In 1980, the National Science Foundation (NSF) established the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The EPSCoR program is designed to assist states to establish a self-sustaining academic research enterprise with the competitive capability that will contribute to the states' economic viability and development. SD EPSCoR's mission is to strengthen research and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across South Dakota to increase science literacy and drive science-based economic development. SD EPSCoR helps build South Dakota's research infrastructure and increases its capacity to successfully compete for federal funding. Today many federal agencies have developed a similar program including NASA, DOE, DoD, NIH, etc. <read more at the SD EPSCoR Site .. >
The Mission Statement for vSURF reads "To share
the wonders of the Deep Underground Science being done at the Sanford
Underground Laboratory at Homestake with those online and to excite and
engage them in the active learning of science". As
vSURF has become a component of the Sanford Center for Science Education
(SCSE) its mission has expanded to cover the full breath of online
education and outreach activities of the center. Currently the
SCSE is focusing on projects within South Dakota. As SD EPSCoR
supports the development of STEM research projects in SD, many will be
related to the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake. vSURF
will be developing Online Immersive Educational Experiences in support
of these projects.
To learn more about the vSURF project, the history and people involved visit our "About US" page.
To see our current projects visit or "Highlights"
A substantial portion of the early development of the vSURF project and of this website has been funded by a sub-award from South Dakota EPSCoR. NSF South Dakota EPSCoR RII Grant # 0903804
Dr. James Rice, the director of SD EPSCoR program, was instrumental in supporting the creation of this website and in the early development of the Immersive Environments being created. The members of the vSURF team have been welcomed into the SD EPSCoR family and are very appreciate of all of the support.
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