National University




General Course Information for SCI303: GIS: Geographic Info Systems

Course: SCI303 - GIS: Geographic Info Systems
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to: http://www.nutextdirect.com

Course Description: Interdisciplinary features in Geographic Information Systems. Aspects include geography, cartography, and computer science for scientific, business, and environmental applications. This will include teaching the student how to input spatial data into the computer, organize the data and perform basic spatial operations.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe the concepts of map scale and projections.
  • Distinguish different types of maps and how to effectively use an atlas.
  • Recognize some historic perspective in the history of human mapping and exploration of our world.
  • Utilize the tools and technologies that geographers use to gather, process, and report information from a spatial perspective. These include the compass, aerial photographs, satellite imaging, global positioning systems, geographical information systems, and computer graphics and image processing from extant GIS data bases and satellite imaging.
  • Identify the destructive impacts of acid rain, ozone depletion, soil erosion, deforestation, desertification, waste disposal, pollution, and threats to biodiversity as a result of human activities.
  • Recognize how history, culture, and geographic location can determine economic success or failure, political strength or fragmentation of a state.
  • Describe the influence of modern human lifestyles on the ecosystems of earth (overpopulation, resource depletion, monoculture and pesticide, pollution of the atmosphere and streams, energy waste and mismanagement, deforestation, habitat destruction, and loss of biodiversity).
  • Formulate environmental models, and human activities and lifestyles to reduce the destruction of our fragile ecosystems.
  • Demonstrate through a collaborative project how analytical GIS software can create models and projections for practical foresting, wildlife management, land use planning/ zoning and agricultural applications.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • MAJOR IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
    • Apply state of the art scientific and environmental concepts to solve environmental problems.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of natural resource policy, environmental regulations, and resource management.
    • Recognize the link between healthy ecosystems and healthy human populations.
    • Recognize the major components of the earth's systems and how they function.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like: http://nu.libguides.com/citations

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:

URL: http://www.nu.edu/library.

Contact the Library:

  • RefDesk@nu.edu
  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty: http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml

Ethics:
Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Technology:
Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Diversity:
Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

Civility:
As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures