BIOL 379

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Biology

2 Undergraduate credits
Effective January 1, 2020 – August 17, 2020

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

Geographical information systems (GIS) and their use in environmental science and biology. Students learn to use ArcGIS software and apply their knowledge to contemporary problems.

Special information

Note: Enrollment limited to Biology majors with junior or senior standing in the major, except by instructor permission. First day attendance required except by instructor permission.

Learning outcomes


  • Understand and be able to explain the concepts and vocabulary of geographical positioning systems (GPS) and geographical information systems (GIS), including concepts of location identification and description, compass direction, triangulation, trilateralization, geographical coordinates and map projections;
  • Be able to use ArcGIS for the entry, analysis and display of geographical information, including use of tools to buffer, clip, dissolve, overlay, intersect, and manipulate symbology;
  • Understand and be able to use concepts and tools of spatial analysis including the calculation of distance, area, perimeter, population density, and clustering (nearest neighbor and hot-spot) etc.;
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply GIS tools to problem of interest in biology or public health.

Summer 2020

Section Title Instructor
01 Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Biology Bohannon, Richard R Books Course details