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GIS 290
Portfolios in GIS

Revised: January, 2013
Credits: 3
Instructor: Ed Nickel
Office: HTC 133
Phone: 753-2241 (office with voice mail)
E-mail: due to increased spam my email address will be provided the first day of class
Class Web Page:
Textbook: There is no textbook for this class since it is an advanced project and lab class.


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: GIS 290 Portfolios in GIS. Students will focus on job opportunities and career fields in GIS. Current trends and uses of GIS in the workplace will be explored. Students will also create a portfolio of GIS work illustrating their broad understanding of the software including database management, spatial analysis, cartography, and customization. Prerequisite: GIS 212 or higher.

Welcome to GIS 290 Portfolios in GIS. This course is an advanced class in workplace uses of GIS and GIS career opportunities. This class assumes you have a solid understanding of ArcGIS, as well as an essential understanding of GIS database management, cartographic principles, spatial analysis, and know how to make visually pleasing and cartographically correct map layouts. The more significant assignments as well as the topics to be discussed are shown in the schedule at the end of this document. All other assignment due dates will be noted when the assignments are given during class. Additional time outside of class will be needed to complete assignments. To complete assignments students may use any open GBC computer lab or, if available, their own computer and appropriate software.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: This class may be taught in a live classroom setting, online via WebCampus, or as a hybrid class. You are expected to participate in weekly discussions, exercises, as well as various quizzes, projects, and other class activities. The schedule of reading and assignments is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally, as handouts in class, or via the WebCampus lesson modules.

CLASS PARTICIPATION: In the on-line version of this class, you are expected to post at least one original discussion and one response to other classmates' posts every week and your posts should relate to some aspect of the material we are covering during each lesson or some related issue. In the live version you are expect to be similarly prepared for and participate in every class discussion. Whether live or online, participation in class discussion is a significant portion of your grade as it indicates how well you understand the concepts being covered.

INSTRUCTOR CONTACT: I can be reached either at my office phone number shown above or via the WebCampus email, you can drop in during my office hours, or make an appointment to see me at other times. Office hours are posted on my office door and on my web site. The schedule of reading assignments, homework and tests is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally or as handouts in class.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Each student should have a flash drive, 2 GB or larger, to either store and back up their work. (If you wish to work on assignments at home you will also need a computer that has at a minimum: 1.5 GB of free hard disk space, Windows XP or newer, and a 2.0 GHz processor.) In addition to the ArcGIS software, you will need zip/unzip software such as the freely downloadable 7-Zip as well as access to a spreadsheet and word processor like Microsoft Excel and Word.

I can be reached at the phone number listed above or you can make an appointment to see me during office hours or at other times. My usual office hours are posted on my office door and on my web site. The schedule of readings, major assignments, and quizzes/exams is found below. Additional assignments may be given during class sessions.

The successful student in this class will be able to:
  1. gain an advanced knowledge and understanding ofGIS applications in the work place;
  2. have a broad understanding of GIS career opportunities;
  3. design, develop, collect data for, & complete a major, practical GIS analysis project; and
  4. show a strong understanding of GIS database management, spatial analysis, cartography, and customization.
Learner Outcome Assessments
Class Discussion 1, 2
Project & Portfolio 3, 4


GRADING POLICY: is is a letter grade class an A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=59% or less or W=Official Withdrawal if done before the withdrawal deadline. There is no curve in this grading scale. Your grade will be based 20% on class participation & discussion, 40% on your project, and 40% on your portfolio. All assignments are due by the beginning of the next class unless otherwise indicated by the instructor when they are assigned.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor must agree in advance to any excused absences unless there are strong extenuating circumstances. Three (3) unexcused absences can result in a failing grade, in an on-line class an absence is one week when you do not participate in class or contact the instructor.

OTHER POLICIES: The student rights & responsibilities policy stated in the current GBC Catalog apply to this class. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and can result in a failing grade. This syllabus is not a contract and is subject to reasonable changes as the class proceeds.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Great Basin College is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A qualified student must furnish current verification of disability. The Director of Services for Students with Disabilities will assist qualified students with disabilities in securing the appropriate and reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services. For more information or further assistance, please call (775) 753-2271.


You should have read and be prepared to discuss each week's topics by the beginning of class. We will have significant hands on experiences with most lessons.

*Readings, topics, & major assignments by week:
(Please note: the following schedule is subject to change based on class progress)
Week 1: Introductions to each other, the project, & portfolios
Week 2: GIS project design review project outline is due
Week 3: Data collection review  
Week 4: Geodatabase design review  
Week 5: Spatial analysis review  
Week 6: GIS workplace applications  
Week 7: GIS workplace applications (cont.)  
Week 8: Project progress report
Week 9: Portfolio progress report
Week 10: GIS careers  
Week 11: GIS careers (cont.)  
Week 12: Project & portofolio  
Week 13: Project & portofolio (cont.)  
Week 14: Present projects completed project is due
Week 15: Portfolio wrap up final compilation of portfolio
Week 16: Presentation & peer review of: your completed Portfolio

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Original content on this website created by Ed Nickel
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
United States License
based on a work at

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