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Online Learning Tools

About our learning modules

The Department of Environmental Science and Management at Humboldt State University is committed to improving ease-of-access to online learning materials. The Department's geospatial analysis program is no exception. Students will find an increasing number of available resources to improve their learning experience. The learning modules accessible from this page provide students with step-by-step instructions for performing GIS analysis in several GIS applications including, ArcGIS, BlueSpray, and QGIS.

Getting Started

Learning modules for five geographic information science (GIS) classes are currently available. The links at right will direct you to these learning modules. Descriptions for each module are provided below.

GSP 270: Geographic Information Science (GIS)

This is a second class in Geospatial Science and requires the completion of GSP 101 or the equivalent. Students should already have experience with: spatial reference systems (datums and projections), the nature of spatial data (points, polylines, polygons, and rasters), and some experience with using ArcGIS for creating simple maps.

This class will provide students with the opportunity to learn how to: acquire spatial data from a wide variety of sources, prepare data for use in a GIS, digitize features to create new spatial data, perform basic spatial analysis, and create reports and maps that include maps and analysis results. We'll also look at the standard methods for using spatial data in ArcGIS and tricks to get work done more quickly and to avoid common pit-falls.

GSP 370: Intermediate Geographic Information Science (GIS)

The information for GSP 370 is available on Moodle.

GSP 470: Advanced Geographic Information Science (GIS)

Students taking this class will learn to use the advanced features of ArcGIS and OpenSource spatial software. We'll look at how to manage large data sets, automate analysis, and provide results through websites and web services. Students will learn to use ArcGIS and R together to complete more complex processes. While not required, programming experience will make this class easier for most students.

In this class, we will also create more complex projects that tackle some of the most challenging spatial analysis and data problems.

GSP 570: Geospatial Modeling

This class will teach students to use formal spatial modeling approaches to model current and potential future spatial phenomenon.

This is a graduate courses but advanced undergraduates are also welcome to take the course if they have completed a course in GIS at the intermediate level. Programming is not required but will help and broaden the approaches available the students.

GSP 318: Geospatial Programming

Programming is becoming critical to many spatial science tasks. This class will teach you the basics of the Python programming language, how to create powerful tools for ArcGIS, and how to use Open Source libraries as well.

Developing the Modules

Creating online videos


The material contained herein come from a large number of individuals that have influenced me and contributed ideas to its creation. They include:

  • Marlyn Montgomery
  • Nick Malloy
  • Chris Muhl
  • Erin Degenstein
  • Melissa Kimble
  • Dr. Denis Dean
  • Jason Barnes
  • Brian Huggett
  • Dr. Dawn Wright
  • Jennifer Bauer
  • Doug Wood
  • Peggy Lee
  • Abby Flory
  • Greg Newman
  • Alex Daniels
  • Tom Stohlgren
  • Ben White
  • Laura Weisel
  • And others...

Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Humboldt State University have provided resources for the development of these materials. There are also too many students to list who have patiently given feedback on the creation of the materials.