Headlines at Hopkins
News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

September 2, 2008
Media Contact: Ken Schappelle
(202) 452-1910

JHU Launches Online Certificate in
Geographic Information Systems

Five-course program will teach sought-after skills
to aspiring professionals

Students anywhere in the world can now earn a certificate in geographic information systems by taking courses online from The Johns Hopkins University.

The online certificate, offered by the university's Environmental Sciences and Policy Program and endorsed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission in July, is opening for student enrollment in the fall 2008 semester.

Geographic information systems, or GIS, allow users to collect and interpret data that are displayed as maps, reports, and charts to reveal spatial relationships, patterns and trends.

"According to the Department of Labor's High-Growth Industry Initiative, geospatial technology is one of the top three fastest-growing industries," said John Boland, chair of the Environmental Sciences and Policy Program. "The job potential for people skilled in GIS is extraordinary, and the Johns Hopkins online certificate in GIS caters to this audience. All five courses are administered online, allowing professionals to earn the certificate on their time."

GIS has boomed in recent years because many industries can capitalize on this data-rich technology. Professionals in law enforcement, disaster planning, marketing, real estate, environmental management, telecommunications, public health, urban planning, and more are now realizing the advantages of adding GIS skills to their repertoire.

"The university is dedicated to a bold initiative of augmenting our existing on-site degree offerings with quality distance learning in a robust, interactive, and asynchronous online format," said Sarah Steinberg, associate dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "The success we've had with our Environmental Sciences and Policy Program reassured us that providing the certificate in GIS in the online platform as well was the right thing to do. And because the format is asynchronous, students can keep pace with their peers regardless of where they live."

Required Courses for the Online Certificate in GIS

> Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
In this course, students become familiar with GIS concepts and gain the experience necessary to appreciate the utility of GIS in decision-making. Topics covered include the fundamentals of cartography, geo-referencing, data structures, database design, project planning, and basic spatial data analysis. The course provides an overview of the capabilities of GIS software. Class time is divided between lectures and GIS exercises that reinforce critical concepts. Completion of a term project is part of the course.

> Remote Sensing: Earth Observing Systems and Applications
This course introduces remote sensing as an important technology to further our understanding of Earth's land, atmospheric, and oceanic processes. Students study remote sensing science, techniques, and satellite technologies to become familiar with the types of information that can be obtained and how this information can be applied in the natural and social sciences. Applications include assessment of land cover and land use; mapping and analysis of natural resources; weather and climate studies; pollution detection and monitoring; disaster monitoring; and identification of oceanographic features.

> Introduction to Spatial Analysis with GIS
This course introduces students to using statistical techniques for solving spatial problems. Students will learn to apply the principles of statistics to address the distribution and location of a variety of problems. Examples and assignments are drawn from many GIS applications: business, urban planning, security, public health, transportation and telecommunications. Topics include spatial sampling, measures of dispersion and central tendency in spatial analysis, and regression analysis applied to spatial data.

> Advanced GIS Modeling (formerly Advanced GIS for Environmental Modeling)
This course moves beyond the fundamentals of GIS to explore application to problems in various sectors. Students review current research in the field, learn relevant modeling techniques, and utilize advanced software tools for analysis. The course involves the use and integration of a variety of data sources including maps, GPS, and satellite imagery. Specific GIS techniques in spatial analysis are introduced. The course builds on former GIS software experience. Students develop a significant GIS project over the course of the semester and present their findings at the end.

> Development and Management of GIS Projects
This course teaches knowledge and skills for managing GIS projects, including technical, legal, ethical and institutional problems. Students will examine the institutional role of geographic information systems and technologies, explore key issues in organizational management of GIS projects (planning, staffing, budgeting), and develop skills to design and manage geospatial databases. Ethical and legal issues in data acquisition, sharing, and representation will also be discussed.

For more information about Johns Hopkins' online certificate in GIS, please contact:

Dr. Eileen McGurty
Associate Program Chair
Environmental Sciences & Policy Program and Certificate in GIS
(410) 516-7049