GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS SPECIALIST
The purpose of this curriculum is to provide students with the concept knowledge and skills necessary to transfer successfully into a baccalaureate GIS program or to enter the workforce as a GIS technician. The coursework in this program will focus on the development of four areas of GIS-related concepts and skills, as identified below.
Area #1: The student will acquire a basic understanding of the geographic terms and concepts that are necessary for the appropriate use of GIS. These will include concepts of spatial variables, scale, map projection and map coordinate systems. The student will also be aware of the history of GIS, how it fits into overall information management, a variety of applications in which GIS can contribute to analysis and decision-making, and also have a sense of where the technology will be headed in the future.
Area #2: The student will acquire skills in the use of GIS software and hardware, with experience in at least two major GIS software products such as ESRI ArcGIS and ERDAS Imagine; and experience using Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The student will be able to load software, collect data with GPS in the field, import and use spatial data, conduct analysis of the data in GIS software and produce output.
Area #3: The student will be able to deal with a variety of GIS data issues, including, but not limited to: database creation through digitizing and on-screen drawing, editing, design, management and data conversion for use in GIS software. The student will also be aware of the importance of metadata, privacy concerns and issues of data sources, modification, and accuracy.
Area #4: The student will be able to perform a GIS project (analysis for decision-making or creation of a GIS product, such as a map or database). This will include the initial problem statement, identification of data needs, acquisition or creation of data, determination of the type of analysis to be conducted or type of product most appropriate to deal with the problem statement, performance of the analysis and the creation and presentation of the results.