Geography 223. Field Geography, GPS & GIS
Course Description and Focus
This course will provide a conceptual overview and hands-on experience with Global Positioning Systems (GPS). We will cover GPS theory, techniques, and field data methods, and then apply that knowledge using hand-held GPS units to collect and integrate spatial and non-spatial data within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) framework. At the end of the course, you will have the knowledge and skills to use GPS technology for collecting, processing, and analyzing field data. We will cover GPS units & software, how to develop & conduct a GPS survey, differential correction, importing features and tabular data into GIS, data conversions, building a GIS database, and creating maps from GPS data.
You will learn and apply GPS theory and techniques through weekly readings, lab assignments, and field experiences.
Course Format & Materials
Field work will be conducted outdoors, rain or shine, so wear appropriate shoes and rain gear. Since this is nearly a 3-hour class, it would also be wise to bring water and snacks to keep those brain cells well-hydrated and nourished.
No textbook is required We will be using a series of online readings to accompany the course, which can be found on the syllabus.
GPS & Mapping Software
We will mostly use Trimble Pathfinder Office software for transferring/processing data off the Juno GPS units to the computer desktop, and the desktop GIS software package ArcGIS 10x for map creation. All of these software programs are available in the classroom/lab as well as Sylvania Library, and the CRC at Rock Creek & Cascade campuses.
Assignments and Grading
Participation (10%): Participation in this class is essential. Your participation grade will be based on your presence in class and contributions to class discussions.
Labs / Assignments (60%): There are a number of field-based / research assignments in class.
Field Research Projects (30%): Each student will conduct their own project that includes: GPS survey planning, data collection, post-processing, mapping, and incorporating into GIS.
Final grades will be based on the following scale: A (90-100), B (80-89), C (70-79), D (60-69), and F (below 60).
**Course schedule is subject to change and will be updated throughout the quarter.
Sept 27 | 29. GPS 101
Oct 4 | 6. GPS software
Oct 18 | 20. Differential correction
Oct 25 | 27. Collecting good data
Nov 1 | 3. Navigation & GPS
Nov 8 | 10. Field data apps
Nov 15 | 17. Field data apps
Nov 22. Final field project
Nov 29 | Dec 1. Field project
Dec 6 | 8. Field project
Topic. Working on field projects
Dec 13. Presentations
Final Project Presentations
Read. Per Enge & Pratap Misra, 1999. Scanning the Technology: Special issue on Global Positioning System
Read. Stanley M Tomkiewicz, Mark Fuller, John Kie, and Kirk Bates. 2010. GPS and associated technologies in animal behavior and ecological research
'How To' Submit an Assignment
2. Submit a single document in .pdf format
3. The subject line of your email should reflect the assignment name. For example: Reaction Paper 1
Plagiarism is “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work (Dictionary.com).” This is unacceptable. Cheating is also unacceptable. If you have any questions about the college’s academic policy, see pages 9-11 of the Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, online at http://www.pcc/edu/about/policy/student-rights/student-rights.pdf.
Students with Disabilities
PCC is committed to supporting all students. If you plan to use academic accommodations for this course, please contact your instructor as soon as possible to discuss your needs. Accommodation are not retroactive; they begin when the instructor receives the "Approved Academic Accommodations" letter from you (submitted in person for courses on campus; via email for DL courses). To request academic accommodations for a disability, please contact a disability services counselor on any PCC campus. Office locations, phone numbers, and additional information may be found at http://www.pcc.edu/resources/disability