Geospatial Curricula

There are a variety of classes available for a wide range of interest in geospatial analysis.

ENVIRON 559 Fundamentals of Geospatial Analysis

This course is the gateway into more advanced training in the Geospatial Analysis curriculum. ENVIRON 559 covers fundamental aspects of geographic information systems and satellite remote sensing for environmental applications. Requires permission of instructor.
Semesters offered: Fall
Instructor: Pat Halpin /Peter Harrell
Lecture / Lab
4 credits

ENVIRON 701 Forest Measurements

This field course includes a GPS module that satisfies the GIS field skills requirement. Course is designed to provide field and analytical measurement skills expected of professionals working in forest ecosystem management. Additional emphasis on habitat assessment and forest vegetation and wildlife identification. Extensive field work required.
Semester offered: Fall
Instructor: Dan Richter/ Nicolette Cagle
Lecture
4 credits

ENVIRON 714 Landscape Ecology

Landscape ecology embraces spatial heterogeneity in ecosystems: how spatial pattern arises, how it changes through time, and its implications for populations, communities, and ecosystem processes. Course adopts task-oriented perspective, emphasizing concepts and tools for habitat classification, inventory and monitoring, modeling and interpreting landscape change, and site prioritization for conservation or restoration. Prerequisites: an intermediate course in ecology; introductory statistics helpful but not required.
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor: Dean Urban
Lecture / Lab
4 credits

ENVIRON 724 Landscape Analysis and Management

This course is a task-oriented perspective on landscape ecology and management. The tasks include habitat classification, sampling designs for inventory and monitoring, site selection and prioritization, modeling landscape change, and integrated assessment. These practical tasks are couched in the logical framework of adaptive management. Course consists of lectures and hands-on exercises in the computer lab. Prerequisite: ENVIRON 714 or conent of instructor
Semester offered: Spring
Instructor: Dean Urban
Lecture / Lab
4 credits

ENVIRON 761 Geospatial Analysis for Conservation Management

This application course focuses on spatial analysis and image processing applications to support conservation management. The course covers habitat mapping, spatial analysis of animal movements, habitat modeling, and the optimization of nature reserve selection. The course requires a fundamental knowledge of geospatial analysis theory and analysis tools. Requires permission of instructor.
Semesters offered: Spring
Instructor: John Fay
Lecture / Lab
4 credits

ENVIRON 765 Geospatial Analysis for Coastal and Marine Management

This application course focuses on spatial analysis and image processing applications to support coastal and marine management. The course covers benthic habitat mapping, spatial analysis of marine animal movements, habitat modeling, and the optimization of marine protected areas. The course requires a fundamental knowledge of geospatial analysis theory and analysis tools. Requires permission of instructor.
Semesters offered: Spring
Instructor: Pat Halpin
Lecture / Lab
4 credits

ENVIRON 768 Geospatial Analysis for Water Quantity/Quality Assessment

Spatial analysis and image processing applications to support water resources management: water quality, flooding, and water supply primarily at watershed scale. Topics include water resources data modeling, terrain modeling and processing, river and watershed network analysis, and geospatial modeling of hydrologic processes. Knowledge of geospatial analysis theory and analysis tools.
Semesters offered: Spring
Instructor: Mukesh Kumar
Lecture / Lab
3 credits

ENVIRON 771 Geospatial Field Data Collection

This field module will provide training in field data collection and mapping skills: Creating geodatabases for field data collection, Using Trimble GPS units, differential correction of GPS data, mobile GIS interfaces (ArcPad). The course requires a fundamental knowledge of geospatial analysis theory, analysis tools, and applications. Requires permission of instructor.
Semesters offered: Spring
Instructor: Pete Harrell
Lab
2 credits

ENVIRON 857 Satellite Remote Sensing for Environmental Analysis

Environmental analysis using primarily satellite remote sensing. Theoretical and technical underpinnings of remote sensing (georectification, image analysis, classification) coupled with practical applications (land cover mapping, change analysis, ground truth techniques). Strong emphasis on hands-on processing and analysis. Will include variety of image types: multi-spectral, hyper-spectral, radar and others. 4 credits. Prerequisite: Environ 259 or previous GIS experience.
Semesters offered: Fall
Instructor: Jennifer Swenson
Lecture / Lab
4 credits

