The T-Rex technology incubator announced Wednesday that its new geospatial center will be led by Mark Tatgenhorst, who spent 33 years working at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
The construction of the incubator’s geospatial center began in February, and is expected to be completed this winter.
Tatgenhorst retired on Wednesday after 33 years at NGA, where he most recently led research and innovation initiatives.
Tatgenhorst moved to St. Louis from eastern Ohio, where he is originally from. During his career at NGA he received three master’s degrees and was deployed once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan, where NGA provides geospatial support.
“It’s been an absolute blessing,” Tatgenhorst said Wednesday. “The ability to work with the finest geospatial intelligence professionals in the world … is the chance of a lifetime.”
Aug. 5 will be his first day working directly with T-Rex, as founding director of the geospatial center.
Patricia Hagen, president and executive director of T-Rex, said that in the coming months the team will need to pull expertise from organizations, industries and academics in the geospatial sector to ensure that the center, named Geosaurus, will provide the best resources and equipment for their needs.
In an interview Wednesday, Tatgenhorst said he thinks people sometimes view geospatial as a siloed domain, but it really extends into every walk of life.
The entities involved range from government agencies with tens of thousands of people to very small groups doing specific planning work for local municipalities, Tatgenhorst said.
“What’s really unique about this whole ecosystem ... is how everybody — from state, civic, local, academia, industry — are all working together” to make St. Louis a geospatial hub, Tatgenhorst said.
A $500,000 grant from the United States Economic Development Administration has provided funding for the geospatial center’s programming, including Tatgenhorst’s position.
Geosaurus will occupy 14,760 square feet of office space on the fourth floor of T-Rex, which is located at 911 Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. It is located about a mile and a half from where the NGA West campus will be located.
NGA is planning a $1.75 billion office campus in the St. Louis Place neighborhood north of downtown.