Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – ENVR 370

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/09/2020

Course Description

This course is designed to provide practical experience in spatial database design and analysis using Geographical Information System (GIS) as applied primarily to the environmental sciences. Topics include: the history of GIS; GIS data structures and sources of data; GIS tools; software applications; and resources. Exercises include: spatial data display and query; map generation; and simple spatial analysis using ArcGIS software.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


To be marketable in the growing environmental field, the student must possess mapping skills. Most environmental decisions require the analysis of data portrayed on maps. This course will teach the student to utilize data to generate maps for the purpose of analysis. This course is required for the cognate in Green and Sustainable Management (B.S. in Business Administration). This course is also required for a B.S. in Environmental Biology.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss God’s charge to us to be stewards of His world.
  2. Describe how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to analyze and illustrate the world on which we live and to manage our impact on the world.
  3. Explain the basic concepts of digital cartography.
  4. Explain the practical foundations of GIS and of working with digital spatial data.
  5. Illustrate the uses of spatial data in various disciplines.
  6. Demonstrate the use of computers for collecting internet data, analyzing spatial data in GIS applications, and creating maps and reports.

Course Assignment

Study Guide and Lab Exercise activities

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

The student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words.

Lab Exercises (8)

The student will conduct a series of exercises using the QGIS software. Each exercise will involve answering a series of questions and/or creating a relevant map. The labs will also incorporate concepts and key information from the text readings.

Google Earth Exercise

The student will complete a series of exercises based on the use of Google Earth and its role with Geographic Information Systems.

Open Street Map Exercise

The student will gain an understanding of the Open Street Map Project and complete a product using Open Street Map.

Exams (2)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study materials for the modules/weeks in which it is assigned. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes.