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Insert name of course

Course Stats

Instructor(s): Pat Halpin

Units: 4

Semester Offered: Fall



Skills and Career Applications

Insert comments on the intent and career applications of this class. Comments/Quotes from Nicholas Alumni are especially valued.

  • There seem to be many environmental jobs that request GIS skills, although be sure you are okay with lots of computer time. If you think you want to really be able to use GIS later, you'll probably want to plan on taking more GIS classes beyond this intro, and maybe get the Geospatial Analysis certificate.  Taking this class alone, without follow-up GIS courses, just gives you a broad overview, and you may not feel quite proficient yet in a job setting.
  • This class will take you from a complete beginner to a mid-level user; you will probably be able to be the "GIS person" for a small non-profit but will not be able to perform complex GIS analysis in a consulting setting.  Make sure you understand the difference between datums and projections and how to align your data.  Data preparation is obviously included in this course, but make sure you understand how and where to get publicly available environmental data and make them compatible with each other.  If you master those skills you will have access to analysis that most other people in your organization will not.

Registration Advice

Insert comments here on how prospective students should approach registration for this class (hard to get into; sign up early; permission numbers; don't take if you already have heavy load; etc.)

  • The class is very time intensive.  Lots of people take the class, though, so there is lots of camaraderie during late nights in the computer lab.  Be realistic about whether or not you will be able to dedicate the time for the labs, and whether or not you really want those GIS skills.  There is sometimes a feeling like "everyone" is taking GIS in the first Fall, but it's okay if you don't want to do it. 
  • EEP students:  You'll have to take 210 (Stats) and 270 (Econ) in your first semester already.  If you also sign up for 259, just know it will be a very heavy workload.  Of course, if you have a strong interest in adapting geospatial tools for economic analysis or ecosystem valuation, taking 259 would be very valuable.  GIS also has applications in transportation planning, energy infrastructure, and agriculture. 

Student Opinions

This space is intended to compile general comments from past students on the course. It will be judiciously moderated for extreme and unprofessional comments, but otherwise, it is open to a broad range of student feedback.

  • A good class for learning the basics of GIS.  GIS seems to be everywhere now in the environmental world!  And a good map can speak volumes.

The Instructor's Take...

This space is exclusively for the instructor to broadly comment on his or her course, and respond to commonly received feedback, explain methods and approaches, and encourage student registration. Instructors: Please limit to 300 words, or link to a wiki page of your own creation to explain in detail.

  •  A 2009 article in the Raleigh News & Observer about Professor Halpin