Approved by Faculty Senate.

 

 

University Studies Course Approval

Department or Program: ____GEOSCIENCE__________________

Course Number: __370__

Course Title: GIS & Imaging Techniques (3 S.H.)

Catalog Description: __Techniques of using aerial photographs, remote sensing, and GIS for geological applications. Prerequisite: GEOS 220 and instructor’s permission. Offered alternate years.

This is an existing course that has previously been approved by A2C2 XX .

OR

This is a new course proposal _____. (If this is a new course proposal, the WSU Curriculum Approval Form must also be completed as in the process prescribed by WSU Regulation 3-4.)

Department Contact Person for this course: ___Cathy Summa___

Email: __summa@winona.edu__

The proposed course is designed to satisfy the requirements in (select one area only):

Course Requirements

A. Basic Skills: (October 4, 2000)

______ 1. College Reading and Writing

______ 2. Oral Communication

______ 3. Mathematics

______ 4. Physical Development and Wellness

B. Arts & Sciences Core: (November 1, 2000)

______ 1. Humanities

______ 2. Natural Science

______ 3. Social Science

______ 4. Fine & Performing Arts

 

C. Unity and Diversity: (January 17, 2001)

______ 1. Critical Analysis

______ 2. Science and Social Policy

______ 3. a. Global Perspectives

______ b. Multicultural Perspectives

______ 4. a. Contemporary Citizenship

______ b. Democratic Institutions

Flagged Courses: (February 14, 2001)

______ 1. Writing

__XXX_ 2. Oral

______ 3. a. Mathematics/ Statistics

______ b. Critical Analysis

Approval/Disapproval Recommendations

Department Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date ______

Chairperson Signature_______________________ Date ______

Dean's Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved ____* Date:______

Dean's Signature_______________________ Date______

*In the case of a Dean's recommendation to disapprove a proposal a written rationale for the recommendation to disapprove shall be provided to USS

USS Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date ______

University Studies Director's Signature_______________________ Date ______

A2C2 Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date ______

A2C2 Chairperson Signature_______________________ Date ______

Faculty Senate Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date ______

FA President's Signature_______________________ Date ______

Academic Vice President's Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date ______

VP's Signature_______________________ Date ______

President's Decision: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date ______

President's Signature_______________________ Date ______

The purpose of the Oral Communication Flag requirement is to complete the process of providing graduates of Winona State University with the knowledge and experience required to enable them to become highly competent communicators by the time they graduate.

Courses can merit the Oral Communication Flag by demonstrating that they allow for clear guidance, criteria, and feedback for the speaking assignments; that the course requires a significant amount of speaking; that speaking assignments comprise a significant portion of the final course grade; and that students will have opportunities to obtain student and faculty critiques of their speaking.

Geoscience 370—GIS & Imaging Techniques—is presently offered as a small computer-intensive experience for upper-level students in Geoscience and Environmental Science majors. The course is required in the Environmental Geoscience option of the Geoscience major and is an elective in other options and in the Environmental Science program in the Chemistry and Biology Departments. The maximum course enrollment is limited by the number of workstations in the GIS lab (currently housed in Maxwell), and is set presently at 14 students. The course is presently offered in alternating spring semesters, but because of increased student demand, is likely to be offered each spring semester. The course focuses on teaching students the basics of the most popular software package in use for Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and therefore makes use of ESRI’s ArcView GIS package. The course is entirely project based, and students present each of their projects orally to the class. Students also are required to present project ‘progress reports’ on an approximately every other week basis. Formal assessment is based on the quality and thoroughness of the student projects and upon their oral presentation of their work. For these reasons, the Department of Geoscience believes that this course serves as an appropriate ORAL FLAG in the University Studies Program.

These courses must include requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to...

a. earn significant course credit through extemporaneous oral presentations;

There are no exams given in GEOS 370. The course is entirely project based. The initial project is very directed, but subsequent projects allow students greater flexibility and creative license. The common theme through the course is the development of students’ oral presentation skill and confidence. Short (three to four minute) informal project summary presentations allow students the opportunity to build comfort with projection and presentation technology prior to formal project completion presentations. Student grades are based entirely upon the quality and thoroughness of their completed projects. Project quality is assessed via the students’ oral presentation of their work on each project. Each presentation is evaluated by the instructor and by classmates via a peer review process. Project criteria are established via a scoring rubric accompanying each project. The weighting of oral presentations increases with each successive project during the semester.

b. understand the features and types of speaking in their disciplines;

The primary goal of this course is to provide students the opportunity to learn the basics of ArcView GIS software and GIS applications in the geological sciences. The secondary course goal is to help students develop skill and confidence in making formal and informal oral presentations of scientific work. To this end, all final formal presentations are geared toward presentation at scientific meetings. Students learn to present a brief, but detailed, summary of their work, similar to what they would encounter if making a presentation at regional or national meetings of the Geological Society of America or the American Geophysical Union. The formats at these meetings vary between oral and poster sessions. Oral sessions require a 10-12 minute presentation followed by a 3-minute question period. Poster presentations require authors to be present at their posters, which summarize and detail their findings, for a two-hour period during which interested colleagues may interact with the author.

