GIS Certificate Program

Geographic Information System (GIS) and spatial reasoning are a mainstay knowledge base for working professionals in environmental science, resource management, local and regional planning, disease monitoring and evaluation, real estate, military planning, and social science research. The Juniata GIS certificate program is offered jointly by the Environmental Science and Studies and the Computer Science and Information Technology Departments. We have two tracks to prepare a student for a career in any of the GIS fields. The first track has a focus on Environmental Science. This track has more courses in field methods in GIS and spatial analysis. The second track has a focus on Information Technology. This track has more courses in programming and data mining. the certificate is open to students in all departments as well as Juniata alumni.


Requirements for GIS (18-21 credits)

We have designed this certificate based on looking at successful programs. We have tried to match core strengths of other successful programs while differentiating ourselves based on our key strengths. The cores courses include

  • Introduction to geographic information systems
  • Topics in remote sensing and spatial analysis
  • Quantitative methods

The ways we differentiate ourselves is through our strength in field data collection techniques for environmental sciences. We include tracks in Environmental Science and in Information Technology.  The requirements of the certification are as follows:


QUANTITATIVE FIELD INTRO

This section requires the student to have a quantitative introductory class in their field. The requirement of this course is that it has a lab or quantitative section where Excel or other spreadsheet or database program is used to compile and represent or analyze data. 


Complete one course from either track below:

Environmental Track:

ESS-100 Environmental Systems I

This course introduces students to the concept of systems, reviews ecological systems, and then goes on to human systems as these impact the environment. The course will explore the two forces that are at the core of most environmental impacts (climate change, ozone depletion, air and water pollution, and a loss of biodiversity) will be explored as will the fundamental attributes of agriculture, food, soil, and water. Throughout, the influence of culture, society, ethics, and science on the environmental problems will be discussed. 

4 CreditsN, WK-SP, CTGISPre-Req or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.


IT Track:

IT-111  Principles of IT Science

An introduction to concepts of information and the " Information Age " . Students will develop an understanding of basic computing and information systems principles and the social implications of information and information technology. The course also provides an overview on the creation, organization, analysis, storage, retrieval, and communication of information. The instruction incorporates both collaborative and action learning experience. (Students who have passed IT110 may not take this course. The meeting time reflects half of the time of the class, where the rest is on line and completed by assignments). IT111 is equated to IM110 and IT110. If you've taken IM110 or IT110 and then register for IM111, it will show as a repeat on your transcript.)

3 CreditsN,CTGIS 

CS-110  Computer Science I

An introductory study of computer science software development concepts. Python is used to introduce a disciplined approach to problem solving methods, algorithm development, software design, coding, debugging, testing, and documentation in the object oriented paradigm. This is the first course in the study of computer science. 

3 CreditsN,CTGES,CTGISRecommended programming experience or IT110 or IT100, IT111 or IM110 or MA103 but not necessary. 


STATISTICS or DATA ANALYSIS CORE

Complete one course from either track below:

Environmental Track:

ESS-230 Environmetrics

This course is a survey of the various visual, statistical, and modeling approaches commonly used in the analysis of environmental data. The course covers: (1) visual literacy from exploratory data inquisition to poster creation; (2) elementary group comparison such as t-test and ANOVA and their non-parametric analogs;(3) basic systems modeling; and (4) regression modeling techniques based on the generalized linear model framework.

3 CreditsN, QS, CTGES, CTGISPrerequisites: Sophomore standing and permission of the instructor.

BI-305 Biostatistics

This course deals centrally with quantitative and statistical methodology in the biological sciences. It includes experimental design and the conventions of generating, analyzing, interpreting and presenting biological data. Counts as a math course for graduate and professional school requirements.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGESPrerequisites: BI106 or ESS100


IT Track:

IM-241  Info. Discovery and Architecture

This course considers various aspects of organizing digital information for public consumption. Data representation, overviews of file formats, storage organization, modern database structures and web site organizations provide a technical dimension of information. The visualization, graphical and basic statistical analysis of data is then considered for information presentation. Data mining techniques covered offer information discovery methods. 

