Higher Education
 

Western Kentucky University

Department of Geography and Geology
Kevin Cary
One Big Red Way
Bowling Green, KY 42101
270-745-2981/4555
kevin.cary@wku.edu
Programs: GIS Certificate, B.S. in Geography, and M.S. in Geoscience
www.wku.edu/geoweb/

Program Description

The department's 12-hour Geographic Information System (GIS) Certificate Program is designed to provide students with the practical GIS skills necessary for success in a variety of careers. This certificate program is designed for students in a variety of disciplines that involve the analysis and mapping of geographic data. Students who complete the program will have a solid foundation that spans the collection, management, analysis, and display of data using geographic information system technology. Students gain practical experience by completing projects that require the use of sophisticated GIS functions. Finally, students learn how to develop and implement customized GIS applications. The program is housed in the Department of Geography and Geology. It consists of a series of four courses taken for a total of 12 credit hours. Students seeking graduate credit can take GEOG 417(G) and GEOG 419(G) in place of the undergraduate courses. There is also a GIS and Spatial Analysis Track for students completing a B.S. degree in geography or an M.S. degree in geoscience.

For the B.S. degree in geography, a minimum of 33 semester hours is required, with at least 18 semester hours at the 300 and 400 levels. The GIS and Spatial Analysis Track focuses on the skills required in a variety of technical fields. In addition, students will qualify for the 12-hour GIS certificate in this program. Students have greater flexibility in this track to focus on a suite of courses that prepares them for employment in planning, business, management, government, consulting, and a myriad of other areas.

For the M.S. in geoscience, a minimum of 30 semester hours is required in the thesis option track, with 12 semester hours in core courses and six hours of thesis. The nonthesis option requires 30 semester hours of course work and a graduate-level publishable research paper presented in the department. The GIS track focuses on the skills required in a variety of planning and government environments. Students have greater flexibility in this track to focus on a suite of courses that prepares them for employment in local and state planning, environmental management, government, consulting, and a myriad of other areas.

Course ListingUNITS
GEOG 317Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
GEOG 319Cartographic Design for GIS3
GEOG 417(G)GIS Analysis and Modeling3
GEOG 419(G)GIS Application Development3
TOTAL UNITS 12
Electives List
GEOG 300Geographic Research Methods3
GEOG 391Data Analysis and Interpretation3
GEOG 415(G)Air Photo Interpretation3
GEOG 416Remote Sensing3
GEOG 452Geographic Field Methods3
GEOG 475Senior Research Project3
GEOG 492Advanced Spatial Analysis3

Course Descriptions

GEOG 317
INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
3 UNITS

PREREQUISITE: GEOG 100 or GEOG 101
LECTURE: THREE HOURS PER WEEK
This course examines the basic concepts and applications of data management, display, and analysis using geographic information system software.

GEOG 319
CARTOGRAPHIC DESIGN FOR GIS
3 UNITS

PREREQUISITE: GEOG 100 or GEOG 101
LECTURE: THREE HOURS PER WEEK
This course introduces students to the basic cartographic design principles of GIS. Topics include map projections, scale, and accuracy. Application to geospatial data acquisition, basemap development, and map production will also be discussed.

GEOG 417(G)
GIS ANALYSIS AND MODELING
3 UNITS

PREREQUISITE: GEOG 317 and GEOG 319 or Departmental Approval
LECTURE: THREE HOURS PER WEEK
This course develops expertise with a broad range of spatial analysis functions applied within a cartographic modeling framework and using geographic information system software.

GEOG 419(G)
GIS APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
3 UNITS

PREREQUISITE: GEOG 419, GEOG 417(G), or Departmental Approval
LECTURE: THREE HOURS PER WEEK
This course addresses the planning and implementation of GIS within an organization. It develops expertise in designing and developing GIS applications to support spatial decision making processes using geographic information system software.


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