Posts

University of Toronto – GIS for Environmental Management

 

University of Toronto GIS for Environmental Management

Programs: Certificate in GIS for Environmental Management ProgramUniversity of Toronto GIS for Environmental Management - School of the Environment, University of Toronto
Duration: 1 year (4 courses)
Location: (Anywhere in Canada – Online Program)

GIS has become a well known method for communicating spatial information and these days we tend to see more and more geomatics based applications pop up as GIS continues to spread out into more industries. A relative new term to geomatics would be ‘Environmental GIS’; one that is often used to describe using geo-spatial methods and tools to help develop and manage environmental strategies. The University of Toronto offers a Certificate in GIS for Environmental Management program that helps students build a solid foundation of GIS and Remote Sensing concepts and theory while developing skills related to environmental management.

The one year certificate programs is comprised of two required core GIS courses and two other geomatics related courses, all offered through distance education online over the internet.

“The School of the Environment at the University of Toronto specializes in innovative, completely on-line, distance education courses and certificate programs for working professionals. Our applied and professional programs are developed in collaboration with industry experts and taught by leading industry practitioners ensuring current and leading edge knowledge and skills. Courses are developed for mid-career professionals and entrepreneurs who need to enhance their expertise, internationally educated professionals augmenting credentials for the Canadian context and recent college and university graduates seeking to advance their careers, enabling all to excel. Make informed decisions: impact your profession. “

University of Toronto GIS for Environmental Management - University of Toronto - 3D GIS image

3D view in a case study from one of the courses of the Certificate in GIS for Environmental Management Program showing a 100 m raster buffer around streams.

Graduates of the Certificate in GIS for Environmental Management Program may also become eligible for the Environmental Professional in Training designation under the national certification program for Canadian environmental professionals. Certification is a highly discussed topic these days in many geomatics networks and can help establishes your professional credibility at a national level demonstrating to potential clients and employers that you have a unique combination of skills, practical knowledge, education and experience.

“Certification is crucial in the environmental sector where green-washing makes it difficult to separate the self-proclaimed experts from the real ones. It demonstrates an individual’s professionalism, commitment to the field, and desire to remain on top of current practices. It is also a measure of a professional’s competencies against verified standards, which set them apart from others in the industry.”

The program is designed for those that are new to GIS with no background knowledge of geomatics (although it never hurts to have some knowledge) so there are no prerequisites except a basic understanding of computers and Windows operating systems. In the first course students receive an introduction to digital mapping and spatial analysis techniques through GIS and then the other courses build upon that knowledge. Esri ArcGIS 10 software running on the Centre for Environment’s GIS server is provided to students so that they can access their course-work from virtually any computer with an internet connection and not need to worry about any troubles involved with installing GIS software on their own computer. The popular Esri ‘Virtual Campus’ online courses are also provided to students to use in the program.

All courses are self paced within a defined schedule led by an instructor that provides lectures and guides students through the material, assignments and training. Online courses offer flexibility and convenience for people who have started careers and families and do not have the luxury of being able to go back to school full time. This way they can study at their own pace and cut travel or relocation costs while adding geomatics skills and knowledge to their existing portfolio.

Contact Info

Donna Workman – d.workman@utoronto.ca (416)978-7077

Web Sitehttp://learn.environment.utoronto.ca/home/distance-education/programs/geographical-information-systems-(gis)-for-environmental-management.aspx or see the University of Toronto See the Course Web Site for more details.

[source: email & utoronto.ca]

 


SMART (Spatial Mapping Academic Research Tools) Program

DMTI Spatial Supports Canadian Academia with SMART Program

For more than a decade, DMTI Spatial Inc. (DMTI) has been supporting Canada’s academic GIS community with the SMART (Spatial Mapping Academic Research Tools) program. The program assists a consortium of libraries at over forty Canadian universities and colleges, including the University of Toronto, York University and the University of British Columbia, reaching over 9000 students and faculty members annually.

The aim of the SMART program is to provide affordable access to data in support of social science, engineering, research, business and environmental geographic educational programs. Because of this program, Canada’s GIS students are able to work with many more hands-on, real-world examples, and be better prepared for their life after their post-secondary education is complete. The SMART program has helped individuals at member institutions with such impactful projects as determining emergency routes and plotting the best locations for hospitals and new energy sources. DMTI has lent continued support by providing licenses for its data products, including its CanMap® suite, to these institutions to use for teaching and research purposes.

“The SMART program really opened the door for academics wishing to use Canadian spatial data,” said Marcel A.J. Fortin, GIS and Map Librarian, Map and Data Library, University of Toronto. Mr. Fortin manages the program and plays an instrumental role in supporting the consortium of participating institutions. “Prior to the SMART program, there were few opportunities for university students and faculty to use quality Canadian mapping data for research and teaching. DMTI’s data is now very prevalent at SMART program institutions, being utilized in everything from first year lectures to more complex projects like advanced geocoding and the creation of 3D elevation models.”

“It was very generous of DMTI Spatial Inc. to provide Canadian academic institutions a suite of vector data, DEM, imagery and geocoding software through the SMART Program, especially at a time when geospatial data was not readily available or affordable,” said Trudy Bodak, Librarian Emeritus, York University. “At York University, the data was heavily used by graduate and undergraduate students for a variety of projects including plotting emergency routes, travel times and bicycle routes, and determining the best locations for new golf courses, hospitals and wind turbines. I always used this data as an example in my GIS Library instruction classes, because there is so much value and flexibility in using it for research analysis.”

Academia from coast to coast now continue to benefit from DMTI Spatial and their efforts to liberate access to Canadian GIS data.