The instructor, early in the semester, models the short presentations that students will give later. "Lectures" rarely exceed 12 minutes in length, and are accompanied by computer-aided graphics.

Students learn to speak informally about their work as they present short (3-4 minute) progress reports at random intervals during the semester. Students generally have about five minutes to prepare these informal presentations. The format of the class is such that the instructor is able to work one-on-one with students on the specifics of their project. During those meetings, each student is called upon to informally relate their progress to the class. These are relatively random selections, based upon the instructors perception of the students progress.

 

c. adapt their speaking to field-specific audiences;

By requiring presentations geared to professional geologic meetings, students will learn to adapt their speaking to appropriate professional audiences (see above). The first course project requires all students to complete a map showing global distributions of natural disaster sites. Each student must include the locations of all active volcanoes and all earthquake events that occurred over the previous two years. In addition to these required common elements, each student must include two other disasters of their choice (hurricane tracks, meteorite impact sites, floods, tornadoes, etc.). Because part of the project is common to all students, the oral presentations focus on the required but not common elements of the project. This format requires students to focus their presentation on the details of how their project differs from their classmates. In future presentations and projects, each students work is different. Therefore the presentations must relate more detail to the audience than the first presentation. However, each presentation assumes that the audience has basic understanding of GIS. In this regard, students learn that they must gear their presentation to a technically savvy audience, but must provide sufficient detail that the audience can understand the project. The goal is to help students learn to prepare a presentation to the level of their audience.

 

d. receive appropriate feedback from teachers and peers, including suggestions for improvement;

Each formal presentation in this class is accompanied by a formal peer assessment. Every student is required to anonymously evaluate every other students presentation. The peer assessment asks students to evaluate both content and presentation skill, and to provide constructive criticism and offer suggestions for improvement of each presentation. The instructor provides peer-evaluation forms for each presentation. These forms are reviewed by the instructor and returned to the student presenter for their use. Each peer evaluation asks students to list three positive features of the presentation, and to offer three suggestions for improvement. The instructor also completes a similar form, which serves as the official assessment of the project presentation. The instructors form is accompanied by the official scoring rubric that evaluates the entire project.

 

e. make use of the technologies used for research and speaking in the fields;

Students in GEOS 370 are required to present their second project in the form of a power-point slide show. The presentation requires that students export layouts from ArcView and import these layouts into PowerPoint. Most students additionally choose to add text slides to this presentation. Students are required to design and develop their own web pages to present and summarize their final project. In the presentation of the final project, students must orally describe their projects using their web page(s) as the visual prompts. Students work from the main instructors workstation, presenting their work in an approximately 12-minute talk using an LCD projector and laser pointer. Students are given the opportunity to practice their presentations during the semester prior to final presentation. These assignments mimic the formats used at major national meetings of scientific societies (such as the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union). To emphasize to students how important these presentations are, other Geoscience faculty, Academic Deans, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Krueger are all invited to the final presentations.

 

f. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields.

Because much of the data used in student projects is obtained from the Internet, students are forced to document their sources and to verify the validity of these sources. While much of these details are impossible to include in a short oral presentation, students must provide, as part of their completed project, a list of all data sources with complete and reproducible URL’s. A bibliography is required of each project, and will be included as a section on each poster layout created by the student.

Geoscience 370—GIS & Imaging Techniques

Dr. Catherine Summa

PA 112

457-5269

summa@winona.edu

Spring 2002

Maxwell 121

T 2:00 – 5:00 PM

Office hours posted at PA 112

University Studies Outcomes

This course satisfies the requirements of the ORAL Flag in the University Studies Program. Upon successful completion of this course, you will have completed the Oral Flag requirement of the University Studies program. Because this course has significant oral presentation requirements, it is essential that you are present for each class meeting so that you may participate fully. Even during class sessions in which you are not scheduled to present, you will be participating in peer review of your classmate’s presentations. These peer reviews are equally important to your progress in this course. Therefore, each unexcused absence will result in the loss of 5% from your final course grade.

The purpose of the Oral Communication Flag requirement is to complete the process of providing graduates of Winona State University with the knowledge and experience required to enable them to become highly competent communicators by the time they graduate.

Courses can merit the Oral Communication Flag by demonstrating that they allow for clear guidance, criteria, and feedback for the speaking assignments; that the course requires a significant amount of speaking; that speaking assignments comprise a significant portion of the final course grade; and that students will have opportunities to obtain student and faculty critiques of their speaking.

These courses must include requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to...

a. earn significant course credit through extemporaneous oral presentations;

b. understand the features and types of speaking in their disciplines;

c. adapt their speaking to field-specific audiences;

d. receive appropriate feedback from teachers and peers, including suggestions for improvement;

e. make use of the technologies used for research and speaking in the fields; and

f. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields.

