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Skidmore College
GIS Center for Interdisciplinary Research

Students working in the GIS lab
Course Offerings

Currently Skidmore offers the following courses that use GIS:
ID 210 Introduction to GIS
Credits: 4
An introduction to the concepts and principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for computerized mapping and spatial analysis in the social and natural sciences. Students will be introduced to major concepts and principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for computerized mapping and spatial analysis in the social and natural sciences. Students will be introduced to major concepts in GIS, become versed in the types of problems and analyses that GIS can be used to address and perform, and create effective presentations of geospatial information. Students will define a problem in spatial analysis, obtain relevant data from online sources, and use geoprocessing operations to produce quality maps. The course is designed to enable students to be self-sufficient, project-oriented GIS users.
Prerequisites: QR1
Note(s): (Fulfills QR2 requirement).

SSP 100 Location, Location, Location: An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Credits: 3
Do you think that the people of New Orleans think that location matters? Location does matter, and throughout history people have devised ever more complex and innovative ways of mapping their location. In this Scribner seminar, we examine the various historical modes that people have used to map the world around them, including the most important contemporary mapping technology, GIS (Geographic Information Systems). All forms of mapping, including GIS, draw from sociology, economics, business, political science, history, biology, environmental science and geosciences. Students will explore the theory behind and the applied applications of GIS and other mapping systems within and across these different fields of study. We will end the course with an examination of the role GIS and other mapping technologies played in predicting and tracing the path of Hurricane Katrina, and how it may help in the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast.

GE 305 Remote Sensing of the Earth and Environment
Credits: 4
An exploration of methods of remote sensing used in modern observations of Earth processes. Students will examine the physical principles of remote sensing within the context of key Earth systems such as the atmosphere, the cryosphere, and the terrestrial and ocean biospheres. Students will explore topics such as vegetation cycles, weather observations, the atmospheric ozone layer, and digital elevation model development. Laboratory work and student projects will include manipulation and interpretation of remote imagery to classify ground cover, detect environmental change, and observe spatial and temporal patterns in Earth processes. Three hours of lecture, 3 hours of lab per week.
Prerequisites: GE 101 (or concurrent enrollment in GE 101) and ID 210 (or approved GIS course); or permission of the instructor.

EC 104/361 Economic Geography
Credits: 3
An analysis of geographic issues in economics using GIS technology to study international issues including population, resource location, industrial location, transportation and commerce geography, international trade, economic development, urban geography, the city and its internal structure, systems of cities, neighborhoods, migration, etnicity, poverty, core and edge, environmental problems, and urban planning.

DS 116A Storytelling: Map Design and Spatial Visualization
Credits: 1
Presentation of geographic spatial information begins with maps made following good design. What makes a good map design in terms of color composition, scale, and density of information? How does one present multiple scales and time series? Good design is only the beginning. Once content is mapped, how and with what media can the visual information be best presented? This course will explore map design and appropriate use of increasingly complex presentation strategies starting with powerpoint, followed by Google map engines and embedded internet applications and culminating with ArcGIS Online driven story mapping. Students with prior GIS experience will be able to create their own map data, while those uninitiated in GIS will be able to use existing data sets to achieve powerful and appropriate visualizations. The seven week course design allows for those with significant presentations at the end of the semester, such as capstone projects, to apply visualization and presentation methods gained in this course in those projects. The course would be offered under  Documentary Studies with Environmental Studies and Science cross-listing to appeal to a broad range of students.

ID 351C Spatial Analysis and Modeling
Credits: 3
This course provides an in-depth experience in applied spatial analysis. Topics will range from digital representations of  topographic features (e.g., natural and built ) and modeling thematic data (e.g., social, health and economic). Selected topics will allow students to become versed in advanced software applications including ArcMap extensions (e.g., spatial, 3D, geostatistical and network analysts) and specialized applications for watershed modeling and processing elevation data. Both remotely-sensed and vector-based data will be used. An additional focus on publishing methods and professional production will be included. As an interdisciplinary course, topics will be adjusted to match student backgrounds, with the opportunity to individually explore topics specific to their interests. Prerequisite: ID 210 or other introductory GIS class with permission of the instructor

Other: Several courses at Skidmore use GIS technology and the GIS Center for one or more of its classes. These courses in the past have included Archeology, Environmental Biology, Field Studies in Environmental Studies, Field Techniques (Geosciences), Hydrology (Geosciences), Climatology, Exploration of the Solar System, Sociology of the Family, Women's Studies Senior Seminar, Women in the Global Economy, Marketing and Management Information Systems.

The GIS Center is also used in numerous senior projects, independent studies, and student research projects.