geographic info systems & theory

Geography 360

Geog 360 is an introductory course on spatial reasoning, conceptualization, and theory of Geographic Information Science; datasets and analytical fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems; and the fundamentals of GIS software (ArcGIS). By the end of the course, you will have an understanding of elementary GIS theory, a working knowledge of GIS software, analyses, and relevant data, and be able to develop GIS-based solutions for spatial problems.


Geography 481/581

Geography 481/581 discusses theoretical, conceptual, and technical approaches in modern, large-scale remote sensing (satellite) image analysis and supports integrative spatial thinking. The course is technical in nature but does not deal with technical matters alone. Rather, the value, historical and scientific contexts, and social and environmental applications of the techniques and ideas will be explored.

During lecture, we’ll discuss intermediate concepts and analytical techniques for satellite image processing, including image display enhancement, transforms, classification, change detection, and time series analysis. Concepts and techniques presented in lecture will be paired with real world applications of remote sensing, most often involving aspects of global climate change or land cover/land use change. Students will thus be expected to understand both why a given analytical approach is appropriate for a problem or question at hand, as well as how the approach is best undertaken.

In lab meetings, students will delve into weekly topics and gain hands-on experience with open-source satellite imagery and ancillary vector and tabular datasets. All lab assignments will use Google Earth Engine’s JavaScript API (sign-up here) and various raster and vector datasets accessible through the Earth Engine catalog, and example/reference Earth Engine scripts will be discussed in lecture and lab meetings. No prior programming experience is expected, and no software other than a modern browser like Chrome or Firefox is required.

geospatial perspectives on human & environmental security

Geog 464/564

Geography 464/564 is a capstone course that unites concepts and skills in geospatial science and geography with a critical eye on the application of our discipline in areas of environmental and human security, geospatial intelligence, and ethics of geospatial data collection, management, and analysis. The course provides a framework for students to integrate experiences from their Geography/Geospatial Science coursework and critically evaluate limitations, implications, and critiques of geospatial science in various social and environmental contexts with a recurring focus on vulnerable peoples and landscapes. We will examine the changing role of geospatial science within the broader field of geography and explore how geospatial technologies are socially constructed and replete with social consequences. By promoting reflective practice and equally highlighting shortcomings and successes of geospatial science, it’s my hope that you will i) gain a deeper understanding of how geospatial science situates and is situated within a broader societal context, and ii) how your skills in geospatial science are poised to address some of the most pressing concerns of the 21st century.