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Introduction to Geospatial Technology Using QGIS is a Course

Introduction to Geospatial Technology Using QGIS

Ended Mar 28, 2015

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Full course description

Self paced. February, 23 2015 - March 27, 2015

This course provides a rich introduction to the booming technology field of Geographic Information Systems, known as GIS. The GIS industry is exploding at double-digit employment and income numbers and promises employment opportunities well into the future. Students will learn the fundamentals of GIS and how to build digital maps using open source software that allows free unlimited use for private or commercial applications. All data and software required is included in the course.

Topics covered in this course include GIS, cartography, remote sensing, and spatial analysis through a series of lectures and hands-on computer-based exercises. This course is designed to be used as a stand-alone course to complement other disciplines or as an entry level course into a geospatial program. Course content is based upon the United States Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model for entry level geospatial occupations, including Geospatial or GIS Technicians and Technologists.

Learning Outcomes/Competencies

  • Describe the fundamental concepts of Geographic Information Science and Technology.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the basic functions of geospatial software.
  • Demonstrate awareness of fundamental remote sensing and spatial analysis techniques.
  • Demonstrate basic proficiency in map creation and design principles, including thematic map display, employment of map projections, and cartographic design.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the creation and acquisition of spatial data.


Students have the option to receive continuing education credit from a regionally accredited college.
John Van Hoesen

John Van Hoesen, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Geology; Environmental Studies Community Mapping Lab Director (MapLab), Green Mountain College

John is an associate professor of geology and environmental studies at Green Mountain College in rural west-central Vermont. He earned a M.S. and Ph.D in geology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2000 and 2003. He is a Certified GIS Professional (GISP) with a broad background in the geosciences and has used some flavor of GIS to evaluate and explore geologic processes and environmental issues since 1997. He has used and taught some variant of FOSS GIS since 2003 and over the last three years has taught graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education courses using only FOSS GIS software.

Kurt Menke

Kurt Menke, GISP

Owner/Operator BirdsEyeViewGIS consulting Adjunct GIS faculty, Central New Mexico Community College, University of New Mexico, Southwest Indian Polytechnical Institute

A former archeologist, Kurt Menke is a Certified GIS Professional (GISP) and has worked in the GIS field since 1996. He received a Masters degree in Geography from the University of New Mexico in 2000. That same year he founded Bird’s Eye View to apply his expertise with GIS technology towards ecological conservation. Kurt is active in both in the local GIS community and the greater conservation community. He currently serves as President of the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council. He has served on the planning committee for the annual Society for Conservation GIS Annual Conference. He teaches GIS at UNM’s Division of Continuing Education, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, and Central New Mexico Community College. Kurt served on the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Geographic Information Council (NMGIC) for 8 years and is a past president.

Richard Smith

Richard Smith

Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science, Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, Texas

Richard Smith is an Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. He has a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Georgia and holds a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. Rick’s research is in cartography, systems integration, and use of geospatial technology for disaster response. He has designed and implemented custom GIS software and authored maps for both the public and private sector. Such projects include designing and authoring a web-based mapping application for NASA, mapping the Columbia Shuttle debris for NASA’s Mishap Investigation Team, developing SituMap, a multi-user, multi-touch, multi-map collaborative single display groupware product, and working with the Center for Robot Assisted Search and Rescue to map debris in a fishing bay in Japan following the 2011 tsunami.

Phillip Davis

Phillip Davis, Ed.D.

Professor Computer Science Del Mar College

Phillip Davis serves as project manager for the GIS program at Del Mar College. He recently served as Director of the GeoTech Center (2008-2013) and is currently serving as the Project Manager for the National Information, Security and Geospatial Technology Consortium at Del Mar College. In this role he is responsible for the creation of this GST 101 course and four others that make the Model GIS Curriculum now used in colleges nationwide. His research interest is in the use and promotion of open source software solutions for GIS and higher education.