MA in Applied Geography and Geospatial Sciences

Course List and Learning Objectives:
Disclaimer: Learning objectives were obtained from syllabus provided by the professor. Only applicable learning objectives are listed. Some format and sentence structure editing was implemented.
Fall 2018:
  • GIS Programming and Automation

    • Develop proficient python skills implementing arcpy, pandas, and gdal packages for geospatial analysis

    • Develop skills that interface Python with ArcGIS geoprocessing to conduct advance modeling tasks that extent beyond the capabilities of ArcMap and ModelBuilder.

  • Human-Environment Interaction

    • Understanding geographic theory, philosophies, what is nature, feminism and geography, urban vs. rural geography, and human geography concepts to apply to geospatial thinking. Open seminar discussion style course with twenty other graduate students.

    • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the theory, methods, and research in the discipline of geography.

    • Assess the capacity for the discipline of geography to provide a useful and robust forum for exploring, analyzing and responding to developments at the human-environment interface.

  • Marine Biology

    • Describe properties of seawater, its influence of seawater properties on marine organisms shape, structure, senses, color, movement, and life-history.​

    • Identify the basic characteristics of major marine taxa

    • Understand the life-history of marine animals through macroevolution: two major events when fish left water and when mammals returend to ocean to become whales and dolphins

    • Describe different marine provinces (coral reefs, kelp forests, abyssal plain, rocky intertidal, sea grasses, hydrothermal vents, etc.)

    • Understand general geological processes responsible for creating some marine provinces including tectonic plate influences of the structure of the oceans.

    • Human impact on oceans throughout history and make predictions about future anthropogenic stressors that will affect marine environments.

Spring 2019:
  • Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Application (FOSS4G)

    • Understanding the principles and methods involved in the development and use of Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Applications (FOSS4G).

    • Understanding of the philosophy, principles and methods of how FOSS4G is developed in a distributed interoperable way.

    • An understanding of the advantages, disadvantages, and appropriate technological, organizational, and socioeconomic contexts for the use

    • of COTS and/or FOSS4G.

    • An understanding of how the FOSS4G software stack covered in class can be use to create a spatial data infrastructures from small organizations to large enterprises

    • A working knowledge of the different FOSS4G software, including QGIS cartographic design and geoprocessing and introduction to PostGIS and SQL language.

  • Water Quality and Resources

    • Connect key theories, concepts, techniques, and technologies within the sub-fields of human and physical geography, as well as geographic information science and technology, through real world practical applications at the local, regional, and global scales.

    • Critically evaluate development and research in the human and physical geographic realms, and at the human environment interface.

    • Introduction to the common concerns and current event issues related to water as a resource.

    • Develop an understanding of Western water law through examination of specific water issues and solutions.

    • Gain knowledge of water treatment as it relates to a holistic view of the water cycle, sustainable approaches to water resources in the West, and how water quality is integrated into planning.

    • Visit wastewater treatment facilities and drinking treatment facilities to see on the ground workflow of how water is transported, treated, and distributed throughout Colorado communities​.

  • Independent Study: Web Cartography and 3D Data Visualization

    • Develop skill on implementation of geographic data through various technological tools and devices.

    • Learn how maps are integrated into applications on phone versus computers.

    • Learn how cartographic principles are applied within various web application sites and how each application visually displays features to edit symbology, labels, colors, etc.

    • Develop a strong foundation in 3D data modeling within ArcGIS 3D Analyst and ArcGIS Scene.

    • Implement cartographic principles to representing 3-D data through varying exercises.

    • Present basics of Adobe Illustrator for mapping/cartographic use to GEOG 4081/5081 Cartography and Computer Mapping course.

    • Present lecture on Web Cartography and 3D Data Visualization to GEOG 4081/5081 Cartography and Computer Mapping course.

Summer 2019:
  • Remote Sensing I

    • Provide students with a broad overview of the field of remote sensing.

    • Develop a basic understanding of the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter.

    • Familiarization with a variety of sensors and platforms.

    • Implement hands-on experience with methods of image analysis through ENVI software.

Fall 2019:
  • Applied Spatial Statistics

    • Be able to define and describe relevant terms and concepts in spatial statistics and spatial statistical programming.

    • Learn about the use of spatial statistics in contemporary research; demonstrate an understanding of its applications by describing ways in which it can be applied.

    • Demonstrate an ability to critically interpret, evaluate, and communicate about scientific research in geography that uses both aspatial and spatial statistical methods.

    • Produce, interpret, and analyze exploratory and inferential problems on spatial data in geography.

    • Demonstrate proficiency in performing statistical work using modern GIS and statistical software, including R Studio.

    • Create an original research project that applies spatial statistical methods to analyze a geographic problem. This work will employ methods using modern software, such as ArcGIS and R, and will demonstrate the successful application of statistical concepts and theory to

    • real-world problems.

    • Effectively communicate the results of spatial statistical work to a general audience using multiple means of presentation.

  • Environmental Modeling with GIS

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the differences between data processing in discrete and continuous data models.

    • Gather an awareness of spatial dependency within and among spatial data and its effect on spatial analysis.

    • Working knowledge of basic spatial interpolation and statistics procedures.

    • An understanding of grid-based spatial analysis operations such visual analysis.

    • Implement effective distance, optimal paths, terrain analysis, contextual summaries and edge/shape/pattern characterization,

    • An ability to analyze a particular phenomenon or process to identify the relevant factors that must be abstracted to create a spatial model that will generate useful predictions on the behavior of a phenomenon or process.

    • Create procedural and logical flowchart and implement into GIS models.

    • Gain a working knowledge of the effects of error, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in GIS modeling and analysis.

  • Geography of Soils

    • Examine how the physical, geological, biological, and chemical sciences converge to result in the biogeochemical processes present in soil systems

    • Describe how these fundamental and combined science principles result in a comprehensive soil classification system that informs our understanding of small, medium, and large scale soil geography questions

    • Apply these fundamental and combined science principles to contemporary issues in agriculture, climate, habitat management, hydrology, construction, mining, and other topics of student interest.

    • Develop and hone capacities to find classic and contemporary information and data, critically assess its quality and usefulness, and identify the limits of its application.

    • Write clearly and concisely about difficult scientific subjects for both peers and the general public.

    • present and/or otherwise speak about similarly difficult concepts informal and informal settings.

Spring 2020:
  • Biogeography

    • Explore natural and human processes through the lens of biogeography.

    • Examine how geological and ecological factors have influenced the global distribution of air, water, soil, and biota.

    • Compare major historical discoveries in biogeography past and present.

    • Synthesize how human dependence on natural resources impacts species diversity, conservation, & sustainability.

    • Integrate classic evolutionary biology concepts into a geographical framework.​

  • Community Based Research Practicum: Namaste Solar Farms

    • Work with Namaste Solar and NREL clinets to develop a geospatial deliverable mapping out two future solar farm locations in Colorado.

    • Develop a basis of GIS environmental conditions of locations to implement into an ArcGIS Online Dashboard.

    • Develop a field data collection workflow through ArcGIS Online, Collector, and Survey123 to allow for soil and plant student researchers to gather data in an offline environment.

    • Deploy results of field collected data into printable and online web maps.

    • Create a 30 page report to deliver to clientele at the end of the semester with details on project, final deliverable products, and literature reviewed.

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