September 19, 2009 workshop survey

GIS Curriculum

Geographic Information Systems have become essential to many industries including urban planning, government, business and marketing. The union of the internet and GIS has produced a essential new tool that industries are clamoring to integrate into their operations.

Project members collaborated to build the curriculum for the two course sequence in consultation with our advisory board of local GIS employers and educators. The project team members held informal meetings with advisory board members to poll their perceived needs in new GIS employees and the deficits that they see in applicants for new positions. The project team members then used this information to design an up to date web-GIS curriculum that would meet employer skill needs and provide students with the practical foundation to be successful in entry level technical jobs.

Two courses were developed jointly by San Jose State and Foothill College. The courses were designed to be fully articulated between the community college and four year schools, and meet the industry demand for workers with training in designing, developing and maintaining a web-based GIS.

View the course outlines for Dynamic and Interactive Mapping and Geographic Information Science Projects

Course materials

Syllabus for Dynamic and Interactive Mapping
Sample labs

Syllabus for Geographic Information Science Projects
Sample project


K-12 Curriculum

Return to top Module 1: Introduction to GIS on the Web Module 2: Water and Biodiversity

Summary: Watersheds and Biodiversity

The focus the first set of learning activities drafted for this project is Watersheds and Biodiversity. The material is based around the web GIS devloped by the Geographic Information Science Projects class and focuses on the San Francisco/San Joaquin delta. However, the learning activities are designed to be implemented with any regional data set. The scaffolding activities focus on general GIS, watersheds and biodiversity.

The activities first introduce middle and high school students to Geographic Information Systems using the web GIS interface created by the Foothill College/San Jose State Geographic Information Science Projects class. The activities then go on to utilize the scientific data presented on the web GIS. Students are introduced to watersheds and a series of biodiversity activities that encourage exploratory learning based on the data presented in the project web GIS. These learning activities have been developed in consultation with the master teacher advisory board and will be refined during the three-day teacher workshops held in August, 2008.

The workshop is will introduce the teachers to web mapping technology and the draft learning activities designed around the project web GIS. Input from the teacher workshops will then be used to refine the activities in time to implement them in the classroom for the 2008-2009 academic year. Teachers will also learn about geospatial technology careers and have an opportunity to contribute materials to the learning activities. Following the workshops, teachers will be paired with a student from the Foothill College/San Jose State University Dynamic and Interactive Mapping course who will help them to implement the web-GIS materials in their classroom.

To review the activities, click on the links below. Scaffolding activities provide a foundation for the inquiry. The Web GIS activities utilize the web GIS interface to prompt exploratory learning and investigation. The Teacher Customized questions have been developed by the teachers involved in the workshops to extend upon the Web GIS activities.

Introduction to GIS on the Web


Penn State Geospatial Revolution geotechnology video clip (5 min)

Google Earth and GIS on the Web exercise
Google Earth and GIS on the web student worksheet (Word)

Mapping California and the Delta region (Word)

Using Topographic Maps paper exercise (Word)

Introduction to Maps (Word)
Introduction to Maps (PDF)

What is GIS? (Powerpoint)
Careers in GIS (Powerpoint)

Web GIS Activities
Module 1: An Introduction to GIS on the Web
Maps Intro: Scale activity #1 & 2
GIS Overview: Layers activity #1
Web Mapping: Navigation activity
Address Locator: Google Maps and pizza

Teacher Customized Questions
Draft worksheet for Module 1 (Word)

Water and Biodiveristy


California Water Resources (Powerpoint)
California Water Resources overview (Word)
California Water teaching resources (Word)
Califonria Water precipitation maps (Word)

Image Interpretation exercise (Powerpoint)
Image Interpretation exercise (Word)

Pollution in Watersheds (Powerpoint)

What is a Watershed? (Word)
What is a Watershed? (PDF)

Surf your Watershed (Word)
Surf your Watershed (PDF)

Reading -- What is Biodiversity?(Word)
Reading -- What is Biodiversity?(PDF)

Activity -- What is Biodiveristy? (Word)
Activity -- What is Biodiversity? (PDF)

What is an Ecosystem?(Word)
What is an Ecosystem?(PDF)

The Problem with Patches(Word)
The Problem with Patchers(PDF)

Biodiversity IQ Quiz (Word)
Biodiveristy IQ Quiz (PDF)

Ecoregional Survey (Word)
Ecoregional Survey (PDF)

Endangered Species Walk (Word)
Endangered Species Walk (PDF)

Web GIS Activities
Module 2: Water and Fish
Importance water supply Mapping the Sacramento delta
Importance environment Wildlife habitat
Problem Fragile levee Subsidence
Problem Delta smelt decrease Water pumping
Problem Water pollution 1 & 2 Water pollution and land use
Problem Geology Faults and levees
Current Issues Final task Stakeholders & solutions

Stakeholder position statements for Final Task (Word)

Teacher Customized Questions
Delta Worksheet (Word)

Classroom implementation brainstorm (Word)

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