The Biology Department at Southern Arkansas University (SAU) is offering Geographic Information Systems (SCI 3003) this coming Spring semester! You should consider taking it, even if you’re not a biology major.

The class focuses on collecting, processing, analyzing, and communicating information spatially, and it’s an increasingly-important skill for researchers, resource managers, and businesses around the world. How does Amazon arrange its deliveries? How do land-managing agencies keep track of the various resources within their territory? How do scholars model data on local, regional, and global levels? All of these are done using geospatial technologies, and this class will open this world to you.

We will do this by teaching you the basic principles and practices involved in the use of geospatial technologies, and you will learn the major software packages used by most industries along with the basics of how data are organized and interpreted. These are the kinds of skills that can change how you look at the world, and which employers are increasingly interested in.

One of the really fun aspects of this class is that you will do your own research project. By the end of the class, you will have designed and carried out a very small piece of original work, which you will pull together into a professional research poster. The last day of the class will be a poster session, like you would do at a scholarly conference, where you present your research to your peers.

Though this is housed in the Biology Department and slanted towards the Wildlife Biology concentration, the class welcomes people majoring in other disciplines. GIS gets used widely in the social sciences, business, and other disciplines, and if you have an interest in exploring its importance to your field, come and let’s learn about it together.

The class is going to be hybrid, with the in-class session being 3:10-5:00 pm on Tuesdays. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at!

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