Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Environmental Biology, Certificate

Program Director: Susan Carney, Ph.D.; carney@hood.edu; 301-696-3648

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a special class of information systems that are used for processing and analyzing geographically referenced (georeferenced) data. Georeferenced data, a special category of spatial data, have two crucial properties. First, georeferenced data are registered to an accepted geographical coordinate system of the Earth’s surface so that data from different sources can be cross-referenced and integrated. Second, georeferenced data are represented at geographic scale and must be generalized and symbolized. Understanding and using georeferenced data will require study of the fundamental principles of cartography.

Students will gain practical knowledge in the following areas:

  • Current theory and fundamentals in GIS
  • Application and analysis of GIS data from all fields of environmental biology
  • Ability to propose relevant GIS research for current environmental issues
  • Proficiency in remote-sensing theory and practices

Application Requirements

Students applying for the certificate in GIS program must complete an essay (550 words or less) that inclused background experience and future goals. All official transcripts must be submitted. Two letters of recommendation are suggested but not required. A minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA is required for admission to the Graduate School and to the Environmental Biology program, however a GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred.

Requirements for the Certificate (18 credits minimum)

Required (9 credits)

ENV 501Introduction to Environmental Biology

3.0

ENV 502Principles of Ecology

3.0

ENV 526GIntroduction to GIS Mapping

1.0

ENV 526HIntroduction to GIS Analysis

1.0

ENV 526IIntroduction to Remote Sensing

1.0

Electives (Minimum of 9 credits):

Once students successfully complete ENV 526G and ENV 526H and meet all the pre-requisites for a given course, students will select an additional 9 credits of GIS electives. The elective courses will require a major GIS-related project or paper in order to receive certificate credit. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor of an elective course whether the GIS-option is being selected by the drop/add deadline each semester.

ENV 503GPollution Biology

3.0

ENV 506GEnvironmental Microbiology

3.0

ENV 507GNatural Resource Management

3.0

ENV 509GEcological Invasions/Biological Control

3.0

ENV 511GConservation Biology

3.0

ENV 512GInsect Ecology

3.0

ENV 513GMarine Ecology

3.0

ENV 550IGLandscape Ecology

1.0

ENV 550MGTopic:Soil Ecology

3.0

ENV 563GFreshwater Ecology

3.0

ENV 564GEnvironmental Toxicology

3.0

ENV 577GClimate Change

3.0

ENV 578GClimate Change Capstone

3.0

ENV 579GIndependent Research Project

3.0

ENV 580GMaster's Thesis Preparation

6.0

ENV 591GInternship in Environmental Biology

3.0

ENV 579G, ENV 580G: Available only to students simultaneously pursuing the MS in Environmental Biology.