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Contact Kuuipo Walsh, Program Head
541-737-3795
kuuipo.walsh@oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University offers an undergraduate and graduate certificate in Geographic Information Science. Geographic Information Science ("GIScience") is a discipline that combines theory and principles underlying:

  • geospatial data collection (remotely sensed imagery from satellites, aircraft, and drones, social media, telemetry, GPS, etc.);
  • technologies to manage, analyze, and visualize geospatial data (geographic information systems);
  • computational, statistical, and mathematical methods to analyze and model geospatial data (machine learning, Big Data, spatial statistics, spatial modeling, geovisual analytics, etc.);
  • digital cartography and geovisualization (the science and practice of creating maps); and
  • cognitive, social, and environmental implications of GIScience (professional ethics, privacy, digital divide, etc.).

The GIScience undergraduate certificate consists of 27 credit hours.

Below are the requirements that need to be completed in order to earn the Geographic Information Science Certificate. Meet with your advisor before you register each term. Make sure you check prerequisites and other course restrictions before attempting to register. You should only schedule a course for which you do not have the prerequisites after consultation with the instructor and your advisor.

Why GIScience at Oregon State

  • World-class faculty who have garnered national and international awards, including the Cartography and Geographic Society's 2014 Distinguished Career Award and the 2014 British Cartographic Society and National Geographic Society New Mapmaker Award for the Atlas of Infectious Diseases.
  • Online program provides an economical and flexible choice for distance education students.
  • Real-world experience through a 10-week internship in a GIScience field.
  • Excellent training to increase your employment opportunities in the growing industry of GIScience technologies.

Oregon State University is an Esri Development Center which confers recognition and special status as an exemplary GIS program. Trademarks provided under license from Esri.

Explore the certificate

Curriculum

The GIScience undergraduate certificate consists of 27 credit hours, primarily at the upper division level. S/U or P/NP grades are not acceptable. Students are required to complete five "core" courses that will provide a basic knowledge of the component fields.

The core courses are supplemented by elective upper division courses totaling 8 or more credits. These courses will be selected from a list of at least seventeen classes taught in six departments. These courses will be selected by the student in consultation with his or her advisor, with the goal of obtaining a deeper general understanding of the component fields, or to allow advanced study in a particular field.

How to Declare for the Undergraduate Certificate

You must already be an undergraduate student in residence here in Corvallis at OSU and working toward a B.S. or B.A. degree. If interested in the certificate, contact Certificate Program Director, Ms. Kuuipo Walsh, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, who will consult with and accept you into the program. Upon completion of the coursework, she will also ensure that the appropriate code (C540) for the undergraduate geographic information science certificate is added to your student record, and that a paper certificate is issued before you graduate. So there is actually no formal application form to fill out.

Frequently Asked Questions

UCGIS GIS&T Body of Knowledge Topics in Geosciences Courses (pdf)

Required Core Courses (19-20 credits):

Go to the Academic Calendar, Schedule of Classes to search for a class to confirm availability.

  • FE 208, Forest Surveying (4) [F - Campus] [Sp - ECampus]
  • GEOG 201, Foundations of Geospatial Science and GIS (4) [F, W - Campus] [F, Sp, Su - ECampus]
  • GEOG 370, Geovisualization: Cartography (4) [F, Su - ECampus] [W - Campus]
  • GEOG 480, Remote Sensing I: Principles and Applications (4) [F - Campus] [Sp - ECampus]
  • GEOG 360, GIScience I: Geographic Information Systems and Theory (4) [F, Sp - Campus] [F, W - ECampus] [W - Casc Campus] or FE 257 GIS and Forest Engineering Applications (3) [W - Campus] [F - Ecampus] or CE 202 Geospatial Information and GIS (3) [W, Sp - Campus]
  • NOTE: Students in Civil & Construction Engineering's Geomatics Program are very welcome to pursue the GIScience certificate, and related CEM coursework such as CEM 263 will be accepted.

