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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate Program

Geographic Information System (GIS) and spatial reasoning are a mainstay knowledge base for working professionals in environmental science, resource management, local and regional planning, disease monitoring and evaluation, real estate, military planning, and social science research. The Juniata GIS certificate program is offered jointly by the Environmental Science and Studies and the Computer Science and Information Technology Departments. We have two tracks to prepare a student for a career in any of the GIS fields. The first track has a focus on Environmental Science. This track has more courses in field methods in GIS and spatial analysis. The second track has a focus on Information Technology. This track has more courses in programming and data mining. the certificate is open to students in all departments as well as Juniata alumni.

Requirements for GIS (18-21 credits):

We have designed this certificate based on looking at successful programs. We have tried to match core strengths of other successful programs while differentiating ourselves based on our key strengths. The cores courses include

The ways we differentiate ourselves is through our strength in field data collection techniques for environmental sciences. We include tracks in Environmental Science and in Information Technology

The requirements of the certification are as follows:

Quantitative field intro (1 course) (4 credits): This section requires the student to have a quantitative introductory class in their field. The requirement of this course is that it has a lab or quantitative section where Excel or other spreadsheet or database program is used to compile and represent or analyze data. One course from the following:

Core Statistics or data analysis (1 course) (3-4 credits): One course from this section must be taken:

Core Geographic Information Courses (3 courses)(8 credits): Both Tracks:

Field data collection component (1 course) (3-4 credits): This section is intended to have students exposed to the vagaries of field data collection. It is preferred that students collect spatially explicit data using GPS technologies or other spatially explicit survey methods. Database manage or other courses that explore the process of data collection will also meet this requirement.

Capstone or project requirement (1-4):


Table of requirements

Environmental track

Information Technology Track



ESS 100

IT 111/ CS110

Base Course


ESS 230 Environmetrics


BI 305 BioStat

IM 241:  Information Discovery

Data Analysis and Discovery


ESS 330: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

ESS 330: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Basic GIS


ESS 337 Advanced Topics in GIS and Remote Sensing

ESS 337 Advanced Topics in GIS and Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing and Modeling


One from

ESS 399 Ecology of Fishes: (3)

ESS 399 Forestry

ESS 399 Hydrology at RFS: (3)

ESS 399 Wildlife Techniques (3)

BIO 399 Field and Stream: (4)

ESS 350 Field Research Methods—(4)

GL 240 Geological Field Methods. I  (4)

CS 370 Database Management

Data Collection


Senior Capstone or Other GIS project

I4I or other project with Spatial Data



Total Credits





Neil Pelkey, PhD.: Associate Professor Environmental Science and Studies and IT
Email: pelkey@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3589

Dennis Johns, PhD.: Professor and Chair Environmental Science
Email: johnson@juniata.edu or (814) 641- 5335

Loren Rhodes, PhD.: Professor and Chair, Computer Science and Information Technology
Email: rhodes@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3620