Cutting Edge > Course Design > Workshop 2011 > Overview

Workshop Overview

This view of the Richat Structure in Mauritania was generated from a Landsat satellite image draped over an SRTM elevation model with 6X vertical exaggeration. The mesa ridge in the back center of the view is about 285 m tall. Colors of the scene were enhanced using a combination of visible and infrared bands to differentiate bedrock (browns), sand (yellow, some white), minor vegetation in drainage channels (green), and salty sediments (bluish whites). More information. Image credit: NASA/JPL/NIMA.
Developing problem-solving skills using GIS and remote sensing has become increasingly important for undergraduates majoring in geology and in geology-focused environmental science. Many geology departments, however, do not incorporate GIS and remote sensing into their own curricula but rather send students to other departments for their GIS course work. The result can be frustrating for both students and faculty. This workshop is designed for 1) geology faculty who want to develop GIS and remote sensing courses or modules for their geology courses and 2) faculty who teach GIS and remote sensing in other departments who want to develop relevant geology examples that can be incorporated into general GIS and remote sensing courses to better meet the needs of geology students and to broaden the experiences of other students.

Please note: this workshop is not a training workshop to teach faculty how to use GIS and remote sensing software. Participants must have experience with GIS and/or remote sensing.

Workshop goals

First and foremost, this workshop will help participants develop effective and innovative course materials that focus on analysis, independence, and critical thinking in GIS and remote sensing. In order to accomplish this, participants will:

Format and dates

The events of this workshop are spread out over about six months to give participants time for development, feedback, and testing. The workshop will take place largely on line but will have two face-to-face opportunities, which previous course design workshop participants have found enormously valuable. Here is the schedule:

Flexible opportunities

Over the course of the workshop, we will have optional webinars and synchronous online discussions on a variety of topics of potential interest to participants. These topics might include, but are not limited to:

Expectations of all participants

All participants are expected to:

Application and selection criteria

To be considered for participation in this workshop, an applicant must hold a faculty position at a two- or four-year college or university and must have experience in GIS or remote sensing. This workshop is not a training workshop to teach faculty how to use GIS or remote sensing software. We welcome applications from faculty who teach GIS and remote sensing in departments other than geology departments.

The online workshop is limited to 30 participants, and the final list of participants will be established with the goal of assembling a group representing a wide range of experiences, educational environments, and specialties. Application must be made on line by February 1, 2011 and successful applicants will be notified by February 5, 2011.


The registration fee for this workshop is $50. The cost of the workshop is partially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation as part of the professional development program On the Cutting Edge. Participants will pay the workshop registration after acceptance to the workshop at the time they confirm their participation.

Further information

Contact Barbara Tewksbury (

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