Geographic Information Science and Technology - BS, Earth Systems Analysis Track

The BS in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) requires semester credit hours for completion in the Computation, Design, and Analysis (CDA), Earth Systems Analysis (ESA), or the Human Systems and Society (HSS) tracks.

The Earth Systems and Analysis (ESA) track is designed to attract students interested in applying GIST to physical geography. It applies geospatial technologies to the study of the Geosciences and assessing the Earth’s natural resources by providing students with a foundation in biogeography, climate, geomorphology, soil science, geology, ecosystem science, as well as a strong grounding in GIST.

Students will receive a rigorous and modern-day education and training in GIST with application knowledge in physical and human geography. Employers require problem solvers, not button pushers, to address problems in various application domains. The BS in GIST is designed to:

  • Provide modern-day exposure to the rapidly changing field of GIST
  • Balance education and training with a focus on competency
  • Provide application and problem-solving experiences
  • Support student activities and research
  • Provide students with professional experience
  • Produce high-quality geographers with strong GIST knowledge and skills

Geospatial technology graduates are in extremely high demand and, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, are one of the highest growth areas in the federal government, particularly in homeland security activities, as well as in energy, software and engineering firms, biomedical and biohazard research, among many others. A 35% annual rate of growth in geospatial technology-related degrees are projected by the U.S. Department of Labor. Students have employment opportunities with the following corporate and government entities:

  • Government agencies (federal, state, county, and city): management and planning of urban infrastructure, inventory and assessment of natural resources including agriculture, forestry, and water resources.
  • Energy industry: assessing biofuel production and identifying locations suitable for renewable energy resources and mineral exploration.
  • Health science industry: determine hotspots of health events and explore causes.
  • Military and intelligence community: numerous opportunities exist in military branches and agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and other intelligence organizations.
  • Commercial industries: business analytics and marketing, as spatial information can be used to target marketing campaigns, and suitable site assessment to locate companies.
  • Geospatial industries: software development, geotechnical engineering, and technology development. 

Students select courses with the assistance of the academic advisor in an individualized advising system.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
Communication 3
GEOG 203
GEOG 213
Planet Earth
and Planet Earth Lab
4
MATH 141 Finite Mathematics 3
Life and physical sciences 1 4
Select from the following:  
Botany  
Introductory Biology I  
Fundamentals of Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory I
 
Principles of Geology  
College Physics  
Weather and Climate
and Weather and Climate Laboratory
 
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
GEOG 201 Introduction to Human Geography 3
MATH 142 Business Calculus 3
POLS 206 American National Government 3
Communication 3
Life and physical sciences 1 4
Select from the following:  
Zoology  
Introductory Biology II  
Fundamentals of Chemistry II
and Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory II
 
Historical Geology  
College Physics  
Oceanography
and Oceanography Laboratory
 
 Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
Fall
GEOG 232 Cartography and Visualization 3
POLS 207 State and Local Government 3
American history 3
Creative arts 3
Social and behavioral sciences 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
Global Climatic Regions  
Geomorphology  
Pattern and Process in Biogeography  
GEOG 352/GEOL 352 GNSS in the Geosciences 3
STAT 303 Statistical Methods 3
American history 3
Language, philosophy and culture 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Third Year
Fall
Select one of the following: 3
Economic Geography  
Introduction to Urban Geography  
Cultural Geography  
Select one of the following: 3
Global Climatic Regions  
Geomorphology  
Pattern and Process in Biogeography  
GEOG 361 Remote Sensing in Geosciences 4
GEOG 390 Principles of Geographic Information Systems 4
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
ESSM 459
Programming for Spatial Data Applications
or Geodatabases
3
GEOG 312 Data Analysis in Geography 3
GEOG 475 Advanced Topics in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) 3 4
Direct elective 3 4
Select one of the following:
 
Introduction to Bioenvironmental Sciences  
U.S. Environmental Regulations  
Sampling and Environmental Monitoring  
Watershed Analysis and Planning  
Fundamentals of Environmental Decision-Making  
Forest Ecology  
Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management  
Natural Resources Policy  
Fire Ecology and Natural Resource Management  
Wetland Delineation  
Spatial Project Management  
Physical Geology  
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy  
Hydrogeology  
Fundamentals of Ecology  
Environmental Impact Assessment  
Principles of Statistics I  
Principles of Statistics II  
 Semester Credit Hours14
Fourth Year
Fall
GEOG 477 Terrain Analysis and Mapping 4
Directed elective 3 6
Select two of the following:
 
Introduction to Bioenvironmental Sciences  
U.S. Environmental Regulations  
Sampling and Environmental Monitoring  
Watershed Analysis and Planning  
Fundamentals of Environmental Decision-Making  
Forest Ecology  
Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management  
Natural Resources Policy  
Fire Ecology and Natural Resource Management  
Wetland Delineation  
Spatial Project Management  
Physical Geology  
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy  
Hydrogeology  
Fundamentals of Ecology  
Environmental Impact Assessment  
Principles of Statistics I  
Principles of Statistics II  
Track elective 2 6
Select 6 hours from the following:
 
Environmental Change  
Global Climatic Regions  
Resources and the Environment  
Geomorphology  
Pattern and Process in Biogeography  
Natural Hazards  
Coastal Processes  
Workshop in Environmental Studies  
GIS Programming  
Interpretation of Aerial Photographs  
Arid Lands Geomorphology  
Hydrology and Environment  
Principles of Plant Geography  
History and Nature of Geography  
Past Climates  
Field Geography  
Digital Image Processing in the Geosciences  
Dynamic Modeling of Earth and Environmental Systems  
WebGIS  
Global Change  
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
GEOG 479 Principles of Geocomputation 4
GEOG 476 GIS Practicum 3
Directed elective 3 9
Select three of the following:
 
Introduction to Bioenvironmental Sciences  
U.S. Environmental Regulations  
Sampling and Environmental Monitoring  
Watershed Analysis and Planning  
Fundamentals of Environmental Decision-Making  
Forest Ecology  
Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management  
Natural Resources Policy  
Fire Ecology and Natural Resource Management  
Wetland Delineation  
Spatial Project Management  
Physical Geology  
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy  
Hydrogeology  
Fundamentals of Ecology  
Environmental Impact Assessment  
Principles of Statistics I  
Principles of Statistics II  
 Semester Credit Hours16
 Total Semester Credit Hours120