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Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Environmental Biology

Program Director: April Boulton, Ph.D.;  301-696-3649

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a special class of information systems that are used for processing and analyzing geographically referenced (georeferenced) data. Georeferenced data, a special category of spatial data, have two crucial properties. First, georeferenced data are registered to an accepted geographical coordinate system of the Earth’s surface so that data from different sources can be cross-referenced and integrated. Second, georeferenced data are represented at geographic scale and must be generalized and symbolized. Understanding and using georeferenced data will require study of the fundamental principles of cartography. 

Students will gain practical knowledge in the following areas: 

• Current theory and fundamentals in GIS 

• Application and analysis of GIS data from all fields of environmental biology 

• Ability to propose relevant GIS research for current environmental issues 

• Proficiency in remote-sensing theory and practices 

Requirements for the Certificate (18 credits minimum)

Required (9 credits)

ENV 501 Introduction Environmental Biology (3 credits)

ENV 502 Principles of Ecology (3 credits)

ENV 526G Introduction to GIS Mapping (1 credit)

ENV 526H Introduction to GIS Analysis (1 credit)

ENV 526I Introduction to Remote Sensing (1 credit)

Electives (Minimum of 9 credits):

Once students successfully complete ENV 526G and 526H and meet all the pre-requisites for a given course, students will select an additional 9 credits of GIS electives. The elective courses will require a major GIS-related project or paper in order to receive certificate credit. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor of an elective course whether the GIS-option is being selected by the drop/add deadline each semester. 

ENV 503 Pollution Biology (3 credits)

ENV 506 Environmental Microbiology (3 credits)

ENV 507 Natural Resource Management (3 credits)

ENV 509 Ecological Invasions and Biological Control (3 credits)

ENV 511 Conservation Biology (3 credits)

ENV 512 Insect Ecology (3 credits)

ENV 513 Marine Ecology (3 credits)

ENV 550G Environmental History (3 credits)

ENV 563 Freshwater Ecology (3 credits)

ENV 564 Environmental Toxicology (3 credits)

ENV 577 Climate Change (3 credits)