    The requirement for GEO 365 may be fulfilled by taking GIS 246 & 260 at Lane CC, but students will not receive upper-division credit at OSU.

    Please discuss with the undergraduate certificate adviser.

Elective Courses (7-8 credits chosen from below):

  • CE 413, GIS in Water Resources (3) [Su - Campus]
  • CROP/HORT 414, Precision Agriculture (4) [Sp - Campus, W - Ecampus]
  • ECE 468, Digital Image Processing (3) [F]
  • FE 310, Forest Route Surveying(4) [Sp - Campus]
  • FE 423, Unmanned Aircraft System Remote Sensing (3) [F - Campus]
  • FE 444, Forest Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry (4) [F - Campus]
  • FW 303, Survey of Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resources (3) [Su, F, W, Sp ECampus only]
  • GEO, GEOG 401, Research (1-4) [any term, as arranged, and of a GIScience nature]
  • GEO, GEOG 403, Thesis (1-4) [any term, as arranged, and of a GIScience nature]
  • GEOG 361, GIScience II: Analysis and Applications (4) [W - Campus, Sp - ECampus]
  • GEOG 371, Geovisualization: Web Mapping (4) [occasional]
  • GEOG 451, Planning Principles and Practices for Resilient Communities (4) [F - Campus, W - Ecampus]
  • GEOG 462, GIScience III: Programming for Geospatial Analysis (4) [Sp - Campus] [Sp – ECampus]
  • GEOG 463, GIScience IV: Spatial Modeling (4) [F - Campus] [alternate, even]
  • GEOG 464, Geospatial Perspectives on Intelligence, Security, and Ethics (3) [Sp - Campus, F - ECampus]
  • GEOG 472, Geovisualization: Geovisual Analytics (3) [occasional]
  • GEOG 481, Remote Sensing II: Digital Image Processing (4) [W - Campus]
  • SOIL 468, Soil Landscape Analysis (4) [W - Campus]
  • CS, CSS, ECE, ENSC, FOR, GEO, GEOG 410, Internship (3-4) [any term, as arranged, and of a GIScience nature]
    See Undergraduate Internships guidelines from CEOAS.
    See also the OPB segment on "Internships 101"

Program

  • Program Requirements

    Must already be an undergraduate student at OSU in residence here in Corvallis and seeking a degree (in good standing), in any major, any degree program. This certificate is NOT available to post-baccalaureate students, unless they are pursuing a subsequent degree at OSU. Contact the undergrad certificate advisor, Kuuipo Walsh, CEOAS, about declaring for the certificate and starting the curriculum. Upon completion of the coursework, Ms. Walsh will conduct the appropriate audit on MyDegrees to ensure that the credential is assigned to your student record, and that a paper certificate is issued.

    Geographic Information Science Curriculum Worksheet

  • Program Learning Outcomes

    Learning Outcomes: Students in Geographic Information Science shall:

    • Demonstrate skill in integrative spatial thinking and effective implementation of various spatial analysis methods, as well as collaborative learning across several sub-disciplines within the GIScience field.
    • Develop solid grounding in GIScience technology and the appropriate application of that technology (software, data collection instruments and devices).
    • Express familiarity with a wide variety of research applications, management and decision-support scenarios, with the capacity to apply knowledge to natural resource problems at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.
  • Program Registration

    Undergraduate certificate. You must already be an undergraduate student in residence here in Corvallis at OSU and working toward a B.S. or B.A. degree. If interested in the certificate, contact Certificate Program Director, Ms. Kuuipo Walsh, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, who will consult with and accept you into the program. Upon completion of the coursework, she will also ensure that the appropriate code (C540) for the undergraduate geographic information science certificate is added to your student record, and that a paper certificate is issued before you graduate. So there is actually no formal application form to fill out.

  • OSU Catalog - Undergraduate

Meet the faculty

Program director, Kuuipo Ann Walsh

Employment opportunities in GISciences have grown substantially over the last 10 years. With a GIScience certificate, students will be more in-demand than ever.