ENVIRON 859 Advanced Geospatial Analysis

This advanced lecture/laboratory course will provide training in more advanced skills such as: GIS database programming, modeling applications, spatial decision support systems and Internet Map Server technologies. The course requires a fundamental knowledge of geospatial analysis theory, analysis tools, and applications. Requires permission of instructor.
Semesters offered: Fall
Instructor: John Fay
Lecture / Lab
3 credits


Geospatial Analysis Certificate Program

Geospatial analyses are a rapidly growing approach to problem solving across a wide array of environmental and earth science disciplines. The curriculum is intended to augment the educational tracks of a wide number of students from across the Nicholas School. In addition to providing a more focused and deeper treatment of these skills, the certificate program will provide visible recognition for mastery of these tools. Students completing this program will be highly sought after in both analytical and management positions.

Students wishing to earn a Certificate in Geospatial Analysis will need to complete a series of core and advanced course requirements and demonstrate proficiency in application of these skills in the completion of a research project. The Geospatial Certificate requires 3.5 courses from the geospatial curriculum.

Sequence of Classes for Geospatial Analysis Certificate Program. courses described above.

The Certificate in Geospatial Analysis requires the following course and research requirements:

  1. A fundamentals course:

    • ENVIRON559 Fundamentals of Geospatial Analysis

  2. A topical Geospatial Analysis course (one of the following):

    • ENVIRON761 Geospatial Analysis for Conservation Management

    • ENVIRON765 Geospatial Analysis for Coastal & Marine Management

    • ENVIRON768 Geospatial Analysis for Water Resources Management

  3. One additional course from the following:

    • ENVIRON724 Landscape Analysis & Management

    • ENVRION857 Satellite Remote Sensing

    • ENVIRON859 Advanced Geospatial Analysis

  4. A field skills module:

    • ENVIRON701 Forest Measurements

    • ENVIRON771 Field Data Collection

  5. Demonstrated use of geospatial analysis methods in the students masters project, dissertation, or other independent research project.

The Advanced GIS course, ENVIRON859, will be offered by video-conference to the marine lab each fall.

This sequence is the pre-approved curriculum. If you have a strong background in GIS, it is possible to skip ENV559: Fundamentals of Geospatial Analysis. This is determined on a case by case basis. However, you would still be required to fulfill the 3.5 course requirement from the remaining curriculum. Other courses may be allowable from Duke or other institutions - this must be discussed ahead of time with the geospatial faculty.

If you are a student interested in the Geospatial Certificate, fill in the first form below, "Part 1: Intention to Complete" and return hard copy or scanned email to Peter Harrell (pharrel@duke.edu). Typically, you would do this your first or second semester. This simply lets us know of your interest - it is not binding.

The certificate requires a research project showing use of geospatial analysis skills. This must include original analysis, not simply map making. The project generally is a students MEM project or PhD dissertation, but an independent project can fulfill this requirement. The geospatial project component must be written up as a document and approved by the supervisor of the project. An unwritten research analysis is not sufficient. To be certain your project qualifies, you should hand in a 1-2 page summary to Peter Harrell documenting what you are planning for your geospatial project no later than the semester prior to your graduation. This gives you time to adjust if the project does not meet requirements.

In your final semester before graduation, download "Part 2: Final Application". Review requirements . Turn in the form by the end of the semester prior to graduation to Peter Harrell. You will also need to provide documentation showing the geospatial analysis project component was completed. Typically, this would be a signed copy of the write-up that resulted from the analysis - your MP or Phd dissertation. We do not need to keep a copy - just see it completed.

Certificate in Geospatial Analysis – Part 1: Intention to Complete

Certificate in Geospatial Analysis – Part 2: Final Application


Faculty & Staff Training

As a service to the greater Duke University faculty and staff, the Geospatial Analysis program offer training in geospatial technologies. The skills gained are intended to benefit research opportunities for the university. Part of this training includes free access to the ESRI Virtual Campus, as part of the GIS site license. The following web page lists all free classes included in the Annual Users License: http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm?fa=aul.premiumCourses

Please contact Pat Halpin or Peter Harrell for more information.