EEG 260 – GIS & Remote Sensing
NOTE ->Winter 2022 stay tuned……
Prof. David Harbor
Mon Wed Fri 9:45-1045
& Lab Wed 1:30-5:30
458-8871 – office
my cell number is posted at my office
“office” hours Sci Annex A223    harbord @ wlu.edu
  • This class is an introduction to the rapidly growing GIS technology informing scientific discovery, environmental analysis, and public policy debate.
    I have the following learning objectives for this course

    • learn fundamental concepts of GIS and remote sensing such as the nature of geospatial data, map projections, and the electromagnetic spectrum
    • understand and apply simple to complex analyses of geospatial data
    • gain familiarity with computer architecture, file systems, and programming
    • make maps and present findings to lay and scientific audiences
    • develop a dogged persistence in the solution of complex computer algorithms by overcoming the errors and pitfalls inherent in the process
  • Why should you be interested in GIS?
  • Software: I am most concerned that you learn about GIS data and analyses, while getting some practice in the mothership GIS software called ArcGIS and at least one other open-source program, QGIS.  I am not particularly interested that you become proficient in the software, because you may have to use something else in a job or grad school.  It is the knowledge and process that I’m trying to teach, not the use of the software.  Alas, you will have to get pretty good with software to accomplish the complex tasks that are the hallmark of GIS/Remote Sensing.  This is not a course in how to build a GIS program, or the history of the concepts and their utilization; to get this point of view, you’ll have to take a geography course somewhere else.
  • You will be learning from lots of kinds of activity.
    • Content for the course comes from a textbook and other online sources, plus my online course notes. We will often use the GIS during the weekly “lecture” periods on demonstration.
    • Weekly lab periods will give you practical experience in GIS data and analysis, and how to convey geographic information in maps. Exercises come from GIS Fundamentals (6th Edition) A First Text on Geographic Information Systems. Once you buy the book and remove the shrinkwrap, you’ll have access to online resources, including a eBook. We will also use ESRI and QGIS training materials online. Once you have finished some preparatory exercises, completion of four projects will allow you to test your skills on more open-ended questions. The final project will be of your own design.
    • Weekly quizzes will come from readings and my lecture notes. These are at the start of Monday classes.
    • You will examine how others have used GIS and Remote Sensing with two cases studies, which will be reported to the class. One before and one after the break.
    • You will complete a final project that includes a presentation and it will be evaluated by your peers.
  • Preparation:
    • If you are having trouble keeping up with me or the rest of the class when working on “demo” topics during class or fall behind on the exercises, you’ll miss the important concepts while you struggle to open a window or find a tool. That means you should do more work with the software to become proficient. I can suggest more ESRI   or QGIS tutorial content if you need help finding it.
  • Participation and Honor:
    • You are expected to attend every class, and should be logged in, ready to work at the start of class. If you must be absent, you are responsible for the material missed. If you miss a class and want to make up, help with or credit for any missed material, I need to have a text or email in my hands before class starts.
    • You are not allowed to view, copy, or incorporate any materials (maps/metadata/web pages, etc) generated by another student (this year or previous). To do so is an honor violation.
  • Assessment
    • Your grade will be based on exams, quizzes and assignments as follows. The approximate total is 1000, but may be more or less depending on adjustments during the semester.
      Lab Exercises 200
      Lab Projects (4) 300
      GIS Case Study 25
      Remote Sensing Case Study 25
      Final Project Algorithm 25
      Final Project Poster and Metadata 200
      Peer Project Reviews 25
      Weekly Quizzes (10 pts each) 100
      Final Exam 100
      ————–Total————- 1000
    • The final project will be a detailed analysis of a geologic or environmental/natural resource question approved in advance by Harbor.

Please note the following policies regarding accommodations and religious holidays adopted by the faculty:

Accommodations – “I am committed to ensuring access to course content for all students. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with disabilities. Contact Lauren Kozak, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources, to confidentially discuss your individual needs and the accommodation process. More information can be found at https://www.wlu.edu/disability-accommodations/undergraduate-accommodations.

If you have already been approved for accommodations, please meet with me within the first two weeks of the term so we can develop an implementation plan together. It is important to meet as early in the term as possible; this will ensure that your accommodations are implemented early on. If you have accommodations for test-taking, please remember that arrangements must be made at least a week before the date of the test or exam.””

Religious Holidays –  “Any student who is unable, because of his or her religious holiday(s), to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, athletic, or work requirement on a particular day shall be provided an opportunity to satisfy the requirement in a timely manner or shall be excused from the requirement. Specifically, [u]ndergraduate students should reach out to their faculty member, adviser, supervisor, or coach, within the first two weeks of class in fall or winter term, two days in spring term, and again prior to the religious holiday to discuss how best to make up the missed requirement.” link


When you have read and agree to the expectations and conditions in this syllabus, and all the linked pages above, please email Dave with the subject “Geol 260 syllabus agreement” and “sign” the email with your name indicating your agreement. Doing so earns you 2 points on the final exam if you do so before the 2nd class meeting.