Faculty

  • Core Faculty (Level 1) - GIScience Coordinating Committee

    Forest Engineering, Resources and Management

    Michael G. Wing
    Associate Professor, Senior Research; PhD, Oregon State University; spatial applications and environmental research, stream habitat, visibility analysis, GIS, remote sensing, spatial statistics. Email: Michael.Wing at oregonstate.edu

    College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

    Robert Kennedy
    Assistant Professor, CEOAS; PhD, Oregon State University; Geospatial analysis, remote sensing, modeling, landscape ecology, disturbance dynamics, computational methods. Email: rkennedy at coas.oregonstate.edu

    Kuuipo Walsh
    Program Director, Undergraduate, Graduate, and Online Grad Certificate Adviser, Faculty Research Assistant; MS, Oregon State University; marine and coastal GIS, particularly spatial analysis, metadata, and web GIS. Email: Kuuipo.Walsh at oregonstate.edu

    Anne W. Nolin
    Professor, CEOAS; PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara; cryosphere-climate interactions, snow hydrology, remote sensing of snow and ice (hyperspectral, multispectral, multiangular, microwave), digital image processing. Email: nolina at geo.oregonstate.edu

    Jamon Van Den Hoek
    Assistant Professor, CEOAS; PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; using large volume satellite imagery, open source programming, machine learning, and social datasets to examine interrelationships between land degradation, environmental resource deprivation, and social conflict. Email: jvandenhoek at coas.oregonstate.edu

  • Teaching Faculty (Level 2)

    Arras, Tracy
    Instructor, Civil Engineering. MS, California State University-Fresno; GIS, remote sensing, image processing. Email: arrast at engr.oregonstate.edu

    Bailey, Mike
    Professor, School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. PhD, Purdue University; Scientific visualization, solid freeform fabrication, design for manufacturing and assembly, geometric modeling, stereographics/virtual reality, hardcopy, color theory, and user interaction. Email: mjb at eecs.oregonstate.edu

    Becker, Lorene Yokoyama
    Instructor, CEOAS. MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison; GIS, environmental conservation, decision-support systems. Email: lorene.yokoyama_becker at geo.oregonstate.edu

    Hystad, Perry
    Assistant Professor, College of Public Health and Human Sciences; PhD, University of British Columbia; Spatial exposure assessment methods to determine the chronic health effects associated with exposure to air pollution, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancer. Email: perry.hystad at oregonstate.edu

    Jones, Julia A.
    Professor, CEOAS. PhD, Johns Hopkins University; spatial analysis in ecology and CEOAS, soils, geomorphology, effects of land use on forest hydrology. Email: geojulia at comcast.net

    Kennedy, Robert
    Assistant Professor, CEOAS; PhD, Oregon State University; Geospatial analysis, remote sensing, modeling, landscape ecology, disturbance dynamics, computational methods. Email: rkennedy at coas.oregonstate.edu

    Kiser, Jim
    Lecturer, Forest Engineering, Resoures & Management. MS, Oregon State University; GPS, photogrammetry, laser technologies, commercial thinning operations and damage. Email: jim.kiser at oregonstate.edu

    Lybrand, Rebecca
    Assistant Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Science. PhD, University of Arizona; Pedology in the Critical Zone. Email: rebecca.lybrand at oregonstate.edu

    Nelson, Peder
    Instructor / Senior Faculty Research Assistant, CEOAS. Remote sensing, GIS, satellite imagery, automated visualization and analysis. Email: peder.nelson at oregonstate.edu

    Nolin, Anne
    Professor, CEOAS. PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara; cryosphere-climate interactions, snow hydrology, remote sensing of snow and ice (hyperspectral, multispectral, multiangular, microwave), digital image processing. Email: nolina at geo.oregonstate.edu

