World Geography with GIS
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Maps are powerful tools for understanding the relationships between people and place. They have been used to divide and unite, to expose environmental problems, to plan for peace, and to prepare for war. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a map might be worth millions. This one-quarter program combines studies in world geography with a technical introduction to creating maps using ArcGIS Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.
Each week begins with a class session devoted to assigned readings, seminars, lectures, exams, and quizzes on world geography, past and present. We will approach world geography largely from a social sciences perspective, but will also include some physical geography with specific consideration of climate change. Seminars will cover assigned readings and include opportunities to apply geographic theory and knowledge to current events. You will complete a research paper on a topic of your choice that incorporates maps you develop with the ArcGIS software.
The second class of each week focuses on learning the basics of GIS for the production of digital maps using ArcMap and ArcCatalog computer software. GIS skills remain in high demand across many fields, from environmental research, to urban planning, emergency services, and business development. We will study the elements of cartographic design, and you will create and arrange those elements to produce meaningful maps with an explanatory purpose. The first half of the quarter will be spent developing fundamental skills with GIS software through guided demonstrations and computer lab assignments. The second half of the quarter will have one-on-one faculty technical support during class hours to produce a series of maps that becomes part of your own final research paper.
Successful program participants will gain greater knowledge of world regional geography, along with a set of basic (but increasingly sought-after) skills with the industry-standard GIS software.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
K-12 education, geography, climate studies, social science, environmental research
Credits per quarter
Students who enroll should be comfortable using desktop computers, have some knowledge of basic algebra, and some practical experience using spreadsheet software like MS Excel (i.e., using/creating simple formulas, adding/deleting rows and columns, formatting cells, etc.). Knowing how to navigate the Windows file/folder system using the file explorer is important, as is knowing how to handle .zip and other file archive formats, and having a level of comfort with managing your files in organized sets of nested folders.
- Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Class Size: 25
Scheduled for: Evening
Final schedule and room assignments:
Located in: Olympia