3 CreditsS,QS,CTGISPrerequisite: IT110 or IT111 or CS110 or permission.


GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION CORE

Required Core:

Take the following courses below:

ESS-330 Geographical Information Systems

This course is an introduction to a Geographical Information System (GIS), and the course objective is that students gain a basic, partial understanding of GIS concepts, technical issues, andapplications using Arc View GIS. It encourages thinking in spatial context. A diverse array of hands-on computer applicationsand projects are used to understand how geographical data can be analyzed spatially. Students explore analysis techniques in a problem basis learning approach using small team projects.

4 CreditsCTGISNote: A special course fee is assessed. Prerequisite: ESS100.

ESS-377 GIS Advanced Topic

This course explores spatial decision support systems, hot spot modeling for home range, disease and crime, intermediate image analysis, habitat classification from multispectral and hyperspectral imagery.

4 CreditsN, QSPrerequisites: ESS310 or ESS330 or permission of the instructor.


Complete one course from either track below:

IT Track:

CS-370  Database Management Systems

Focuses on concepts and structures necessary to design and implement a database management system. Various modern data models, data security and integrity, and concurrency are discussed. An SQL database system is designed and implemented as a group project. 

3 CreditsN,CTGISPrerequisites: CS110. 


Environmental Track:

GL-240 Geological Field Methods I

This course is an introduction to the geology of the Appalachians through teaching geologic methods in the field. The course will focus on developing field practice and using the information collected in the field to construct a scientific document. The course is composed of 8 local fieldtrips and 1 extended fieldtrip as well as many classroom exercises.

4 CreditsN, CW, CTGISPrerequisite: GL100A. Note: A special course fee is assessed.

ESS-328 Limnology

An ecology/environmental science course covering inland aquatic environments (lakes and streams). A balanced study of both physical-chemical and biological aspects, it is an appropriate upper level addition to a variety of POE's in natural sciences.

4 CreditsNTake BI105 and BI121 and ESS100 or permission of the instructor.

ESS-340 Forestry

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the discipline of forestry and forest ecology with special emphasis on tree identification, timber mensuration, and forest management issues in central Pennsylvania.

3 CreditsN, CTGISPrerequisites: ESS100.

ESS-345 Ichthyology

This course provides an in-depth and active, hands-on study of fishes within an evolutionary framework. Lecture explores fish ecology, evolution, diversity, systematics, zoogeography, and conservation. The laboratory focuses on fish classification, fish biology and morphology, and skills needed to identify fishes of the central Appalachians.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGISPrerequisites: BI105 and BI121, junior-level standing, or permission of instructor.


FIELD DATA COLLECTION

This section is intended to have students exposed to the vagaries of field data collection. It is preferred that students collect spatially explicit data using GPS technologies or other spatially explicit survey methods. Database manage or other courses that explore the process of data collection will also meet this requirement.


Complete one course from either track below:

IT Track:

CS-370  Database Management Systems

Focuses on concepts and structures necessary to design and implement a database management system. Various modern data models, data security and integrity, and concurrency are discussed. An SQL database system is designed and implemented as a group project. 

3 CreditsN,CTGISPrerequisites: CS110. 


Environmental Track:

ESS-340 Forestry

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the discipline of forestry and forest ecology with special emphasis on tree identification, timber mensuration, and forest management issues in central Pennsylvania.

3 CreditsN, CTGISPrerequisites: ESS100.

ESS-345 Ichthyology

This course provides an in-depth and active, hands-on study of fishes within an evolutionary framework. Lecture explores fish ecology, evolution, diversity, systematics, zoogeography, and conservation. The laboratory focuses on fish classification, fish biology and morphology, and skills needed to identify fishes of the central Appalachians.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGISPrerequisites: BI105 and BI121, junior-level standing, or permission of instructor.

