GIS Lab Wide Format Printer Policy

The GIS lab in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences houses a wide format printer. The printer is not a replacement for the library printer. Use of the printer in the GIS lab is restricted to class-related activities, such as printing maps produced in GIS classes and related to fieldwork associated with field classes, class projects that culminate in posters, or research presented in poster format at campus events or professional meetings. Printing outside of the biological and environmental sciences is possible as time and resources permit, but it is restricted to teaching and research purposes only and will be charged on a departmental basis. Print requests from outside biological and environmental sciences will be charged to recover the cost of expendable supplies and materials like paper and ink.

The GIS lab does not offer a walk-in printing service. All faculty, staff, and students are required to submit a print request form following the guidelines below. Only authorized faculty, staff, and students have access to the printer and are able to submit print jobs to it. Faculty managing the GIS laboratory reserve the right to determine appropriate uses of the printer.

Print Requests

Print files and required print information will be submitted using the GIS Print Form. Print requests will normally be completed within 48 hours from the time of submission; print requests submitted on a Friday will be completed no later than 5:00 pm the following Tuesday. Appropriate adjustments to print schedules will be made based on critical times in the academic calendar (e.g., mid-terms and finals, campus events) and print staff availability.

Print Dimensions and Format

The minimum dimension of a print document cannot exceed 42 inches. For example, a 36 x 48 in poster can be printed because the minimum dimension, 36 in, does not exceed 42 in.  A 48 x 72 in poster could not be printed, but a 42 x 72 in poster could. All print files must be submitted in PDF format. Regardless of how the file is created (e.g., in PowerPoint, Inkscape, or Illustrator), the final product must be saved in PDF format and submitted via the GIS Print Form. PDF files will be printed as submitted; no editing of the file (e.g., typographical errors) will be done. If the dimensions exceed the printer capabilities, the print size will be adjusted using the “fit to page” function on the printer properties window.

Print Charges

Print requests from outside biological and environmental sciences will be charged a fee to recover the cost of the monthly maintenance contract and expendable supplies and materials like paper and ink. Faculty submitting print requests from these departments must agree to cover the costs of printing and provide an account number at the time of the print request. After the print job is completed, an account transfer will be made through the office of the Accounting Manager. If a department does not provide an account number, the print request will not be fulfilled.

It is not possible at this time to charge student print accounts. Faculty wishing to have their students print research or class-based project posters will need to submit a print request and include the department account to be charged; alternatively, they can provide the account information to Mary Kelly, Academic Administrative Assistant, at If a department does not provide an account number, the print request will not be fulfilled. It will be up to departments to recover printing costs from students if they choose to do so.

Types of Paper

Posters can be printed on three types of paper: bond, matte, and satin paper.  Bond paper is 24lb bond.  For comparison purposes, the paper in our campus copiers is 20lb.  It might be most suitable for posters that are presented in class or for rough drafts or situations where the poster will be marked up by pencil, pen, or marker (i.e., brainstorming around a draft poster or conceptual map associated with a class project).  It will eventually wrinkle as it absorbs moisture.  Matte paper is much stiff and is clay-coated for high-quality print results.  It is better suited for professional poster presentations or instances where the poster will hang for a longer period of time as it will retain its smoothness because of its thickness and stiffness. Satin paper has a satin or low-gloss finish and will produce high-quality results especially on posters that include photographic images or precision graphics.  It is better suited for professional poster presentations where a refined finish is desired. 

Cost of Printing

The cost of printing is $1.00 per square foot of paper for bond paper, $1.20 per square foot of paper for matte paper, and $2.20 per square foot for satin paper. A standard size poster (that fits on the tri-fold poster board) that is 36 in x 48 in would cost $12 on bond ($14.40 on matte and $26.40 on satin). A typical research poster for presentation on an 8-ft panel might be 42 in x 96 in; it would cost $28 on bond paper, $33.60 on matte, and $61.60 on satin paper. The charge is based on dimensions of the printed area only.

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