Bob Watrel, Department Head
Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences
109 Wecota Hall
Geographic Information Science concerns the use of geographic information and data acquired from satellites and airborne platforms, and from ground based measurements and surveys of human activity and the environment. Geographic Information Science students learn how to work with geospatial data to study relationships, patterns, and trends. In the U.S. the explosion of geospatial data and their increasing use in business, government, and people’s everyday lives has led to a growing demand for qualified Geographic Information Science graduates. Geospatial science is developing rapidly, associated with developments in mobile, satellite and airborne remote sensing, computational, and big data technologies.
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates with a major in Geographic Information Sciences will:
- Demonstrate foundational and specialized knowledge in both the physical and human sciences and their interconnectedness at local, regional, and global scales. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking)
- Interpret the ethical consequences of global issues concerning the environment to strengthen commitment to local, national, and global citizenship. (Cross-curricular Skill: Ethical Reasoning)
- Demonstrate proficiency in the application of appropriate geographical technologies and techniques to address issues in the physical and/or human sciences. (Cross-curricular Skill: Problem Solving)
- Communicate geographic ideas clearly and effectively (e.g., maps, writing, oral presentations, posters, photos, flowcharts, tables, graphs, and illustrations).
- Apply observations from laboratory and/or field experiences to analyze problems and offer solutions. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking)
- Demonstrate the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and synthesize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial-temporal context. (Cross-curricular Skill: Information Literacy)
- Explore complex local, regional, and global issues using a geographical perspective to formulate questions and draw informed conclusions that are based on critical scientific analysis and interpretation of information. (Cross-curricular Skill: Inquiry and Analysis)
- Demonstrate openness to new perspectives and diverse others, evaluate the complexity inherent to multiple perspectives, and demonstrate the ability to reassess their personal perspective when appropriate. (Cross-curricular Skill: Diversity, Inclusion and Equity)
Students must earn at least a “C” in each course used to meet the major requirements.
Course Delivery Format
The Geographic Information Sciences program includes lecture, discussion, laboratory research, fieldwork, and travel, with limited online coursework.