Five Years Past, Today and Future Postgraduate GIS Education at Calgary

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1 Five Years Past, Today and Future Postgraduate GIS Education at Calgary Mryka Hall-Beyer, Acting Director, MGIS Program Lynn Moorman, Manager, MGIS (GEOG) Program Department of Geography, University of Calgary 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4 Tel Tel:

2 GIS: Systems to Science Gaining technical know-how through hands-on experience Understanding how to select and use techniques for particular problems Learning to use informed judgement to solve problems

3 MGIS: What is it? Course-based Master s Program Can be completed in one year A new degree designation, MGIS, approved in the summer of 2000 by the Alberta Government. Core competencies in GIS, RS, Spatial Statistics

4 MGIS: What is it? MGIS program is a course-based, professional degree BUT with a strong research emphasis Part-time or full-time Residency requirements Not distance education

5 MGIS: Rationale Recognition of rapid changes in industry requirements Demand for professionals with diverse backgrounds and strong technical and analytical capabilities Opportunity to provide advanced education versus just software training

6 MGIS: Goals Provide a thorough education in theoretical and practical spatial analysis Instill a professional attitude and skills in a supportive environment Interact and cooperate with industry a dynamic relationship Increase awareness of spatial analysis applications and tools

7 MGIS: How did it start? Provincial funding supports IT initiatives in development of the new economy US Labor Dept 2004: geotech, biotech, nanotech MGIS Program is funded through an ACCESS Cycle IV grant by the Alberta Government Built on Department of Geography expertise in GIS, RS and statistics Seven students accepted in September 1999 First student completed program in January, 2001; first degree awarded June, 2001.

8 MGIS: Program Structure Ten courses required Five required core courses: Spatial Statistics Advanced Remote Sensing Advanced GIS Project: Theory Project: Applied Upgrading courses available if needed One course per core area

9 MGIS: Program Structure Substantive research project 5 optional courses To build application strength To develop skills and knowledge in GIS Can take relevant courses in other Faculties/Departments such as Geomatics or Civil Engineering, Management, Environmental Design, Biology, Computer Science, etc.

10 MGIS: Optional Courses Optional Courses in Program: Proposal Development for GIS Project Management in GIS and Remote Sensing Spatial Ecology Visual Basic Business Geographics Enterprise GIS Other Geography Department courses: Remote Sensing and Forest Ecology GIS in Forest Ecology Environmental Decision Support Systems Geographic Data Integration and Modelling Urban GIS Topics in Geospatial Analysis Landscape Ecology

11 MGIS: How it works Department Steering Committee Syllabus, curriculum, staffing Student members University Academic Community External examiners GIS awareness Industry Committee Advising on current skills requirements Identification of mutual benefits Sessional lecturers, speakers Student contact, employment opportunities External examiners

12 MGIS: Facilities 75 high-end PCs Peripherals: CD/DVD burners, large plotters, digitizing tablets Software: ESRI suite, Idrisi, PCI, S-Plus, SPSS, MS Visual Studio, IDL ENVI, ecognition, Stella, Ramas GIS, Microsoft project+ the usual Access to map collections, MADGIC data (AltaLIS), U of C Library

13 MGIS: Progress As of Spring, 2004: xxx applicants xx currently in program xx have finished Student intakes of roughly 30 in September + a few in January September entry required for those needing upgrading core courses

14 MGIS: Who do we attract? Undergraduate students just finishing Graduate students wanting further training Industry professionals in geomatics and other fields looking for an overview and update International contingent: students, consultants, government officials International interest is extremely high Students today from China, India, Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Switzerland, Tanzania, Venezuela, USA, Australia, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Mexico, Colombia

15 MGIS: The Student Face Geographers, Environmental and Earth Scientists Archaeologists, Political Scientists and other Social Scientists Computer Scientists, Geomatics Engineers Management specialists

16 MGIS and beyond From Spain to SAIT Health Care GIS industry in central Canada Alberta Research Council Smithsonian Institute of Environmental Studies University specialists and PhD programs Wetlands research group in Saskatchewan Oil companies in Saudi Arabia

17 MGIS: Interacting with industry Program reviews Updates on geomatics news Job postings and bulletins Industry/government association affiliations Interaction with industry leaders through speakers, industry committee representatives and sessional instructors Project management training Mentoring

18 MGIS Industry Advisory Committee Identify cutting edge developments Skills needed in near future Promoting the MGIS name to employers New courses, delivery techniques to serve industry Job market trends Enhancing joint projects

19 MGIS: Current Research Examples Calgary Regional Health Authority Cardiac Care facility location Archaeological predictive model: Saskatchewan (see map exhibit) ArcObject development of selective client server feature updating Metal contamination in the Yukon boreal forest Wavelet transform based image fusion of sea ice Habitat analysis of Ord s Kangaroo Rat in southern Alberta (see map exhibit) City of Calgary Transportation planning Parks and natural areas design and management Siting of future schools more see the 5-year report

20 Core Faculty Members Nigel Waters: Director Transportation, GIS, spatial statistics Mryka Hall-Beyer: Acting Director Remote sensing theory, vgetation biogeography, cartography John Yackel Remote sensing, climate change Stefania Bertazzon GIS, economic geography, tourism Darren Bender GIS, remote sensing, animal biogeography Shelley Alexander GIS, environmental geography, wildlife Dan Jacobson Multisensory access to geospatial information

21 Affiliated Faculty, core areas Brian Moorman Arctic geography, remote sensing Darren Sjogren Geomorphology, DEM landscape modelling Yvonne Martin Landscape modelling, geomorphology Masaki Hayashi Hydrogeology, spatial analysis Currently accepting applications for remote sensing position

22 Affiliated Faculty, research projects Dianne Draper Environmental geography Shawn Marshall Glaciology, 3-D modelling Byron Miller Urban studies Derald Smith Geomorphology, fluvial environment

23 MGIS: Global Campus Agreements Bridging requirements under development for Applied Bachelor s graduates Information Technology Institute (ITI), Cairo, Egypt: Signed June 2, 2004

24 International student information Geography is a NAFTA class for work permits International Students may work on campus or in research Assistantships not normally available, competitive scholarships can be had International students: allow extra time when applying Application deadlines 2005: September entry: January Applications accepted after that date from Canadian residents for any spaces still open U of C Office of International Students:

25 MGIS: What does it cost? Courses: $6090 (10 courses x $609/course) Textbooks: About $400 Most courses do not use textbooks University fees: $153 to $700 Depends on full or part-time status and on whether health care insurance is required Total: $ $7190 Pay as you go, by course, not all up front An MGIS degree?..priceless!

26 MGIS: Contacts Mryka Hall-Beyer Acting Director

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