ESS-350 Field Research Methods

Field Methodologies is intended for students interested in gaining experience in conducting filed based ecological or environmental research. Students will be lead through the process of investigation, including the generation of research questions, research planning and design, analysis of data, and presentation methods, while giving them the opportunity to conduct independent projects. This is not a techniques/equipment training course; it will fulfill the independent study requirement of the ESS POE. This course will be particularly useful to students considering a field based senior research project. A course in statistics or ecology is highly recommended.

3 CreditsN, CTGISPrerequisites: ESS100.

GL-240 Geological Field Methods I

This course is an introduction to the geology of the Appalachians through teaching geologic methods in the field. The course will focus on developing field practice and using the information collected in the field to construct a scientific document. The course is composed of 8 local fieldtrips and 1 extended fieldtrip as well as many classroom exercises.

4 CreditsN, CW, CTGISPrerequisite: GL100A. Note: A special course fee is assessed.


CAPSTONE OR PROJECT REQUIREMENT

Complete one of the following tracks below:


OPTION 1 - IT Track:

IT-307  Project Management

This course reviews and applies project management processes and techniques such as project life cycle, project selection methods, work breakdown instructions, network diagrams, cost estimates, and more. 

3 CreditsS,CW,CS,SW-LEPrerequisites: IT210 and Jr or Sr standing or permission of the instructor. Corequisite: IT308. 

IT-308  Innovations for Industry I

This lab will require a team of students to function as a project development team for an IT- related business. The students will be exposed to many aspects of systems analysis, design, development and implementation, as well as project management tools and techniques. Students will be required to learn in a just-in-time mode using on-demand educational resources. 

1 CreditsSPrerequisites: IT210 and Jr or Sr standing or by permission of the instructor. Corequisite: IT307. Note: This course will have appointed class times for projects other than the times listed on the schedule. 

IT-380  Innovations for Industry II

See IT308. This course will have appointed class times for projects other than those listed on the schedule. A continuation of IT308. 

4 CreditsS,CTGISPrerequisites: IT307 & IT308 and senior standing. 


OPTION 2 - IT Track:

IT-307  Project Management

This course reviews and applies project management processes and techniques such as project life cycle, project selection methods, work breakdown instructions, network diagrams, cost estimates, and more. 

3 CreditsS,CW,CS,SW-LEPrerequisites: IT210 and Jr or Sr standing or permission of the instructor. Corequisite: IT308. 

IT-308  Innovations for Industry I

This lab will require a team of students to function as a project development team for an IT- related business. The students will be exposed to many aspects of systems analysis, design, development and implementation, as well as project management tools and techniques. Students will be required to learn in a just-in-time mode using on-demand educational resources. 

1 CreditsSPrerequisites: IT210 and Jr or Sr standing or by permission of the instructor. Corequisite: IT307. Note: This course will have appointed class times for projects other than the times listed on the schedule. 

IT-480  Innovations for Industry III

See IT380. This course will have appointed class times for projects other than those listed on the schedule. A continuation of IT380. 

4 CreditsS,CTGISPrerequisites: IT380 and senior standing. 


Environmental Track:

ESS-410 Water Resources II

This is an advanced hydrology course aimed at furthering the students understanding of the complex interactions of the hydrologic cycle. Particular emphasis will be placed on mathematically modeling the process including precipitation, runoff, infiltration, soil moisture and stream flow.

3 CreditsQS, N, CTGISPrerequisites: ESS310 and MA130


Certificate Credit Total = 18-21

Any course exception must be approved by Dr. Neil Pelkey.


Contacts

Neil Pelkey

Neil Pelkey  Biography →

  • Professor of Environmental Science and Studies

Neil Pelkey  Biography →

  • Professor of Environmental Science and Studies
Portrait of Dennis Johnson

Dennis Johnson  Biography →

  • Professor of Env. Science
  • Executive Director of the Raystown Field Station

Dennis Johnson  Biography →

  • Professor of Env. Science
  • Executive Director of the Raystown Field Station
John J. Wright

John J. Wright  Biography →

  • Associate Professor of Computer Science

John J. Wright  Biography →

  • Associate Professor of Computer Science