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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Peter Schiess
CFR 520
Seattle Campus

Geographic Information Systems in Forest Resources

Applications of GIS technology to forest science and management. Fundamentals of GIS systems: data sources, preprocessing, map analysis, output; remote sensing as a source of GIS data, image analysis, and classification. Emphasis on GIS as a source of management and technical information requests. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

CFR 520 introduces the technical use of geographic information systems (GIS) in natural resource management and earth sciences. The course is directed at giving students an understanding of, and experience with, the practical use of GIS software, hardware, and data. Lab exercises and course projects will use real-world datasets.

Upon completion of the course, students will have a general understanding of GIS data structures (vector and raster), operations and analysis, and data output (maps, tables, measurements, statistics).

Because GIS is both a tool not only for analysis, but also communication, students will be required to prepare graphical and written materials, much as would be expected in a professional setting.

While a substantial amount of time will be spent on theoretical aspects of GIS, theory will be covered only as it applies to the understanding and support of practical knowledge. As a practical course, ESRM 250 will focus strongly on software use, lab exercises, and very little on readings. However, it must be stressed that complete and solid GIS skills cannot be obtained without the thorough understanding of theoretical aspects of GIS, which are beyond the scope of this course. For a better course on GIS theory, consider GEOG 460. For a better course on cartographic principles and symbolization, consider GEOG 360

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Instructor Expectation of Student Background By the end of the first week of classes, students will be expected to:

Have an account on one of the UW mail computers (dante, homer, etc.). If you do not have an account, you should get one as soon as possible, following directions at UW NetID for Students. Know how to read and write e-mail messages. Know how to save a document in Adobe PDF format. Also see UW-Catalyst's PDF information. Know how to use a Web browser, including file downloading and saving to particular directories. Know how to zip and unzip files with zip, WinZip or PKZip. Have basic familiarity with a word processor and spreadsheet application. Be comfortable with the Windows XP operating system, most importantly, hierarchical file structures and the Windows Explorer. Be able to capture images from the monitor and paste these images into another document. Have a basic working knowledge of algebra, trigonometry, and coordinate geometry. Have a basic familiarity with maps and map reading. Most of these can be considered "basic" computing skills, and will be expected of you throughout the quarter. However, these skills will also help in any future courses you take or jobs you get that require computing.

If you do not meet these criteria, you may have a difficult time keeping up with the material and the pace of the course. Basic computing skills classes are available from UW Computing and Communications.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments, midterm and particiaption in guest lecture


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Peter Schiess
Date: 08/27/2011