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 will attract students interested in studying the Earth sciences and assessing the natural resources of the Earth through a foundation in biogeography, climate, geomorphology, soil science, geology and ecosystem science.

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 US Department of Labor (USDL), one of the highest growth areas in the federal government, particularly in homeland security activities, as well as in energy, software and engineering firms, and biomedical and biohazard research, among many others. A 35% annual rate of growth in Geospatial Technology related degrees are projected by the United States Department of Labor. Specifically, 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 to explore for causative influences.
  • Military and intelligence community: numerous opportunities exist in military branches, and agencies such as CIA, NAS and other intelligence organizations.
  • Commercial industries: business analytics and marketing, as spatial information can be used to target marketing campaigns, and assess suitable sites to locate companies.
  • Geospatial Industries: Software development, geotechnical engineering, and technology development. 

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

First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
Communication 3
GEOG 203
GEOG 213
Planet Earth
and Planet Earth Lab
4
MATH 141Finite Mathematics 3
Life and physical sciences 14
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
 
 Term Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
GEOG 201Introduction to Human Geography 3
MATH 142Business Calculus 3
POLS 206American National Government 3
Communication 3
Life and physical sciences 14
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
 
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
Fall
GEOG 232Cartography and Visualization 3
POLS 207State and Local Government 3
American history 3
Creative arts 3
Social and behavioral sciences 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
Global Climatic Regions  
Geomorphology  
Pattern and Process in Biogeography  
GEOG 352/GEOL 352GNSS in the Geosciences 3
STAT 303Statistical Methods 3
American history 3
Language, philosophy and culture 3
 Term 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 361Remote Sensing in Geosciences 4
GEOG 390Principles of Geographic Information Systems 4
 Term Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
ESSM 459 or GEOG 391Programming for Spatial Data Applications or Geodatabases 3
GEOG 312Data Analysis in Geography 3
GEOG 475Advanced Topics in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) 34
Direct elective 34
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  
 Term Semester Credit Hours14
Fourth Year
Fall
GEOG 477Terrain Analysis and Mapping 4
Directed elective 36
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 26
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  
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
GEOG 479Principles of Geocomputation 4
GEOG 476GIS Practicum 3
Directed elective 39
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  
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
 Total Semester Credit Hours: 120
1

8 hours required. Department requires that you take two in the same discipline to meet this requirement.

2

Track electives comprise 6 hours of focused coursework. The track and specific courses within the track are to be chosen in consultation with the advisor and/or faculty mentor.

3

19 hours required. To be selected from the following or chosen in consultation with an advisor.