Graduates of the program are in strong positions to meet future regulatory requirements for certification as professionals.
Interdisciplinary Concentration in Geographic Information Systems
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have revolutionized the way that land is inventoried, managed, planned, and studied. GIS provides the theories and methods for organization and analysis of original measurements of location and secondary spatial data, as well as topography. As an information system GIS provides for the organization, storage, analysis, modeling, mapping, and display of physical and biological data, as well as the distribution of cultural or socio-economic data. GIS applications are diverse. They include determining the suitability of land for different uses, planning future land uses for different objectives, managing cadastral information for the purpose of property recognition, taxation and regulation, analyzing land and land-cover properties for both resource inventories and scientific studies, and siting commercial enterprises. The private-sector GIS industry has become a key component of the U.S. economy.
Users and producers of GIS include engineers, geographers, urban and regional planners, biologists and ecologists, land resource managers, anthropologists and archaeologists, sociologists, public health professionals and medical researchers, county land-managers and property tax assessors, law enforcement officers, land-development companies, utility companies, retail stores and many others. Undergraduate and graduate students who learn to use GIS technology are in high demand and so start at higher salaries than their non-GIS peers.
GIS tools are powerful and convey great influence to those who know how to use them for access to and use of geographic information. The tools are also difficult to use appropriately, with added complexities of spatially referenced attributes that create the need for users to understand geodesy, cartography, geostatistics, and other formerly esoteric forms of knowledge. Furthermore, land is constantly changing as a result of natural processes and human activity requiring geographic information to be regularly updated, often with data collected by remote sensing methods. As a result of the potential effects of GIS on human well-being, and the need for proper use of spatial data, regulations and standards concerning GIS and the credentials of GIS technicians, scientists, and managers are being drafted at all levels of government and by national and international agencies.
Eligibility and Requirements
Note: Students in any graduate program in the SFRC (Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences or Forest Resources and Conservation) are eligible for the ICGIS.
Students participating in the ICGIS will be required to complete at least one graduate course from each of the five different categories:
- GIS Fundamentals
- Geomatics (Measurements, Data Organization & Reliability)
- Remote Sensing and Image Processing Fundamentals
- Spatial Analysis, Modeling And Decision Support
No undergraduate courses may be used to complete this concentration. Additionally, no more than three categories may be satisfied in one college or academic unit. Students will be required to utilize GIS in their thesis or final project, and at least one member of the student’s committee must be a participating member of the ICGIS. Students will complete the concentration for either the Master’s or Ph.D.
For More Information
Contact the Chair of the ICGIS, Dr. Scot Smith (email@example.com).