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 three day field excursion during the mid-semester break will involve visiting Canberra to hear from various government agencies which research and maintain GIS coverages for Australia. By the end of this unit, 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.
Three-day field trip, (two lectures and two practicals per week)
15-minute presentation (10%), 3500 word prac report (35%), 1500 word report on trip excursion (15%), 2-hour exam (40%)
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.
6cp from (ENVI1003 or AGEN1002) or 6cp from GEOS1XXX or 6cp from BIOL1XXX or GEOS2X11