MA in Environmental Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems

The Environmental Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems (ERS/GIS) program is designed for students with diverse natural science and social science backgrounds who desire specialized training in the use of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in environmental and natural resource analysis and management. Instruction addresses the theories underlying remote sensing and GIS and their practical applications. Students are trained for careers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors where there is increasing demand for professionals with advanced technical skills who can organize and analyze spatial environmental data.

Applicants to the ERS/GIS program must have completed calculus through integration and statistics through multiple regression. Candidates who do not have the required quantitative skills may be admitted, but they will be required to do independent work or additional coursework to acquire the necessary background. Students should consult the Director of Graduate Studies to ascertain if they have the required background.

Degree Requirements

At least 10 courses (40 degree credits) must be taken as follows:

Core Classes (five courses)

  • CAS GE 502 Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • CAS GE 505 Geographic Information Systems

Plus three classes from:

  • GRS GE 640 Digital Image Processing in Remote Sensing
  • GRS GE 645 Physical Models of Remote Sensing
  • GRS GE 646 Remote Sensing of the Lower Atmosphere
  • GRS GE 648 Remote Sensing of Vegetation
  • GRS GE 805 Spatial Data Analysis Using Geographic Information Systems

Interdisciplinary Breadth Requirement (two courses)

Theory and Concepts (one course)

  • CAS GE 503 Micrometerology: Energy and Mass Transfer at the Earth’s Surface
  • CAS GE 510 Physical Principles of the Environment
  • CAS ES 511 Groundwater Hydrogeology
  • GRS BI 648 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
  • GRS ES 623 Marine Biogeochemistry
  • GRS GE 703 Energy and Environmental Policy Analysis
  • LAW 844 Environmental Law

Modeling and Analysis (one course)

  • CAS GE 550 Modeling Social and Environmental Systems
  • CAS ES 577 Groundwater Modeling
  • CAS GE 517 Models for Hydrologic Analysis
  • GRS GE 712 Regional Energy Modeling

Elective Courses in a Concentration Area (three courses)

Students choose three electives in consultation with their faculty advisor that form a set of courses that focuses on a particular aspect of environmental remote sensing and geographic information systems. One of these courses can be GRS GE 902 Environmental Internship.