ESC3259 - Geographical information systems (GIS) for environmental management - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Dr Xuan Zhu

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces GIS (Geographical Information Systems) for environmental science, and discusses basic principles, techniques and applications of GIS in the field of environmental management and research. Subjects covered include basics of

GIS, spatial data sources, spatial data quality, spatial data analysis, terrain modelling, hydrological modelling, habitat potential mapping, land suitability modelling, spatial analysis of landscape values and decision support systems. Case studies and hands-on practice allow students to gain experience in the use of GIS in environmental management.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the utility of digital spatial data handling for mapping and analysis from digital data, referring to themes in science;
  2. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the key concepts concerning the application of GIS to environmental problems;
  3. Explain how value can be added to the data in any information management system with geocodes, by implementing digital spatial data analysis;
  4. Assess the nature of digital spatial data;
  5. Demonstrate a high level of skills in the use of GIS software (ArcGIS) to solve environmental problems;
  6. Develop their own environmental applications of GIS.


Within semester assessment: 75%

Examination: 25%

Workload requirements

  • Two hours of online activities
  • one 1-hour workshop per week + seven 3-hour practicals during the semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A first year sequence in Geographical science; or two gateway units in Geography, climate and physical environments or Society, cities and sustainability; or

permission of the unit coordinator.


ATS2259, ATS3259, AZA2259, AZA3259