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Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Courses in Geospatial Information Science and Technology (GIST)

USP Codes are listed in brackets by the 2003 USP code followed by the 2015 USP code (e.g., [QB<>Q]).

GIST 1001 - GIS Orientation and Portfolio. [1] This course introduces students to the GIST degree, the resources necessary to be successful in the program, and the broader geospatial field and its impact on society. Topics include a survey of domain applications, the ethical, legal and social implications of using geospatial data, and geospatial certifications and credentialing.

GIST 1100 - Geospatial Foundations. [3] Mobile phones, social media, sensors that can be embedded everywhere: location data recorded by these technologies has become relevant to many aspects of business, government, and our natural and social environments. Explore the geospatial technologies and spatial reasoning skills used to map, model, and manage human activities and environmental events, with examples from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Investigate the profound implications to privacy, security and decision making. The technical, information and spatial literacies developed in this class will benefit subsequent studies in any scientific or economic field. Includes hands-on experience working with maps, GPS and other geospatial technologies.

GIST 2310 (previously GIST 2100) - Introduction to GIS. [3] Introductory course covering fundamental principles of geographic information systems (GIS). Students will be introduced to both the theory and application of GIS, including GIS components, the nature of geospatial data, methods for data acquisition, database models, and GIS operations. Includes hands-on laboratory exercises using widely-used software.

GIST 2150 - Introduction to Programming in GIS&T. [3] This course introduces basic GIS programming knowledge and skills to highly motivated students with little or no prior experience in programming; the goal is to teach you how to write a functional computer program, and specifically to help you develop basic programming skills for using computation to understand geospatial data. This course is about developing computational scripting using Python to effectively manipulate geographic data, analysis, and mapping.

GIST 2160 – Survey of Remote Sensing Applications. [3] This course introduces remote sensing by surveying applications across disciplines. It includes a brief overview of fundamentals followed by exploration of types of remote sensing, including aerial photography, multispectral and hyperspectral satellite remote sensing, active remote sensing, and thermal remote sensing. The course introduces remote sensing applications through a combination of lecture and individual and team-based activities.

GIST 2200 – Spatial data visualization. [3] This lecture and laboratory course covers the fundamental principles, concepts, and applications of spatial data visualization. Spatial data visualization tools and techniques enable users to find, understand and act on spatial patterns, associations, and trends embedded in datasets. Students will learn to design, produce, and use powerful graphical representations of spatial data, including 3D maps, web maps, interactive graphs, and animations. They will develop hands-on skills in state-of-the-art visualization tools like story maps, dashboards, and spatial web apps. Students will learn to critique different graphical representations from usability and user experience perspectives.

GIST 3111 – Introduction to Remote Sensing. [3] This is a combined lecture and computer lab course designed to present: 1) the physical principles of remote sensing, 2) the application of airborne and satellite imagery to the study of the biosphere, with an emphasis on vegetation, and 3) the hands-on application of remote sensing principles using the Erdas Imagine image processing program in lab exercises. The schedule of lectures and labs are coordinated.

GIST 4130/5130 – Remote Sensing for Agricultural Management. (Separate syllabi files for 4130 and 5130) This course covers remote sensing concepts and applications related to croplands, rangelands, forests, and water. Students will learn a) Remote sensing concepts and applications for monitoring plant growth and vigor, monitoring rangelands, distinguishing invasive species, categorizing forest fires, and mapping water bodies; b) Process and extract information from remotely sensed data for vegetation monitoring; and c) Integrate remotely sensed data with other geospatial data.

GIST 4211/5211 – Advanced Remote Sensing. [3] (Online and on-campus) This online and on-campus course is a combined lecture and laboratory that introduces students to advanced theory and techniques of remote sensing. Specific topics include a review of remote sensing fundamentals; methods for using high spatial and spectral (hyperspectral) resolution data; active remote sensing; advanced image processing; and advanced classification techniques. Other topics may be addressed as they arise when relevant to particular students.

GIST 4410 – UAS Sensors and Platforms. [1] (Online) This 1-credit asynchronous online course meets for 8 weeks and provides a detailed overview of the types of drones used for modern remote sensing and of the sensors that can be used with these drone platforms to collect data, including RGB and multi-spectral cameras, thermal sensors, and lidar.

GIST 4420 – UAS Mission Planning. [1] (Online) This 1-credit online course provides a detailed overview of mission planning for UAS (drone) data collection. Students learn to evaluate mission requirements for a variety of UAS applications, to choose appropriate hardware to accomplish these requirements, and to use mission planning software to translate requirements into flight plans and data collection strategies.

GIST 4430 – UAS Regulations and Safety. [1] (Online) This 1-credit online course taught over 8 weeks provides students with a detailed overview of federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to UAS flights and data collection. Students also learn about how to operate drones safely in both personal and professional applications. Course content helps prepare students for FAA remote pilot certification.

GIST 4440 – Ground and UAS Operations. [2] (Field-based 3-day workshop) This 2-credit field course gives students hands-on experience operating UASs. (drones). Students will review UAS regulations and safety standards, discuss weather and other environmental considerations, and become proficient at operating UASs in the field.

GIST 4450/5450 – UAS Photogrammetry and Digital Image Processing. [3] (Online) This 3-credit online course provides overviews of a) the photogrammetric principles related to imagery data acquired by unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, and b) the image processing techniques used for extracting information from the drone images. Students will gain experience in processing drone imagery collected with RGB cameras and multi-spectral sensors. In addition to other work, graduate students will complete an independent project in which they create a photogrammetric product using UAS data.

GIST 4790/5790 – Special Topics in GIS&T. [3] Advanced and specialized topics in GIS&T are addressed through guided student discussions of current literature and possible hands-on analyses.

GIST 4870 – Internship in GIS&T. [Variable credit] Provides undergraduates with the opportunity to receive credit for practical experience in geospatial information science and technology. Internship opportunities must be approved by faculty and work supervisors.

GIST 4950 – Undergraduate Research in GIS&T. [Variable credit] Provides undergraduates with the opportunity to receive credit for practical research experience in geospatial information science and technology. Research opportunities must be approved by supervising faculty student’s GIST advisor

We will be adding more courses, when approved, to this list.


Have questions or want
to find out more?

Contact our program advisor:
Ramesh Sivanpillai

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