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Course Directory and Materials: Core GIS Courses

These five courses comprise the requirements for our Graduate Certificate in GIS, which can be completed entirely online.


Quinney College of Natural Resources

NR 6910: Geographic Information Systems for Natural Resource Applications. This course is designed for graduate students who need an introduciton to GIS software and applications. Students will learn how to acquire geospatial data from various web sources as well as develop an understanding of how spatial data is created and collected in the field. Online course; may be used to fulfill requirements for USU's Geographic Information Science Certificate.
Course Materials for NR 6910 (coming soon)

NR 6920: Python Programming for GIS.
This course teaches students the basics of the Python programming language and its use with geographic information systems. Students are also introduced to a few open source Python modules that are useful for working with GIS data. Online course; may be used to fulfill requirements for USU's Geographic Information Science Certificate.
Course Materials for NR 6920 (coming soon)


NR 6930: Advanced GIS for Natural Resource Applications. The course is designed for students looking to expand their GIS skill set and build proficiency in solving spatial problems with GIS analyses. The curriculum is comprised of lab work that will build proficiency in GIS problem solving, advanced tools and plugins, and increase GIS professionalism. Online course; may be used to fulfill requirements for USU's Geographic Information Science Certificate.
Course Materials for NR 6930 (coming soon)


NR 6940: Principles of Remote Sensing for Natural Resources. This course will introduce fundamental concepts and develop basic skills related to the use of remote sensing data. The primary goal of the course is for students to learn to independently conduct analyses of remotely sensed imagery, with particular emphasis on the application of remote sensing analysis to a variety of problems in natural resources, including vegetation and habitat classification, soil mapping, and land use/land cover.
Online course; may be used to fulfill requirements for USU's Geographic Information Science Certificate.
Course Materials for NR 6940 (coming soon)


NR 6950/GEOG 4870/GEOG 6870: Geospatial Analysis. Spatial data are everywhere, and this course teaches students to summarize, visualize, integrate, and analyze a wide variety of spatial datasets using the R programming language in combination with basic statistics and GIS. Online course; may be used to fulfill requirements for USU's Geographic Information Science Certificate.
Course Materials for NR 6950 (coming soon)


Course Directory: Geospatial Courses Across Campus

These courses focus entirely or largely on spatial concepts.


Quinney College of Natural Resources


GEOG 1800/WILD 1800:
Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences. Introduces students to background and theory behind geographic information systems and spatial analysis. Students learn to integrate and analyze spatial information from different geographic sources. Includes a weekly laboratory section.

GEOG 3800: Data Visualization. Effective graphics can illuminate data trends/patterns and make big data digestible. This course teaches students how to consume data visualizations intelligently and produce powerful data graphics. Students learn fundamental visual strategies and tools. Knowledge of basic statistics is required. 

WILD 5750/6570: Applied Remote Sensing. Covers the application of remote sensing to landcover mapping and resource monitoring at a quantitative level. Students instructed on the effects of atmosphere and surface interaction on the reflectance collected by electro-optical sensors, as well as on the proper use and interpretation of various calibration and classification algorithms.

WATS 4930/6920: Advanced GIS and Spatial Analysis. Builds proficiency in geoprocessing in GIS to solve spatial problems. Topics include: data acquisition, web GIS, georeferencing, vector and raster analyses, surface interpolation, DEM construction, morphometric analysis, modeling, geoprocessing, and error assessment.

WATS 4931/6921: GIS Research Projects. Students will undertake an independent research project that requires use of advanced GIS, geoprocessing and spatial analytical techniques. Students will present their research at a peer-reviewed poster session and synthesize findings in a mock manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal of their choice.

WATS 5003/6003: Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces. Basic principles of radiation and remote sensing. Techniques for ground-based measurements of reflected and emitted radiation, as well as ancillary data collection to support airborne and satellite remote sensing studies in agriculture, geography, and hydrology.


College of Engineering

CEE 5003/CEE 6003/PSC 5003/PSC 6003. Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces. Students learn basic principles of radiation and remote sensing. Techniques for ground-based measurements of reflected and emitted radiation, as well as ancillary data collection to support airborne and satellite remote sensing studies in agriculture, geography, and hydrology are taught.

CEE 5190/6190. Geographic Information Systems for Civil Engineers. Introduction to GIS concepts addressing data structures, spatial entities, and queries. Topics include location referencing methods, data collection techniques, current applications, and institutional and organizational issues.

CEE 6440: Geographic Information Systems in Water Resources.
 Principles and operation of geographic information systems. Spatial hydrologic modeling done by developing a digital representation of the environment in the GIS, then adding functions simulating hydrologic processes. Includes term project on use of GIS in water resources.


College of Science

STAT 5410: Applied Spatial Statistics. This course covers spatial data structures; spatial data exploration and visualization in R; spatial point patterns, spatially continuous data, and grid data; and nearest neighbor distances, K function, complete spatial randomness, variogram, kriging, and Moran’s I. 

GEO 5630. Geologic Image Analysis. Interpretation of geologic features on aerial photographs, satellite imagery, and digital elevation models. 


College of Humanities and Social Sciences

ANTH 3340: Geographic Information Science for Anthropology. This course introduces undergraduate students to the application of Geographic Information Systems in anthropological research. No prior GIS experience is required for enrollment.

