Graduate Courses

Description of Courses

Geography 5310, Geographic Information Systems

A required course for participants in the Graduate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Through readings, computer exercises, and projects, this course examines the principles and techniques of computer handling of geographic data. The course includes the examination and evaluation of the characteristics, capabilities, and applications various GIS techniques. Topics covered can include spatial data types and data structures, managing map image files, common analysis functions, data quality and map error estimation, and common applications areas. Students enrolled in this course must obtain the following software: ESRI's ArcView 9.x. This software may be obtained by contacting the Department of Geography. The course is facilitated through UCA Blackboard. Prerequisite: None.

Geography 5312, Health Applications of Geographic Information Systems

This course investigates the vigorously growing applications of geographic information systems (GIS) to health-related fields. Managing health care costs by efficiently meeting patient needs with available resources is an activity that is central to every health care organization. GIS provides an effective way to visualize, organize, and manage a wide variety of information including administrative and medical data, social services, and patient data. Public health and medical research agencies use GIS to map health-related events, identify disease clusters, investigate environmental health problems, and understand the spread of communicable and infectious disease. This course embeds GIS software instruction in the context of carrying out projects for visualizing and analyzing health-related data.

Geography 5315, Mapping Fundamentals for Geographic Information Systems

Since GIS products and reports contain a high proportion of graphic components such as maps, charts, statistical summaries, and diagrams, good cartographic design skills are important to anyone working with GIS technology. Through textbook and journal readings, advanced computer exercises and projects, students enhance their graphic communication skills from both a theoretical and hands-on perspective. Students enrolled in this course must obtain the following software: ESRI's ArcView 9.x. This software may be obtained by contacting the Department of Geography. The course is facilitated through UCA Blackboard. Prerequisite: GEOG 5310 or consent of instructor.

Geography 5316, Remote Sensing for Teachers

This course introduces K - 12 teachers to the physics, interpretation, and analysis of remotely sensed data and how imagery can be used to enhance instruction and increase student interest. Actual content, format, and activities will vary by semester and include some combination of traditional lecture/laboratory, intensive workshops, field-based activities, and individualized instruction. This course may be repeated for credit when content is different.

Geography 5317, GIS for Teachers I

This course introduces K - 12 teachers to applications of geographic information systems as instructional tools in the public school classroom. Actual content, format, and activities will vary by semester and include some combination of traditional lecture/laboratory, intensive workshops, field-based activities, and individual instruction.

Geography 5318, GIS for Teachers II

This course builds on the learning from the previous course in the sequence to help K - 12 teachers learn to develop unit plans making extensive application of geographic information systems as instructional tools. Actual content, format, and activities will vary by semester and may include some combination of traditional lecture/laboratory, intensive workshops, field-based activities, and individualized instruction. This course may be repeated for credit when content is different.

Geography 5333, GIS for Planning and Public Administration

This course is designed to meet the GIS needs of planners, public administrators, or consultants working with projects for government or Ns. Topics covered through readings, discussions, and software exercises include the following: projections and coordinate systems (especially State Plane and UTM); TIGER files; the integration of tabular Census data; cadastral mapping; networks (utility, highway, etc.); and demographic analysis. Students enrolled in this course must obtain the following software: ESRI's ArcView 9.x. This software may be obtained by contacting the Department of Geography. The course is facilitated through UCA Blackboard. Prerequisite: GEOG 5310 or consent of instructor.

Geography 5340, Fundamentals of Database Design and Development

Through readings, discussions, computer exercises, and projects, students will examine the principles of database design; design elements; graphic, topological and tabular data structures; record and file formats; file organization and indexing; and hierarchical DBMSs. The principles and rules for relational, topological and object-oriented DBMSs, will also be addressed along with the development and amendment of prototype systems to meet user needs, specifications and predefined standards of design, testing, and overall documentation. Student projects will include constructing a variety of databases and demonstrating their operation. Students enrolled in this course must obtain the following software: ESRI's ArcView 9.x. This software may be obtained by contacting the Department of Geography. The course is facilitated through UCA Blackboard. Prerequisite: GEOG 5310 or consent of instructor.

Geography 5345, Digital Image Processing for GIS

Through readings, computer exercises, and projects, this course focuses on digital processing of satellite images and aerial photographs derived from remote sensing platforms for earth resource management applications. The course emphasizes remote sensing processes, data acquisition alternatives, image processing system consideration, image display and scientific visualization, radiometric and geometric image correction, image enhancement and image classification techniques, as well as change detection analysis using remotely-sensed data to solve real world problems. An advanced project utilizing the techniques of satellite digital image analysis with an environmental focus of a selected area of the United States (or other part of the earth's surface) is completed as the final project. Students enrolled in this course must have access to or purchase the following software: "Graduate Student License" of ERDAS Imagine. The cost is $250 per year and includes Imagine Professional, Vector Module, and Imagine VirtualGIS. Orders can be placed by contacting Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging at 225-343-3905. The professor must verify enrollment before the purchase can be made. The course is facilitated through UCA Blackboard. Prerequisite: GEOG 5310 or consent of instructor.

Geography 6320, Technical Issues in Geographic Information Systems

Through reading and writing, and examining technology, students will become familiar with many of the common, and sometimes, troubling issues in GIS. Some of those issues include the variety of coordinate systems, projection choices, software, accuracy, and rubber sheeting. Much of the course will be comprised of written reports and papers, which discuss and evaluate these issues. Students enrolled in this course must obtain the following software: ESRI's ArcView 9.x. This software may be obtained by contacting the Department of Geography. The course is facilitated through UCA Blackboard. Prerequisite: GEOG 5310 or consent of instructor.

Geography 6328, Spatial Analysis and Modeling

Through readings, computer exercises, and projects, the course emphasizes the fundamental statistical methods and procedures relevant to geographic data and spatial analysis. Topics included are inferential statistics pertaining to geographic data; Voronoi's diagram and the spatial concept; regression and spatial autocorrelation; point, line, and polygon data patterns and their trend analyses; spatial dependence; interpolation; uncertainty, spatial accuracy assessment and error estimations, overlay analysis, etc. A sophisticated final project, which utilizes statistical and analytical procedures, will be included. Students enrolled in this course must obtain the following software: ESRI's ArcView 9.x. This software may be obtained by contacting the Department of Geography. The course is facilitated through UCA Blackboard. Prerequisite: GEOG 5310 or consent of instructor

Geography 6360, Directed Readings in Geographic Information Systems

Detailed examination of a specific topic in geographic information systems through examination of appropriate scholarly works under the direction and supervision of a faculty member.

Geography 6380, GIS Research Methodology

Familiarization and practice with the tools and methods of research in geographic information systems at the graduate level. Prerequisite: GEOG 5310, Geographic Information Systems and GEOG 6328, Spatial Analysis and Modeling.

Geography 6390, Thesis Research

Research, writing, and oral defense of a Master's thesis on geographic information systems. May be repeated for up to 6 credit hours. Prerequisite: GEOG 6380, GIS Research Methodology.

Thesis Policies

All MGIS candidates will complete a thesis. The Thesis and Dissertation Preparation Guide outlines the general timeline, policies, and procedures for producing a thesis at the University of Central Arkansas. It is important to read and understand fully the contents of the manual, which is available from the Graduate Office or on the Graduate School web site at http://www.uca.edu/divisions/academic/graduate . The student must allow sufficient time for conducting the research and writing the thesis. Students and faculty will comply with all university policies regarding research and the use of human subjects and animals in research.