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Geographic Information Science and Technology Minor

2021-2022

Program coordinators

Dr. Jeanette C. Arkle, assistant professor pf environmental Studiess, program manager of Upper Mississippi Center for Sustainable Communities; B.S., B.A., M.S. California State University, Fullerton; Ph.D., University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Reuben A. Heine, professor; B.A., St. Cloud; M.S., Ph.D., Southern Illinois (Carbondale)

Program overview

This experiential minor in geographic information science and technology is designed for students who want to enhance their chosen major with increased geospatial analysis skills and boost job marketability or graduate school preparation. The minor is designed to provide students with  a broad base of knowledge and skills in classes and a specific applied experience using GIST in an internship. 

Internships can take place on campus or off. On-campus internships will use GIS as part of student-faculty research collaborations or applied projects for the college. For off-campus internships, Augustana maintains connections with more than a dozen local agencies and companies that offer GIST internships, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and numerous county and city offices.

Requirements

The Geographic Information Science and Technology Experiential Minor is 16 credits, distributed as follows: GEOG 273 or 274, GEOG 372, GIST 375, and GIST 475. The GIST minor also requires a GIS-related 0-4 credit internship of at least 80 hours.

GEOG 273 Intro GIS for Natural Sciences (4 Credits)

This course focuses on the use of a geographic information system to acquire, evaluate, and analyze spatial data. Students will learn (1) key concepts and components of GIS and (2) essential skills of operating a GIS through the use of ArcGIS software package. Emphasis is placed on the use of GIS to solve problems related to the natural sciences. Students will learn how GIS is used in fields such as ecology, biology, hydrology, environmental studies, and/or geology. Course includes a student-selected final project. Cannot receive credit for both GEOG 273 and 274.

GEOG 274 Intro GIS for Social Sciences (4 Credits)

This course focuses on the use of a geographic information system to acquire, evaluate, and analyze spatial data. Students will learn (1) key concepts and components of GIS and (2) essential skills of operating a GIS through the use of ArcGIS software package. Emphasis is placed on the use of GIS to solve problems related to the social sciences. Students will learn how GIS is used in fields such as public health, sociology, urban planning, environmental studies, and/or business. Course includes a community-based GIS project.  Cannot receive credit for both GEOG 273 and 274.

GEOG 372 – Digital Cartography and Design (4 credits)

This course is an introduction to the principles of digital cartography and map design. Various forms of data visualization techniques (dot map, choropleth, graduated circle, isolines, etc.) will be practiced on a digital platform using GIS and Illustrator software. Emphasis is placed on map user considerations and constraints, and cartographic ethics. GIS is not a prerequisite for the course, but previous knowledge is helpful.

GIST 375 – Drone Mapping and GIS

This intermediate-level GIS course will explore the use of drones for mapping and GIS data creation. Students will learn the basics of drone piloting, flight safety, mission planning, photogrammetry, and application of drone data in ArcGIS Pro software. The course will prepare students to pass the Federal Aeronautic Administration (FAA) commercial drone pilot's test. Prerequisite: GEOG 273 or GEOG 274 or consent from instructor. Offered in alternate years.

GIST 475 – Advanced GIS (4 Credits)

Examination of advanced GIS applications and essential GIS skills including process automation and programming. Essential skills include metadata writing, data conversions, re-projections of spatial data, and spatial data editing. Additional advanced GIS topics will vary based on instructor expertise and interest and will be announced in the spring term in the year before the class is offered. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: GEOG 273 or GEOG 274 or consent from instructor.

GIST-INTR – GIST Internship (0 to 4 Credits)

An internship that provides students with applied experience using GIST to meet needs or solve problems. Internships can be with Augustana faculty or staff members or with off-campus employers. Minimum of 80 hours. Internships must be approved by a GIST program coordinator. Prerequisites: GEOG 273 or GEOG-274.