Graduate Classes

SSC 540 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Soil Science and Agriculture
Spring semester of every year

Course Location: On Campus & Distance Education

Effective management of agriculture, soils, and other natural resources requires characterizing, understanding, and managing the spatial variability of things such as soils and vegetation. A geographic information system (GIS) is software developed to store, manipulate, analyze, and display spatial data. The primary goals of this course are for students to develop: 1) a functional understanding of key GIS principles; 2) a working knowledge of a GIS (Environmental Systems Research Institute’s [ESRI] ArcGIS: ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcToolbox); and 3) the problem-solving and critical-thinking skills necessary to use GIS in the characterization and management of agriculture, soils, and other natural resources.

SSC 200: Soil Science or equivalent (basic soils); basic familiarity with production agriculture; or Permission of the Instructor. Computer literacy in a MS-Windows environment.

Two midterm exams, comprehensive in-class and take-home final, regular lab exercises, homework and Half-term project.

Primary Topics:

  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Maps and Cartography
  • GIS: Spatial Data Models: Vector & Raster
  • Georeferencing & Coordinate Systems
  • Data Collection (Spatial Data/Data Acquisition)
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) and Basic GPS skills
  • Remote Sensing
  • Statistics, interpolation, & and spatial variability
  • Precision Agriculture
  • CAD (Computer Aided Design) and GIS
  • Creating & analyzing 3-D surfaces: 3-D Analyst
  • Hydrologic Information Systems (HIS)