Geography is traditionally divided into three areas, and all three are offered in the SUU geography curriculum. These include (1) physical geography, an examination of earth’s physical systems; (2) human or cultural geography, which explores spatial relationships in human activities; and (3) technical or applied geography, including the technologies of geographic research, which encompasses cartography, GIS, GPS, and related technologies.
The mission of the SUU geography program is:
- To continue and expand interdepartmental relationships between the Departments of Physical Science GIS Program and a variety of disciplines on campus, and to support these programs and degrees offered by their departments.
- To discover, describe, explain, and interpret the character of the Earth as home to humans by focusing on interrelationships within and among natural and cultural subsystems and regions.
- To contribute to the liberal education offered by the University, to provide excellence in teaching, and to offer students the best in geography education that can be obtained at any institution of higher learning.
- To offer specialized training in applied geography, including GIS, cartography, and related geospatial technologies.
SUU offers two geography minors. The academic geography minor can be used either to fulfill graduation requirements or to prepare the student for graduate school. The geography education minor will qualify the student for certification to teach geography in Utah’s secondary schools.
Our GIS courses and laboratory serve many departments, degrees, and affiliated entities across the SUU campus and surrounding communities. The GIS courses and laboratory teach spatial technologies through hands-on experience. The GIS program and laboratory use the most current technology, hardware, and software available. The GIS lab offers service learning opportunities to students through local and regional projects and internships.
The mission of the GIS program is to prepare individuals to integrate spatial technologies with studies in other disciplines. We provide a learning environment that fosters undergraduate research. The strength of our mission relies on the program’s diversity and the interdisciplinary nature of spatial technologies.
A Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree (see Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) ) can be designed to accommodate students interested in GIS. Examples of programs that often use GIS include, but are not limited to, geography, biology, geology, history, sociology, political science, business, marketing, engineering, agriculture, information systems, computer science, criminology, university studies, education, and others. Coursework in GIS often complements other degrees.
Geographic Information Systems Certificate Requirements
The GIS certificate program was designed with an interdisciplinary focus, which allows the integration of GIS into many four-year degrees across campus. The GIS certificate can be completed as an individual program, usually over a two-year period, as well as integrated into a four-year program of study.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of geographic information systems, theories, principles, and procedures (data formats, relational database concepts, geoprocessing methods and procedures).
- Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of work flows for project creation/collection, data editing/manipulation, data geoprocessing/analysis, and output/presentation, both hard and soft copy.
- Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of skills related to field collection using GPS, smart phones, web-based mapping resources, and integration into GIS.
- Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of remote sensing concepts/processing methods, and/or programming/automated flow methods with iterations, and/or UAV collection and image manipulation.