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Did your first GIS class create an interest in learning more advanced skills? Are you getting ready to start an undergraduate or graduate research project that requires spatial modeling and analysis, but you’re not sure how to get started? This class is for you!  You’ll extend skills and principles, gain confidence in your GIS knowledge, and get hands-on technical experience with the full spectrum of GIS modeling. You will learn to implement line-of-sight models, proximity models, design hydrologic and terrain analyses, and work with point interpolation and kriging, dasymetric small area estimation, weighted criteria estimation, sensitivity analysis, and modeling landscape change. You will learn best practices for exploring data and using models to search for patterns that will help you in many areas of physical and social geographic analysis and environmental modeling. You'll work with raster data in a visual programming environment, learning automation and GIS scripting methods that will help you in your own research or in a job or internship. This class provides an excellent transition between Introductory GIScience (GEOG 4103/5103) and GIS Programming (GEOG 4303/5303).

The class format includes lectures, weekly in-class demos and exercises, and weekly lab assignments, each on a specific modeling task. In the second part of the semester, students will work in small groups to design, run and evaluate GIS models for projects they choose, with guidance from the instructor and TA. Each group will present project results to the class and complete a report to be handed in the final week of term. Project leaders will design and manage the project and the group activities, learning basic project management skills by working one-on-one with the instructor.