Spring 2017
Course Instructor
Dr. Michelle Lawing, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
Office: 322 Horticulture and Forest Science Building (HSFB)
Office Hours: by appointment
Office Phone: 979-845-2748
Lab Instructor
Chase Brooke, MS Student, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
Office: 215 Centeq Building B (Research Park)
Office Hours: by appointment
Meeting Times and Place
Lecture: Thursday 12:45 – 2:00 Room 130H, Centeq (Research Park)
Lab: Tuesday 2:20 – 4:50 Room 214, Centeq (Research Park)
Course Description
This course introduces students to advanced topics in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to solve natural resource problems. It includes learning how to manipulate raster data types, build three-dimensional models, create geoprocessing workflows as it relates to applied projects, particularly with habitat suitability models, field and lab use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and internet-based GIS. This course is stacked and has an undergraduate and graduate section. Students taking this class for graduate credit will be required to complete an extra project to be determined. Prerequisites: An introductory GIS course (such as ESSM 351/651) or instructor’s approval.
Course Grading and Composition

Grading (A: 90-100, B: 80-89, C: 70-79, D: 60-69, F: <60)
To pass this course, you must pass the W component.

Writing assignments (70%)
  • Each of the ten labs will require a 250 word lab write up. 50%
  • A 1000 word term paper will be developed with a 500 word proposal, a 1000 word mid-point evaluation, a 1000 word preliminary peer and instructor review, and a final write up with instructor feedback. 20%

Term Project Presentation (10%)

Other Assignments (20%)

Note: The writing assignments are graded on writing quality, as well as the written peer reviews for each. You will get the chance to improve your quality of writing through regular feedback from the instructor and your peer-review writing group on content, style, mechanics, format, organization, and presentation of writing. The grade for each of the writing sections will be based on the final instructor and peer-reviewed product. Additionally, this course is designed to improve the scientific writing skills for each student; thus, it is expected that each writing assignment will be completed individually.

Course Learning Objectives
  1. Explain and use the concepts and applications of geographic information systems and remote sensing.
  2. Apply basic statistics concepts and methods to develop sampling designs and collect, analyze, and interpret nature resources inventory and monitoring data.
  3. Illustrate critical thinking and demonstrate problem-solving skills.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to acquire, interpret, and present conclusions orally and in writing.
  5. Recognize the need for lifelong learning and exhibit the skills necessary to acquire, organize, and reorganize new knowledge.
Attendance Policy

Attendance is required for all labs and lectures. If the student must miss a class due to a university excused absence, then the student will be allowed to make up the work. The student must discuss this excused absence with the instructor to determine a make up plan.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services, currently located in the Disability Services building at the Student Services at White Creek complex on west campus or call 979-845-1637. For additional information, visit

Honor Code
β€œAn Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.” (
Tentative Class Schedule