North-Central Section - 39th Annual Meeting (May 19–20, 2005)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


CABARLE, Kenneth C.1, HEINZEL, Chad2, WILLOUGHBY, Lorraine1 and HICKS, Jason3, (1)Department of Business Information Technology, Minot State Univ, 500 University Ave. W, Minot, ND 58707, (2)Geosciences, Minot State Univ, 500 University Ave. W, Minot, ND 58707, (3)Geosciences, Minot State Univ, 500 Unviersity Ave. W, Minot, ND 58707,

A joint development/research project was initiated by the departments of Geosciences and Business Information Technology at Minot State University (MSU) in northwestern North Dakota. The project has several goals related to the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in educational curricula. The initial focus of the project has been to develop GIS program curricula as an interdepartmental discipline. GIS has core fundamentals in both Information Systems Science and Geoscience and was deemed a good fit for cooperative development and research. The overall goals of the project have been to develop hands-on classroom and field learning opportunities for students at MSU.

The first phase of the project included offering an initial course, Introduction to GIS (spring 2005). This course has been designed to provide students with a background in the fundamentals of GIS and GPS technology. The core of the course focuses around a wireless computer lab that is developing at MSU. Six wireless laptop computers allow students hands-on learning with GIS software, web-based map servers, wireless technologies, GPS data collection/integration, and basic computer skills.

Learning outcomes: Implementation of real world applications of GIS technologies, Development of scientifically based problem solving skills, Development of an appreciation for the power of maps integrated with Information Systems Technology, Reinforcement and support of student projects, and Awareness of the growing opportunities in the GIS career field Awareness of the interdisciplinary nature of GIS/GPS

Currently the project is focusing on the creation of a campus mapping project and has overlapped with a federally funded educational mapping initiative. The MSU GIS joint development/research project will continue to foster cooperative learning and interdepartmental research. In the future the program hopes to add advanced classes focusing on applied geosciences and the relationships between geographic information systems and computer technology. Additional projects include research into advanced wireless networks, security, and the development of a web-based map services developed and supported by Minot State University.