Environmental GIS (ENVX3001)

UNIT OF STUDY

This unit is designed to impart knowledge and skills in spatial analysis and geographical information science (GISc) for decision-making in an environmental context. The lecture material will present several themes: principles of GISc, geospatial data sources and acquisition methods, processing of geospatial data and spatial statistics. Practical exercises will focus on learning geographical information systems (GIS) and how to apply them to land resource assessment, including digital terrain modelling, land-cover assessment, sub-catchment modelling, ecological applications, and soil quality assessment for decisions regarding sustainable land use and management. A 3 day field excursion during the mid-semester break will involve a day of GPS fieldwork at Arthursleigh University farm and two days in Canberra visiting various government agencies which research and maintain GIS coverages for Australia. By the end of this UoS, students should be able to: differentiate between spatial data and spatial information; source geospatial data from government and private agencies; apply conceptual models of spatial phenomena for practical decision-making in an environmental context; apply critical analysis of situations to apply the concepts of spatial analysis to solving environmental and land resource problems; communicate effectively results of GIS investigations through various means- oral, written and essay formats; and use a major GIS software package such as ArcGIS.

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Further unit of study information

Classes

Three-day field trip, (2 lec & 2 prac/wk).

Assessment

One 15 min presentation (10%), 3500w prac report (35%), 1500w report on trip excur (15%), 2 hr exam (40%)

Textbooks

Burrough, P.A. and McDonnell, R.A. 1998. Principles of Geographic Information Systems. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Clarke, K. C. 2003. Getting Started With Geographic Information Systems. 4th Edition. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Faculty/department permission required?

No

Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

Assumed knowledge: least 48 credit points in second year agriculture/science units.

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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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