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Western Oregon University has approved new minor and certificate programs in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) to begin enrolling students for classes in Fall 2014. The new program is housed in the Earth and Physical Sciences Department and expands upon the existing geosciences curriculum related to geographic information systems (GIS), cartography, remote sensing, photogrammetry, surveying, and quantitative analysis. These areas of study involve melding of computing systems with mapping, images, geographic location, information management and spatial analysis. GIScience and related geospatial technologies are in widespread use across all sectors of the global economy including scientific research, natural resource management, government, industry and business (e.g. Google Earth, Mapquest). To launch the program, the Earth and Physical Science Department has recently hired Melinda Shimizu from Arizona State University, to serve as Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science, starting in September 2014.


The new GIScience program is aimed at WOU students looking for a minor to strengthen their technology skills to compete for entry level information management jobs upon graduation. The program is most relevant to majors in Natural Science, Social Science, Public Policy, Criminal Justice and Computer Science. In addition to the minor, the GIScience program may also be completed as a post-baccalaureate certificate for those off-campus individuals seeking to enhance technology skills that are directly transferable to the 21st Century marketplace.



Geographic information science minor

(24 credits)
Choose one: (4)
          ES202 Principles of Geology
          Geog105 Introductory Physical Geography
Geog240 Map and Air Photo Interpretation (4)
ES340 Principles of Cartography (4)
ES341 Geographic Information Systems I (4)
ES342 Geographic Information Systems II (4)
Choose one: (4)
          ES444 Remote Sensing
          ES492 Advanced GIS Applications in Earth Science


In addition to the minor, the Geographic Information Science
curriculum may also be completed as a post-baccalaureate
certificate program.



Course offerings for the Geographic Information Science program begin in fall term 2014 with
ES340 Principles of Cartography, followed by ES341 Geographic Information Systems I and ES342
Geographic Information Systems II in winter and spring terms 2015, respectively. For more
information, contact program advisors Dr. Steve Taylor ( or Dr. Mark VanSteeter


Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
345 Monmouth Ave. N. Monmouth, Oregon 97361 503-838-8206 503-838-8072 (fax)


Department of Earth and Physical Sciences (503) 838-8858 | or e-mail: