GEOS 214(S) Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (Same as Environmental Studies 214)

Remote sensing involves the collection and processing of data from satellite and airborne sensors to yield environmental information about the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere. Remote sensing enhances regional mapping of rock types and faults and analysis of vegetation cover and land-use changes over time. A Geographic Information System (GIS) links satellite-based environmental measurements with spatial data such as topography, transportation networks, and political boundaries, allowing display and quantitative analysis at the same scale using the same geographic reference. This course covers the principles and practice of remote-data capture and geographic rectification using a Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as the concepts of Remote Sensing, including linear and non-linear image enhancements, convolution filtering, principle components analysis, and classification. Principles of GIS include display and classification, spatial buffers, and logical overlays. Weekly labs focus on practical applications of these techniques to data from Hopkins Memorial Forest, the Berkshire region, and other areas of North America. Format: lecture, three hours per week; laboratory, weekly. Prerequisites: at least one introductory course in Biology, Environmental Studies, or Geosciences. Enrollment limit:16 (expected: 16). Preference given to sophomores and juniors. This course satisfies "The Natural World" requirement for the Environmental Studies concentration.