Environmental Geography and GIS GEOG 215 - Section 2954
Fall 2002 TTh 11:20AM-12:35PM - FH 140A/FH137 (Lab)
Dr. Scott S. Brown Office: FH 130
Email: ssbrown@fmarion.edu  Phone: 661-1611
Office Hours: MWF 10:30-11:30AM; 1:00-3:00PM
TTh 9:30-11:20AM; 1:00-3:00PM


Getting to Know ArcView GIS by Tim Ormsby et. al. ESRI Press, 2001.


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theory and practice of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This will include both lectures and in-class labs. Lectures will emphasize general principles and theory in GIS and the application of GIS to environmental and social issues that today’s world confronts . Labs will be oriented towards concepts discussed in class using desktop GIS to display and analyze spatial data. The software we will use is ArcView GIS 3.2a, produced by ESRI. The goal of this course is for students to learn the application of GIS to geographic problems, and have an idea of what data and resources are necessary to solve these problems. Environmental issues and sustainable development will be emphasized

Students should:


Students' performance will be evaluated based on the following components:

A 90 or higher
B+ 87-89
B 80-86
C+ 77-79
C 70-76
D+ 67-69
D 60-66
F 59 or lower


There will be 3 tests and a final exam. The lowest of the 3 test grades will be dropped, but the final exam grade can never be dropped. The two test and the final exam grades will each be worth 15% of the final grade. There will be no makeups!


Attendance will be calculated as a percentage of total class periods and will be taken on a regular basis. You will be held responsible for any material covered in class. If you miss more than 4 class meetings, you will be dropped automatically from the class! Remember, a perfect attendace record could make a difference in your final grade

Class attendance is Essential in order to:

  1. Obtain lecture material, which may not always be in the textbook.
  2. Receive credit for participation and discussion in class.
  3. Remain current on exam dates, as the syllabus may undergo revision from time to time.


Any late assignment will be penalized with a 10-point deduction for every class period after the date due. Any late work received after 4:00PM on Monday, Dec. 2 will be automatically penalized with a grade of 0!


Additional time may be required outside of class and lab time to complete daily exercises, weekly assignments, and the final semester project. I would recommend an additional 1 to 2 hours of your time be spen in the lab outside of the regularly scheduled class and lab meetings.

It is your responsibility to turn in assignments correctly and on time. Please keep up to date with due dates and project deadlines.

In completing the final semester project, it is important that students identify their topic early and begin to plan their work appropriately.


Topic Readings Important Dates
PART I - Theory: GIS Concepts (Class meets in FH 140A - lecture room)
Basics of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Breslin Ch. 1
Spatial Data: Statistical, Field, and Image Breslin Ch. 2
Map Scales and Projections
Data Modelling: Raster and Vector Data, Topology
Attribute Data and Databases Breslin Ch. 3
Where to get Data (For Internet access we will meet in lab - FH 137) Breslin Ch. 5
Data Input, Editing, and Analysis
Data Output Breslin Ch. 4
Desktop GIS and ArcView Breslin Ch. 6
GPS (Global Positioning Systems)
PART II - Practice in Using ArcView GIS (Class meets in FH 137 - lab)
Basics of ArcView GIS Breslin Ch. 7
Getting Data into ArcView GIS Breslin Ch. 8
Classifying, Displaying, and Symbolizing Themes Breslin Ch. 9, 10
Working with Spatial Data Breslin Ch. 11, 12
Querying Data Breslin Ch. 13, 14
Managing Tabular Data and Creating Hot Links Breslin Ch. 15, 16
Analyzing Spatial Relationships Breslin Ch. 17-20
Presenting Information: Charts and Layouts Breslin Ch. 21, 22
Creating Shapefiles and Themes Breslin Ch. 23-25
Address Geocoding Breslin Ch. 26
FINAL EXAM Dec. 6 - Fri 3:00PM