    Olsen, Mike
    Assistant Professor, Civil & Construction Engineering. PhD, University of California, San Diego; geomatics engineering, digital terrain modeling, applications of terrestrial laser scanning and GIS to earthquake, liquefaction, and coastal hazards. Email: michael.olsen at oregonstate.edu

    Park, Jihye
    Assistant Professor, Civil and Construction Engineering. Phd, The Ohio State University; Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning/navigation and GNSS remote sensing. Email: jihye.park at oregonstate.edu

    Parrish, Christopher
    Associate Professor, Civil & Construction Engineering. PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Full-waveform LiDAR, topographic-bathymetric LiDAR, hyperspectral imagery, uncertainty modeling, and UAVs for coastal applications. Email:christopher.parrish at oregonstate.edu

    Reuter, Ron
    Associate Professor, Natural Resources, OSU Cascades Campus, Bend. PhD, University of Minnesota; soils and landscape ecology, forest resources, GIS. Email: ron.reuter at oregonstate.edu

    Ripple, William J.
    Professor, Forest Ecosystems & Society. PhD, Oregon State University; remote sensing, GIS. Email: bill.ripple at oregonstate.edu

    Wing, Michael
    Associate Professor, Senior Research, Forest Engineering, Resources & Management. PhD, Oregon State University; spatial applications and environmental research, stream habitat, visibility analysis, GIS, remote sensing, spatial statistics. Email: Michael.Wing at oregonstate.edu

    Zhao, Bo
    Assistant Professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Geography; PhD, Ohio State University; Cartography, geo-visualization and analysis of big data and the critical evaluation of behaviors and dynamics in space and time. Email: zhao2 at oregonstate.edu

  • Adjunct Faculty (Level 3)

    Ashkenas, Linda
    Senior Faculty Research Assistant, Fisheries and Wildlife (GIS, stream ecology, environmental history). Email: Linda.Ashkenas at oregonstate.edu

    Boggess, William G.
    Professor and Chair of Agricultural and Resource Economics. PhD, Iowa State University; interactions between agriculture and the environment (water allocation, groundwater contamination, surface water pollution, water and environmental policy); applied decision theory under risk and uncertainty, stochastic/dynamic simulation and optimization techniques. Email: bill.boggess at oregonstate.edu

    Bolte, John P.
    Associate Professor, Bioengineering. PhD, Auburn University; mathematical modeling and simulation of agricultural, aquacultural and environmental systems, GIS-based spatial modeling, artificial intelligence applications in bioresource management. Email: boltej at engr.orst.edu

    Cohen, Warren
    Research Forester, USDA Forest Service PNRS. PhD, Colorado State University; remote sensing, scaling field-based ecological information to landscape and regional levels, forest structure. Email: Warren.Cohen at oregonstate.edu

    Coop, Len
    Assistant Professor Senior Research, Botany and Plant Pathology. PhD, Oregon State University; integrated pest management, decision support systems, phenology and systems modeling, GIS, the web, and IPM delivery systems. Email: coopl at bcc.orst.edu

    Daly, Chris
    Professor, Senior Research, Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering . PhD, Oregon State University; climatology, meteorology, author of the PRISM climate parameter expert system. Email: chris.daly at oregonstate.edu

    Dietterich, Tom
    Professor, Computer Science. PhD, Stanford University; adaptive computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence. Email: tgd at cs.orst.edu

    Edwards, Mark
    Associate Professor, Sociology. PhD, University of Washington; research methods and statistics, stratification, GIS and society. Email: medwards at oregonstate.edu

    Fern, Xiaoli
    Associate Professor, School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. PhD, Purdue University; Machine learning, data mining and knowledge discovery. Email: xfern at eecs.oregonstate.edu

    Freilich, Michael H.
    Professor, CEOAS. PhD, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; surface wave modeling, nearshore processes, microwave ocean remote sensing. Email: mhf at coas.oregonstate.edu

    Goldfinger, Chris
    Professor, CEOAS. PhD, Oregon State University; seafloor imaging, mapping and visualization, marine GIS, subduction earthquakes, accretion and erosion of active margins. Email: gold at coas.oregonstate.edu

