Announcing New Online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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Graduate Level Program is Designed for Professionals Seeking Practical Training in GIS

California State University, Fresno's Division of Continuing and Global Education has just announced a new online certificate program focusing on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a field that uses digital technology to manage, map, analyze and display spatial information.

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate of Advanced Study incorporates practical training in spatial analysis, remote sensing, geovisualization, geocomputation, cognition, and computer science.

According to Dr. Zhi (Luke) Wang, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at Fresno State and coordinator of the program, the ability of GIS to combine and synthesize nearly every form of geographic information has made it a major tool with global applications.

"Our research among businesses, and state and federal agencies showed overwhelming support and a strong need for professionals who can use GIS skills to assess real-world problems and provide solutions," said Wang.

Fresno State's advanced certificate is conducted completely online, offering professionals a convenient option to enhance their skills and learn to integrate GIS technology into practical applications. The program offers training in cutting-edge technology and provides practical experience with ESRI GIS software (included in the tuition fee).

Classes begin in August, 2012, and students may complete the 12-unit graduate level program in two consecutive semesters. Applications will be accepted until July 1, 2012 and admission is open to individuals with an undergraduate degree in any field from an accredited institution.

Although many GIS professionals work in scientific, engineering, architectural and technology firms, GIS has many broader uses in industry, government, and the private sector. These include mapping and surveying companies; oil, electric and gas utilities; construction companies; law enforcement; water and sewer agencies; planning and zoning departments; and emergency bureaus.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that employment in geospatial information technology in expected to grow between 9 and 14 percent through 2014.

The federal government employs GIS specialists in agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Nonprofit organizations, such as environmental groups, also utilize GIS to identify threatened habitats or for climate modeling.

Information about the program can be found at or by contacting the program coordinator, Dr. Zhi (Luke) Wang, at zwang(at)csufresno(dot)edu.

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