The overall goal of the course is to provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to understand the uses and limitations of geospatial information technologies [i.e., remote sensing (RS), global positioning systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)] for environmental science and natural resource management applications.

The objectives of this course are to:

  1. increase student awareness of GIT science in environmental sciences & natural resources management;
  2. introduce fundamental tools used for mapping natural resources;
  3. provide experience in mapping land cover conditions using maps, aerial photographs, satellite images, and navigation-grade GPS technology;
  4. provide experience in digital spatial analysis techniques; and
  5. generate enthusiasm and interest in using GIT for meeting environmental science and natural resources management needs.


By the end of this course, the student will be able to :

  1. Define, compare and contrast different types of maps and explain fundamental cartographic principles
  2. Compare and contrast different map projections and coordinate systems used for georeferencing locations on the earth's surface
  3. Compare and contrast the major characteristics of various sources of remote sensing data available for environmental and natural resource applications, including satellite imagery, and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each
  4. Define, compare and contrast raster and vector data structures used in GIS software
  5. Acquire and input georeferenced data from a variety of sources, including maps, digital imagery and navigation-grade GPS, for use in a GIS
  6. Define and explain the sources of error in digital data
  7. Efficiently manage and query both spatial and attribute data within a GIS
  8. Conduct appropriate spatial analyses, using both raster and vector data sources, within a GIS to answer specific natural resource management questions
  9. Produce quality maps which summarize output from simple spatial analysis using appropriate cartographic principles
  10. Demonstrate professionalism

Course content in managed under the Blackboard course management system.