Course activities described throughout the remainder of this syllabus will be coded to the above list of outcomes by the corresponding letter. These outcomes will be integrated throughout course content—each project you work on throughout the semester will have a speaking component (outcomes a-f). At the start of the semester, your speaking will be more informal, but by the end of the semester, you will be preparing a formal presentation in a format acceptable at a national scientific meeting (i.e., Geological Society of America format; outcomes a-f). You will also be responsible for completing peer evaluations of other students’ presentations (outcome d). Each presentation you make during the semester will be made using the technology in the lab: you will be presenting your material from the instructors station via the LCD projector, and you will make presentations using MS PowerPoint and a web page of your own design (outcomes b, e, and f).

 

Purpose of Class

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are tools that allow the user to process data into information that is tied explicitly to, and is used to make representations of, or decisions about, some portion of the Earth. A GIS a tool that uses computers and software to help present spatial data in a variety of formats. A GIS can be used any time information can be presented or manipulated by the use of maps. GIS enables the user to easily visualize the meaning of the numbers and words from the rows and columns in databases and spreadsheets. A particular strength of using a GIS is that it enables the user to superimpose multiple data layers in an integrated presentation format. Additionally, it easily enables the user to add and manipulate data (map) layers as new information is added to the research project, and can even be useful in projecting hypothetical "what-if" scenarios.

 

This course will endeavor to help you learn the basics of GIS using the most popular desktop GIS software available, ArcView GIS, by ESRI. The course will be project based; in other words, you will learn about GIS by creating a specific project. Given this approach, you will not walk away from this class with anything close to a complete understanding of GIS (not that you could do that in any single semester-long course), but you should leave the course with a good solid understanding of how to use GIS to accomplish some common geologic tasks.

This course will be computer intensive. You will be working with temperamental hardware and software, and will no doubt experience the frustrations of doing so. Get used to it! Some of the applications you will work with include: ArcView GIS, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and the MN County Well Index. Additionally, you will be working with real data that you gather from a variety of Internet and public-domain sources (read this to mean that the quality will be highly variable), or that you gather yourselves (outcome e). You will need to know your network login in order to save material to the student storage space allocated on the university servers.

There will be no exams in this course; your grade will be based on your performance on class projects. Each project will be accompanied by a scoring rubric that will enable you to understand the important criteria for each project (outcome a). You must notify me of your project choice by the deadline announced in class for each project before you begin work on that project. Each project will be presented orally to the class (and outside audiences) using a variety of formats each of which will be described and detailed in class (outcomes a-f). By the end of the semester, you will not only have learned the basics of ArcView GIS, but will also have learned how to prepare and present a PowerPoint presentation that links to ArcView, and how to design and develop your own web pages (outcomes e, f). Each project will be presented in the format of a scientific meeting, usually allowing 10-12 minutes for presentation of your work, followed by a 3-minute question period (outcomes a-f). Each presentation will be assessed by the instructor and by your classmates (outcome d). Thus, you will also learn the basics of peer review. You will additionally create a poster layout of your final project, which will be available for an end-of-semester poster session at which authors will be present for a one-hour period for presentation and questions from interested audience members (outcomes a-f).

I will expect that you will spend significant time outside of our weekly three-hour class meeting time working on class projects. To aid in your efforts in this vein, the Geoscience GIS lab has a numerical keypad to allow you to enter the room any time that Maxwell Hall is open. Keypad access is a special privilege that will be revoked immediately if it is abused. Please review the attached list of laboratory rules for further details. Sign and return one copy of this contract to the instructor if you agree to abide by these rules. If you do not agree to these rules, you are best advised to choose another elective course. If the contract is not returned by the deadline announced in class, I will cancel your registration in this course. This is a high-tech (and high cost) lab that requires your careful attention to detail and security at all times. Each student will have access to the computers via an individual login process; we are able to track usage via the login procedure. Please do not abuse the privilege and do anything that compromises laboratory use for you or other students.

 

REQUIRED TEXT: Getting to Know ArcView GIS, ESRI Press. Available in the WSU Bookstore.

Other Required Materials: You will need a minimum of one 100 MB Zip disk or Superdrive disk on which to save your projects if you so desire. During the semester, you will be provided with network storage space. To access the network, you will need to know your login information. If you do not know your network login, please contact the Technical Support Center, Somsen 207, ASAP.

 

Grading

There are no exams in this course. Grades will be based upon the quality of your projects and presentations (note the necessary subjectivity of this method). In an attempt to establish some objective criteria, a scoring rubric will be provided for each project. You will complete a minimum of three projects during the semester (more if there are no technological problems to deal with). At least one informal and one formal oral presentation will accompany each project. Oral presentations will be worth a minimum of one-quarter of your total project grade (first project) to a maximum of one-half of your total project grade (final project), depending on the project.