Tools of Analysis: Geographic Information Systems

Taken in Spring

Students explore the various spatial analysis methods used by scientists, planners, and public-policy makers to improve the understanding and management of our world. Students learn the fundamentals of modeling, data analysis, mapping, and conducting an environmental-impact assessment using geospatial technologies. Practical exercises relate to themes studied throughout the year. In this project-based class, students begin by learning the fundamentals of using spatial information, conducting spatial analysis, and producing and interpreting maps. In the second half of the course, they apply these skills to a team-based research project of their own design. The program culminates in a poster session, where the students show their work to their peers, professors in the program, and the greater Bard community.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understanding of the current capabilities of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) science and its limitations
  • Application of the fundamental techniques of vector- and raster-based spatial analysis
  • Ability to use GIS software to produce high-quality cartographic products
  • Appreciation of how spatial analysis and mapping play a critical role in the creation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of environmental policy