Graduate Studies

GIS Analysis
2017-2018

Gainful employment information

Interim Biology Chairperson: Richard Musser
Biology Graduate Committee Chairperson: Andrea Porras-Alfaro
Coordinator of Ecological GIS Certificate Program: Richard Musser
Biology Office: 372 Waggoner Hall
Biology Telephone: (309) 298-1546 Fax Number:  (309) 298-2270
Biology E-mail: biology@wiu.edu
Biology website: wiu.edu/biology
Geography Chairperson: Samuel K. Thompson
Geography Graduate Committee Chairperson: Sunita George
Coordinator of GIS Applications Certificate Program: Yongxin Deng
Geography Office: Tillman Hall 313
Geography Telephone: (309) 298-1648
Geography E-mail: geography@wiu.edu
Geography website: wiu.edu/geography
Location of Program Offering: Macomb, Quad Cities

Program Description

This interdisciplinary, skill based program is designed to train students to become qualified GIS analysts in their specific specialty fields or disciplines. Students pursuing this certificate will gain development and confidence in GIS by learning: how problems in “my” field are interpreted in GIS, how to model scientifically the geospatial world, how to use GIS tools correctly, how to design and implement a GIS project in “my” field, and how to make high-quality maps and use maps wisely for GIS story-telling.

Students will gain GIS expertise from three perspectives of GIS learning: skill development, theory set, and applications set. The certificate is oriented towards both general and advanced GIS analytical theories and techniques, with different application focuses in biological/ecological, socioeconomic, and environmental fields.

The Ecological GIS focus of this certificate integrates training in GIS with training in ecological techniques, to learn biological and ecological data collection on the one hand, and to learn GIS interpretation of collected data on the other hand. Students graduated from this program will be qualified to use ecological information and GIS technology to plan land use restoration effectively. Application examples include floodplain and mine land reclamation, wetland and drainage restoration, natural disaster recovery programs in both urban and ecological preserves, and natural lands management.

The GIS Applications focus of the certificate addresses GIS application issues related to: 1) socioeconomic applications such as emergency management, health sciences, law and crimes, population mapping, sociology, transportation, precision agriculture, and urban planning; and 2) environmental applications including GIS modeling in climatology, hydrology, landscapes, natural resources, soil erosion, soil mapping, and geology. Students graduated from this program will be more extensively trained in GIS techniques and will have the opportunity to examine broad GIS applications issues, while developing GIS skills specifically useful and important in their specialty fields.

In the ecological, socioeconomic, and environmental fields today there are few jobs beyond the technician level that do not require a background in GIS. Thus employees in areas of urban planning, industrial or urban facility and site development, agricultural management, resource development, environmental consulting companies, landscaping companies, state and federal agencies (for example Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service) all require their mid-level employees be familiar with the use and application of GIS to their particular missions.

Requirements for Enrollment

Students who want the certificate must meet admission requirements.  Non-degree students must meet the admission requirements for the Graduate School; degree students must meet the admission requirements for their degree program. Students admitted to the program should have a degree in biology, geography or a related field.

Certificate Requirements

GIS Analysis: Ecological GIS

I. Core courses: 12 s.h.

BIOL/GEOG 426G Conservation and Management of Natural Resources (3)
or
BIOL/GEOG 459G Biogeography (3)

BIOL 584 Advanced Ecological Techniques (3)
or
GEOG 408G Environmental Geographic Information Systems (3)

GEOG 508 GIS and Cartographic Design (3)
GEOG 509 Fundamentals of GIS Analysis (3)

II. Select two courses (one from Biology and one from Geography) from the

following: 6 s.h.

Biology

BIOL 452G Biological Applications of GIS (3)
BIOL 453G Streams Ecology
BIOL 454G Mississippi River Ecology (3)
BIOL 456G Fire/Disturbance Ecology (3)
BIOL 479G Tropical Ecology (3)
BOT 451G Plant Ecology (3)
MICR 451G Microbial Ecology (3)
ZOOL 451G Advanced Topics in Animal Ecology (3)

Geography

GEOG 403G Advanced Remote Sensing (3)
GEOG 406G Spatial Statistics in GIS (3)
GEOG 408G Environmental Geographic Information Systems (3)
GEOG 409G Thematic Geographic Information Science (3)
GEOG 510 Environmental Impact Analysis (3)
GEOG 609 GIS Research and Applications Methods (3)

TOTAL: 18 s.h.

GIS Analysis: GIS Applications

I. Core courses: 9 s.h.

GEOG 408G Environmental Geographic Information Systems (3)
GEOG 508 GIS and Cartographic Design (3)
GEOG 509 Fundamentals of GIS Analysis (3)

II. Select three courses from the following: 9 s.h.

GEOG 403G Advanced Remote Sensing (3)
GEOG 406G Spatial Statistics in GIS (3)
GEOG 409G Thematic Geographic Information Science (3)
GEOG 510 Environmental Impact Analysis (3)
GEOG 609 GIS Research and Applications Methods (3)

TOTAL: 18 s.h.

Course Descriptions

Biology (BIOL)

426G (cross-listed with GEOG 426G)  Conservation and Management of Natural Resources. (3) Problems in the conservation and management of natural resources, including soil, water, rangeland, forest, wildlife, air, and energy resources. Special attention to resource problems of the United States. Prerequisites: Two courses in geography or permission of the instructor.

