Advanced GIS

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Fall 2017 quarter

Taught by

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), field deployment, workflow analysis


Students will have completed MES's Introduction to GIS or be able to show significant experience using ArcMap for Desktop software in either professional or academic settings. Students who have not completed Introduction to GIS should email a brief description of their previous experience with GIS to the MES Director (Kevin Francis, ) and Faculty (Mike Ruth, ). Registration priority will be given to students who have taken Research Design and Quantitative Methods. To register, you must email the MES Director for approval (Kevin Francis, ).

Advanced GIS is a fast-paced course designed to teach graduate students to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for mapping, spatial data management, and spatial data analysis. Instruction is based on reading assignments, lectures, and weekly hands-on labs using ArcGIS 10.1, including both desktop and online mapping tools for collaboration and presentation. 

Evaluations are based on the quality of student-produced map and analysis products and two quizzes. Students should have experience with quantitative software and must be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of MS Windows file management practices. Students will be expected to use the Esri software suite outside of class, for performing hands-on mapping assignments.  Student versions of the ArcGIS software will be made available, but support is limited to college computers (note: ArcGIS Desktop software runs only under MS Windows, see requirements: ).

Faculty Biography
Mike Ruth, M.Sc., is a professional GIS practitioner for Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc).  Mike has been a project manager and consultant for Esri, helping a wide variety of agencies learn and exploit geographic information systems.  His clients have included major non governmental organizations, tribal and state governments, and US federal agencies.  Mike studied Environmental Science in college, later specializing in Geology at George Washington University.  For his Masters degree, Mike completing a field mapping project studying the geology of the western Dominican Republic along the Haiti border area.  After completing his Master of Science degree, Mike worked for the Spot Image Corporation, developing GeoTIFF and other satellite imagery methods for GIS integration.  Now at Esri, Mike has focused on Africa projects for non-profit organizations over the past few years.  Recent projects address the applications of GIS technology for improving polio vaccination success in Nigeria, agricultural improvement for small holder farmers in Tanzania, and participatory community conservation activities in the western Serengeti, among other projects.

Program Details


Fall Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Monday 6-10 pm

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning