • Unmanned Aerial System with multispectral & hyperspectral capabilities
  • Trimble Juno handheld GPS units

Remote Pilot Certification. New rules for piloting UAS, requiring UAS users to pass an aeronautical knowledge test, were released in August 2016 by the Federal Aviation Administration. Lab personnel will obtain the remote pilot certification in summer 2017 to assist lab users with UAS data collection.

SAL is in the process of becoming a recharge center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. SAL was developed in collaboration with UT's College of Arts & Sciences, and the Departments of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Geography.


  • Let us brainstorm with you within your budget to help you develop your idea/project.
  • Add SAL capabilities to strengthen and expand the scope and impact of a grant or contract proposal.
  • Engage with us for a spatial data analysis project (e.g., collation and analysis of publicly available data).
  • Develop an Accelerator Tutorial or Innovator Workshop with us that combines your research area with the capabilities of SAL and NIMBioS.

SAL Contacts:
Lab email:

Mona PapeĊŸ, SAL Director
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Tennessee
Phone: 865-974-2821
Eric Carr, SAL Science Coordinator
NIMBioS Computational Data Engineer
Phone: 865-974-0223
Top of page

1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
PH: (865) 974-9334
FAX: (865) 974-9300
Contact NIMBioS

NSF logo. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
©2008-2017 National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. All rights reserved.