452G Biological Applications of GIS. (3) This course deals with biological problems examined using data acquisition and analytical methods from geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS). Prerequisites: One biology course, and either GEOG 208 or GEOG 508.

453G Streams Ecology. (3) Structure and function in lotic ecosystems is emphasized in this course. Physical, chemical, and biotic factors used in stream classification will be examined. Prerequisites: BOT 200 (C grade or better) and ZOOL 200 (C grade or better); and either an ecology course or permission of the instructor.

454G Mississippi River Ecology. (3) A study of the structure and function of abiotic and biotic components of a major river system. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how components interact and are influenced by activities related to human interdiction. Prerequisites: One year of biology or permission of the instructor.

456G Fire/Disturbance Ecology. (3) This course examines the role of fire and other disturbances on the distribution and ecology of plants, animals, and microbes in their natural environments. Opportunity for The Nature Conservancy’s prescribed burn and Federal basic wildlife firefighter’s certifications will be available. Prerequisites: BOT 200 (C grade or better) and ZOOL 200 (C grade or better), or permission of the instructor.

459G (cross-listed with GEOG 459G) Biogeography. (3) Study of the geographical distributions of organisms, the evolutionary and ecological processes underlying the patterns of distribution, and the role of biogeography in biological conservation. Prerequisites: BOT 200, ZOOL 200, or permission of the instructor.

479G Tropical Ecology. (3) Introduction to tropical ecology.  Includes a required field trip to several research stations in Costa Rica. Prerequisites: BOT 200 (C grade or better) and ZOOL 200 (C grade or better), or permission of the instructor.

584 Advanced Ecological Techniques. (3) This course provides instruction on the applications of techniques and analytical methods to the evaluation and restoration of terrestrial and aquatic communities, including data analysis specific to those techniques. Includes field experience. Prerequisite: BIOL 350 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

Botany (BOT)

451G Plant Ecology. (3) Relationships of plants to their environment, community ecology and the use of quantitative methods to determine distribution. Field trip estimate: $25. Prerequisites: BOT 200, ZOOL 200, and BOT 210 or 410; graduate standing in biology.

Geography (GEOG)

403G Advanced Remote Sensing. (3) Digital image processing techniques for thematic information extraction from remotely-sensed data for environmental applications. Laboratory. Prerequisites: GEOG 202, or permission of the instructor.

 

406G Spatial Statistics in GIS. (3) Introduction to statistical approaches in GIS to measure geographic distributions, identify geographic patterns and spatial clusters, and analyze geographic relationships. Prerequisites: GEOG 202 and 301; or permission of the instructor.

408G Environmental Applications of GIS. (3) GIS modeling of the biophysical environment, including water flow simulation, mapping of soils and climates, habitat delineation, and soil erosion modeling. Review of GIS methods, literature, and practice of environmental analysis in labs and project. Laboratory.  Prerequisites: GEOG 202; and GEOG 301 or STAT 171 or equivalent.

409G Advanced GIS Spatial Analysis. (3) Emphasis upon GIS modeling based upon coordinate-based spatial data.  Integration of raster-based GIS data and concepts when appropriate for the solutions of vector-based problems.  Laboratory.  Prerequisites: GEOG 202 or 209 or equivalent.

426G (cross-listed with BIOL 426G) Conservation and Management of Natural Resources. (3) Problems in the conservation and management of natural resources, including soil, water, rangeland, forest, wildlife, air, and energy resources. Special attention to resource problems of the United States. Prerequisites: Two courses in geography or permission of the instructor.

459G (cross-listed with BIOL 459G) Biogeography. (3) Study of the geographical distributions of organisms, the evolutionary and ecological processes underlying the patterns of distribution, and the role of biogeography in biological conservation. Prerequisites: BOT 200, ZOOL 200, or permission of the instructor.

508 GIS and Cartographic Design. (3) An introduction to basic cartographic principles and the application of geographic information system (GIS) tools. Students will learn theory and techniques that will be applied to project(s) associated to their discipline.

509 Fundamentals of GIS Analysis. (3) An introduction to geographic information system (GIS) analysis tools. Students will learn theory and techniques that will be applied to project(s) associated to their discipline. Prerequisite: GEOG 508.

510 Environmental Impact Analysis. (3) An examination and application of methodologies and techniques in assessing physical, economic, and social effects of development. Prerequisite: GEOG 405 or permission of the instructor.

609 GIS Research and Application Methods. (3) How to use GIS concepts, tools, and methods correctly in research activities of various disciplinary and application backgrounds. Examine existing GIS applications in your own field and conduct “hands-on” exercises by designing and completing a GIS project individually. Prerequisite: GEOG 508.

Microbiology (MICR)

451G Microbial Ecology. (3) Ecobiology of the major microbial groups and their role in processing carbonaceous and geochemical elements in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Prerequisites: BOT 200 (C grade or better), ZOOL 200 (C grade or better) and MICR 200 (C grade or better); graduate standing in biology.

Zoology (ZOOL)

451G Advanced Topics in Animal Ecology. (3) Relationships of animals in their environment. Prerequisites: BIOL 350, ZOOL 200, ENG 280; graduate standing in biology.