Certificate in Applied Spatial Analysis for Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

As GIS increasingly becomes a vital decision support tool, the national and international need for qualified professionals has grown at an unprecedented rate. This state-of-the-art technology requires a high demand of technical skills to effectively gather, analyze, and relay vital information. This Certificate in Applied Spatial Analysis for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) helps students make a positive environmental impact by understanding unique patterns and relationships between multiple data points as they relate to cartography.

Certificate Overview

A certificate in Applied Spatial Analysis for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) meets the demand for qualified GIS professionals in various fields ranging from conservation and environmental sciences, business administration, clinical psychology, sustainability, to advocacy and social justice, epidemiology, and education. This 9-credit 1-year GIS Certificate is designed for graduate students, educators and professionals working in various sectors. It focuses on developing the skills and knowledge needed to work in any field that involves GIS-related spatial analysis.  AULA offers this 9-credit certificate to matriculated and non-matriculated students. We believe that this certificate will add tremendous value to our students’ professional development and career opportunities.

Certificate Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the GIS certificate, students will demonstrate that they can:

  • Understand the basics of cartography and geographic information systems.
  • Process spatial socio-economic and environmental data of various types and from various sources
  • Design, give meaning to and interpret maps.
  • Appropriately model landscape features and to analyze spatial relationships among them.
  • Conduct applied research projects using geospatial technology tools.
  • Model environmental and socio-economic risks, target locations for appropriate interventions.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with non-commercial spatial data mapping and analysis tools such as Quantum GIS, Google Earth and Maps, ArcGIS Online, Mobile GIS, etc.

Note: This certificate may be applied as credits toward the MA in Urban Sustainability degree at Antioch University Los Angeles as well as the Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies or Resource Management & Conservation at Antioch University New England.

Certificate Requirements

Students must earn a total of 9 semester credits to complete a GIS certificate, earning credit in each of the following three 3-unit courses:

ES-5100 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

This is an introductory course in the use of GIS software to create, manage and work with spatially explicit data. The class will explore how to access GIS information available on the WWW, extract and analyze data using ArcGIS 10.0 software, understand limitations associated with various data sources, technical vocabulary, and preparation of maps for digital presentations. This is a computer based course with emphasis on the language of GIS and real world application.

ES-6100 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Advanced

This course focuses on using real world examples and exercises to provide instruction on creating spatial models and predictive models, analyzing spatial patterns and dependence, deriving landscape and terrain variables as input for modeling, and creating professionally attractive maps using time-aware data. The course is intended for candidates from fields ranging from conservation and environmental sciences, business administration, urban planning and sustainability, advocacy, and social justice. The content for this course includes raster data manipulation, analysis and interpretation, advanced data editing, regression, suitability, and hotspot analysis, change detection, spatial distribution models, environmental assessment, and impact analysis, and human footprint analysis. ArcGIS Desktop, Quantum GIS, gvSIG, Google Earth, InVest, and Maxent, in combination with statistical packages such as SPSS will be used. To take this course, candidates are required to have successfully completed the first section of the certificate program (ES-5100 Geographic Information Systems). This is a hybrid course that can be taken completely on line. Students local to the AULA or AUNE campuses may attend onsite during online sessions.

Prerequisite: ES-5100

ES-6105 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Applied

This course focuses on real-world applications of GIS. The students translate knowledge and applied GIS skills into problem-solving applications on the ground, working with a client. A student will spend a month with a client. The workload should total a minimum of 140 hours, which includes check-in and troubleshooting meetings with the instructor. The candidate works under joint supervision from both the client and the course instructor. At the end of the course, the GIS certificate candidate is expected to provide a final project report including GIS deliverables (maps, models, processed data, etc.) to the client according to the terms of the agreement between the client and the course instructor. At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Apply various GIS spatial analysis tools in a variety of platforms including ArcGIS, QGIS, DNRGPS and GPS to solve a real-world problem .
  • Use cartography/map design principles to produce effective maps and communicate effectively with the audience.
  • Work independently on GIS Projects to meet information needs from a client.
  • Collect, manage, organize, update and share GIS data professionally.

Prerequisites: ES-5100 and ES-6100

Note:  Applied Spatial Analysis for GIS certificate face-to-face courses meet one day/week or as intensives, aligned with AUNE’s current Environmental Studies’ delivery models.