Certificate in Environmental Geographic Information Science (GIScience)

October 23, 2017

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Environmental scientists can analyze and interpret environmental data while Geographic Information Systems (GIS) scientists can manage and manipulate data. Unity College’s Masters of Professional Science in Environmental GIScience certificate will prepare students to meld the two by integrating spatial technologies and environmental information. Hands-on experience through online projects and research will engage students in course activities and allow for increased comprehension of the science, concepts, and skills they need to become leaders in their chosen environmental fields.

Degree requirements

15 credits earned
3.00 minimum cumulative graduate level grade point average


GR 5043 GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Solutions

Course Description
This course is intended to introduce students to GIS and remote sensing software and tools used to solve real-world environmental problems. Students will learn concepts and data sources and formats used in environmental research they may encounter in careers in environmental science. This course introduces the fundamentals of cartography, photogrammetry, geographic information science, and remote sensing through maps and spatial analysis used to answer various environmental and ecological issues. This course will also introduce students to use map and data outputs in the decision-making process that can impact environmental assessments and determinations.

GR 5143 Advanced GIS and Remote Sensing for Ecological Applications

Course Description
This course is intended to build upon introductory course knowledge. This course will teach students to understand and apply more advanced methodologies using GIS and remote sensing technologies. They will apply knowledge gained in this course to environmental concepts they may be exposed to in their careers. Types of data used will include vector and raster spatial data, imagery, maps, and topographic data to examine environmental problems. Data assessed will include spatial information regarding human and natural hazards and disasters, land use and land cover, surface temperature, climate change, wetland delineation, wildlife corridor mapping, coastal erosion, human impacts on the environment, and more. Students can use this data to gain insights and make problem-solving decisions regarding real-world environmental issues they may encounter during their careers.

GR 6143 Modeling Our Changing World

Course Description
This course is intended to continue to build on the concepts and techniques learned in previous GIS and remote sensing courses. Students will learn to model and analyze real-world environmental science problems (e.g. past and future impacts of climate change on the Earth). A model is a simulation of the real-world. Students will model raster and vector data using algorithms and basic programming language. Students will use various proprietary and/or open source software to model and analyze environmental data including ArcGIS, R and QGIS.

GR 5343 Environmental Research Methods

Course Description
This course will expand upon GIS and remote sensing concepts, techniques, and tools used in environmental research. Students will gather, process, and analyze data from a variety of sources. Data sources will include GIS and remotely sensed data from online repositories like USGS Earth Explorer, Google Earth, state GIS repositories, the National Atlas Viewer, the NPS IRMA Data Portal, the NRCS Soil Data Viewer, and the USDA Geospatial Data Gateway. Types of data examined will include vector and raster spatial data, imagery, maps, and topographic data. Students will also learn to gather, process, and analyze basic geographic data using tools they have access to including GPS devices including watches, smartphones, cameras, and trackers.

GR 5443 Creating Maps and Graphics of Ecosystem Change

Course Description:

This course is intended to introduce students to theory and practice of cartography and visualization. This course will teach students to learn, to think, and to communicate visually using a variety of environmental GIS data. Activities and a final project will teach students to visually display and examine environmental problems. Students will learn symbology, coordinate systems, map projections, topographic representations, interpolation, classification schemes, and more to effectively visually communicate real-world environmental problems and solutions to scientific and general public audiences.