Coastal GIS – GEOG 562
Autumn (5 credits)
Geography 562 provides students with a learning experience that links the theory underlying GIS with its application in a coastal application domain. The course combines an overview of general principles of GIScience focusing on vector and raster data structures with the practical experience of using those data structures to create geospatial information. The lectures introduce students to the analytical treatment of geographic information using several frameworks for understanding data, software operations and systems. The course adopts a thematic focus on coastal concerns in the Puget Sound region, particularly coastal vulnerability using an environment-society perspective. Coastal is defined as the watershed basins that drain into Puget Sound as well as the water of Puget Sound, including social and natural features in those areas. Student lab assignments using GIS software make use of coastal data sets from Puget Sound to address feature measurement, characterization and movement related to the land-water interface.
GIS and Decision Support – GEOG 564
Winter (5 credits)
Geography 564 provides students with a learning experience about GIS methods in the context of several pervasive decision support contexts involving urban-regional sustainability management settings. Two significant categories characterize the decision support contexts: topics and decision situations. Three inter-related topics – land use, transportation and water resources – are fundamental to how people upgrade and/or degrade the quality of life in communities, each having a significant influence on the natural environment. Three pervasive decision situations – planning, improvement programming and project implementation – are ways that communities attempt to address quality of life changes in the long, medium and short terms. Students work with GIS methods in both off-the-shelf commercial and customized software to address various decision support scenarios that characterize those nine contexts (of three topics by three decision situations). Students gain exposure to group-based decision support methods to address those nine contexts; those contexts being among the most complex and important topics in the 21st century.
International Case Studies of GIS for Sustainability – GEOG 568
Spring (5 credits)
Geography 568 provides an overview about perspectives on sustainability around the world. Various international, national and regional perspectives are used as a lens to understand how different organizations view sustainability. Students explore case studies that provide insight about the practice of using GIS for sustainable development decision problems around the world. Case studies range in themes – social, economic and environmental – and scales – local, regional and global. Diverse datasets and task emphasize a range of sustainability problems.
GIS Workshop – GEOG 569
Online for Nine Weeks and On-Site for Three Days in Seattle
Summer (5 credits)
Geography 569 is designed as a final capstone experience in the curriculum. Students become independent and effective GIS team analysts who can develop and use GIS databases for spatial analysis to support problem solving, meeting the needs of project partners. The course is an intensive workshop that involves hands-on experience in which student teams develop GIS data analysis as part of applications working in collaboration with local partners (university units, community agencies or local government). The course immerses students in the full range of tasks associated with a GIS application. Working in teams, students: communicate with project partners to identify project goals; acquire and prepare spatial data for GIS data analysis; communicate with project partners to assess progress; manage spatial data; and produce necessary maps for presentation as part of a final report. In lecture and readings, students examine GIS project management strategies (in a variety of organizational and application contexts), and concepts and skills for data acquisition, data preparation, database design, data analysis and reporting skills.
Year Two: Concentration Courses