SOC 3200. Population and Society. Examination of interrelationships between population change and social structure in national and international context. Examines contributions of fertility, mortality, and migration to population characteristics, particularly sex, age, and ethnic composition. Stresses demographic data and analysis.


College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

LAEP 3300: GIS For Environmental Planning.  This course emphasizes the major analytical and technical components of resource planning and design using computer techniques.

LAEP 3400: Advanced Geospatial Analysis and Visualization for Environmental Planning. This course introduces the recent development of geographic information and geospatial technologies, and explores their applications for landscape architecture and environmental planning.

LAEP 6200: Bioregional Analysis and Planning. Compilation and analysis of data for assessing biophysical and socio-economic features of landscapes, and for evaluating impacts of land-use policies across both landscapes and time. Provides real-world learning experience in working with stakeholders and agency decision-makers.

PSC 4301: Computer Aided Residential Landscape Design. Students will learn to use modern CAD software used in residential landscape design. This will include acquiring basic skills to digitally create landscape designs, generate plant and supply lists for bidding, and generate presentation and marketing materials.


Course Directory: Additional Courses with Spatial Components

These courses contain components of spatial science, even though the main focus might be in another discipline.


ANTH 3300: Archaeology in North America. Prehistoric and historic archaeology of the North American continent. Explores initial colonization and Native American origins; variability among foraging adaptations; spread of farming; cultural complexity in Midwest, Southwest, and West Coast; Indian-environment relationships; European contact; depopulation; and historic archaeology of Euro-Americans.

GEOG 1300: World Regional Geography. Survey of world cultural regions, with an analysis of political, economic, and resource patterns in their physical setting.

GEOG 4120: Environment and Development in Latin America. Students examine the changing environment and developmental geography of Latin America. Focus is on globalization throughout history, along with its impact on lives and environments in the region, varied and changing human-environment relationships, and processes of economic and social inequality.

GEOG 3100: Human Environment Geography. This course surveys a breadth of subfields in geography that study human-environment interactions (e.g., political and cultural ecology, hazards geography, land change science, environmental history, environmental justice, and animal geographies). 

HEP 6450: Research Methods in Population Health. This course provides an intensive introduction to core concepts, principles, and techniques employed in the scientific health research process. Simultaneous application of this learning to assignments prepares students with competencies to develop and conduct their own health research.

HIST 4510: American Metropolis: Cities and Suburbs in United States History. Examines the history of communities, cities, and suburbs in American history, from the Colonial era to the present. Explores how forces, including immigration, economic growth, and technological change, shaped American cities. Also examines subjects connected to urban history, including architectural history, as well as the history of landscape architecture and urban planning.

HIST 6460: Seminar in Environmental History.
 Focuses on historical writings seeking to explain relationship between society and nature. Many of assigned readings are set in the non-Western world.

WILD 4750: Monitoring and Assessment in Natural Resource and Enviromental Management. Lectures, laboratory exercise, and field-based projects introduce students to the concepts, strategies, and analytical methods of natural resource and environmental monitoring and assessment.

GEO 4700: Geologic Field Methods. Collection, recording, and interpretation of geologic deposits and processes in the field. Written reports with geologic maps, cross-sections, and graphs are required. Two extended lab periods per week, weekend day trips, and one lecture per week.

SOC 3600: Sociology of Urban Places. This is a social, cultural, and spatial perspective on the characteristics of cities. It examines changes associated with urbanization processes and the effect of urbanization and urbanism on community, crime, neighborhoods, social and urban space.

SOC 3200: Population and Society. Examination of interrelationships between population change and social structure in national and international context. Examines contributions of fertility, mortality, and migration to population characteristics, particularly sex, age, and ethnic composition. Stresses demographic data and analysis.

GEO 1360: Planet Earth. Planet Earth is a one-semester course designed to expose and familiarize students with the basic concepts and principles of earth science. The course approaches the earth as a whole, encompassing geologic, hydrologic, biologic and atmospheric processes. In addition, students gain an understanding of the scientific process, and skills to think critically about scientific knowledge and research.

GEO 5660: Applied Geophysics. Field-oriented course involving data collection, data analysis, and overview/introduction of geophysical imaging and analysis of the subsurface.

GEOG 4210: Geography of Utah. Applies principles and methods of physical, cultural, and human-environment geography to the study of Utah’s people, places, and environments. Includes opportunities to build skills in GIS mapping, field studies of biophysical and social phenomena, and other forms of geographic inquiry.

GEO 5200: Geology Field Camp. Integrative approach to examining geologic relationships in the field, deciphering geologic evolution of map regions, and interpreting the structure and distribution of rocks. Results presented in reports, maps, cross-sections, and graphical formats. 

CEE 3210: Introduction to Transportation Engineering. Introduction to basic concepts of roadway geometric design, and intersection and highway capacity analysis. Other topics include: traffic flow characteristics, traffic studies, signal design, and transportation project evaluation.

CEE 5255: Transportation Safety. This course includes statistical analysis of transportation data, including safety and risk assessment; regression and multivariate analysis, such as discriminant analysis, canonical correlation, and factor analysis; and in-depth study of selected methodologies for analyzing transportation safety and designing countermeasures. 

CEE 5240: Urban and Regional Transportation Planning. Examination of travel demand forecasting, data collection, and survey data analysis techniques. Focuses on transportation-land use interactions and impact of market-based policies on travel demand. Theories and applications of traditional and advanced trip distribution, mode choice, and route assignment models.