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Course Syllabus

Course: GEO 1800

Division: Natural Science and Math
Department: Geology
Title: Interdisciplinary Introduction to GIS

Semester Approved: Summer 2019
Five-Year Review Semester: Spring 2025
End Semester: Spring 2025

Catalog Description: This course is an interdisciplinary introduction for Geographical Information Systems (GIS). It covers general GIS applications and teaches fundamentals in the use of the current-version of ArcGIS by ESRI which is the widest used software in the field. The class includes hands-on experience with the software that will aid students planning careers in engineering, drafting, geology, geography, natural resources, law enforcement, many business fields, surveying, journalism, and many other areas. GPS will also be taught for producing input for GIS if time permits.

Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 2; Lab: 2

Justification: This course is intended as an elective for students that will give them an advantage in many fields of study, both in their future course work and in their future employment. Many public schools in Utah are starting to introduce students to the uses of GIS as early as elementary school. Most colleges and universities in Utah offer a similar course. Examples of these are: Salt Lake Community College GEOG 1800, University of Utah GEOG 3140, Southern Utah University GEOG 3550 + GEOG 3555, Utah State University GEOG 1800 & WILD 1800

Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course students will be adept at using the fundamental capabilities of the ArcGIS software and also have experience in teaching themselves new components of the software to prepare them for an expanded use of ArcGIS in the future. They will be introduced to and show competency in the GIS skills (see Content below), as well as become comfortable with and be able to use the vocabulary of GIS.  These outcomes will be assessed in minor projects, major projects and exercise reports.

Students will learn the basic concepts, vocabulary and skills involved in GIS including: Exploring the ArcGis software including ArcMap and ArcCatalog; Displaying and navigating maps; Finding map data and adding it to ArcMap; Displaying data by symbolizing, classifying and labeling; Spatial analysis of data by location or other attributes; Formulating queries, etc; Creating graphs, buffering features, etc; Defining and evaluating map projections; Creating and editing data including the creation of personal geodatabases; Drawing features using feature construction tools; Editing features; Using GPS for GIS input; Making maps for presentations, with or without templates.

Key Performance Indicators:
Students will be assessed often through exercise reports and minor projects. They will be assigned on a regular basis to allow students to practice the skills and concepts they will learn in the textbook exercises. Also three major projects will be assigned as midterm and final exams. All major projects, minor projects and exercise reports will be assessed and graded.

Minor projects 15 to 20%

Exercise reports 10 to 20%

Major projects 40 to 60%

Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Law,, Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop, Current Edition, ESRI Press, Redlands, CA, or equivalent

Pedagogy Statement:
Course material will be delivered by chapter assignments and projects and projects that allow students to practice techniques and analysis learned in the chapter assignments

Instructional Mediums:



Maximum Class Size: 15
Optimum Class Size: 10