    Good, James W.
    Professor Emeritus, CEOAS, Marine Resource Management Program. PhD, Oregon State University; coastal erosion/shoreline management, urban waterfront development, coastal hazards, wetlands management. Email: jgood at coas.oregonstate.edu

    Grant, Gordon
    Research Hydrologist U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Research Station and Courtesy Professor of Geosciences. PhD, Johns Hopkins University; fluvial geomorphology of mountain-forest streams. Email: grantg at fsl.orst.edu

    Hannaway, David
    Professor, Crop and Soil Science. PhD, University of Kentucky; forage crops, GIS-based mapping technologies for climate, soils, and species characteristics. Email: david.hannaway at oregonstate.edu

    Hunter-Zaworski, Kate
    Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Director, National Center for Accessible Transportation. PhD, Oregon State University; transportation engineering, transportation GIS. Email: hunterz at engr.orst.edu

    Jackson, Philip L.
    Professor Emeritus, CEOAS. PhD, University of Kansas; climatology, physical geography, land-resource planning and management, natural hazards policy. Email: jacksonp at geo.oregonstate.edu

    James, Corrine
    Faculty Research Assistant, CEOAS (Remote Sensing). Email: corrine at coas.oregonstate.edu

    Keon, Dylan
    GIS Research Specialist, Northwest Alliance for Computational Science. Email: keon at nacse.org

    Lancaster, Stephen
    Associate Professor, CEOAS. PhD, MIT; fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, GIS. Email: Stephen.Lancaster at oregonstate.edu

    Meyers, S. Mark
    Faculty Research Assistant, CEOAS (GIS, geographical analysis, wildlife science). Email: meyerss at geo.oregonstate.edu

    Noller, Jay
    Professor, Crop and Soil Science. PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder; landscape pedology, soil geomorphology, GIS. Email: jay.noller at oregonstate.edu

    Olsen, Mike
    Assistant Professor, Civil & Construction Engineering. PhD, University of California, San Diego; geomatics engineering, digital terrain modeling, applications of terrestrial laser scanning and GIS to earthquake, liquefaction, and coastal hazards. Email: michael.olsen at oregonstate.edu

    Pancake, Cherri
    Professor and Intel Faculty Fellow, Computer Science. PhD, Auburn University; usability engineering, parallel processing, user interfaces, distributed databases and computing, Director of Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering. Email: pancake at cs.orst.edu

    Reitsma, Rene
    Professor, College of Business. PhD, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands; cartography of information space, information systems, information management. Email: reitsmar at bus.oregonstate.edu

    Schultz, Robert, J.
    Professor, Civil Engineering. MSCE, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; cadastral, geodetic, and photogrammetric surveying. Email: robert.schultz@oregonstate.edu

    Spies, Thomas A.
    Professor, Forest Ecosystems & Society. PhD, University of Michigan; landscape ecology, ecology and management of old-growth forests, forest succession. Email: spiest at fsl.orst.edu

    Turner, David P.
    Professor, Senior Research, Forest Ecosystems & Society. PhD, Washington State University; biogenic emissions, global ecology. Email: turnerd at fsl.orst.edu

    Vincent, Paul
    Associate Professor, Senior Research, CEOAS. PhD, University of Colorado; Surface deformation measurements using terrestrial and satellite geodesy; advanced InSAR techniques; coupled, multi-physics source characterization; dynamic simulations. Email: pvincent@coas.oregonstate.edu

    White, Denis
    Faculty Research Associate, CEOAS, (GIS, cartography, geographic analysis and synthesis). Email: white.denis at epa.gov

    Wright, Dawn J.
    Founder of the GIScience Certificate Program. Chief Scientist at Esri and Courtesy Professor at CEOAS; PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara; GIS, marine and coastal geography, mid-ocean ridges, geography of cyberspace. Email: dwright at esri.com

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