[MARMAM] New Online GIS Course For Biologists

Colin D. MacLeod cdmacleod at GISinEcology.com
Tue May 16 02:44:02 PDT 2017

GIS In Ecology is pleased to announce the launch of its new online training course for biologists who wish to learn how to use geographic information systems (GIS) in their research, but who cannot afford to attend any of our regular in-person training courses. This short course, hosted on our new sister site www.GISforBiologists.com, aims to provide a basic, but practical, introduction to using GIS in biological research, and is aimed at the complete beginner who needs a hand working out where to get started, or at those who have previously used commercial GIS software packages, such as ArcGIS, and who wish to learn how to use QGIS, the leading free, open source GIS software package. Being free, QGIS is one of the best options for doing GIS for self-employed MMOs, small environmental consultancies, NGOs, those working on small marine mammal research projects with limited budgets for purchasing software licences, and students working at universities who do not have access to commercial GIS software packages. As a result, we believe that this new course will be of interest to many Marmammers.

The course consists of just over three hours of on-demand videos split across three practical exercises (how to make your first map, how to create your own feature data layers and how to work with raster data layers) based around real biological examples, and we estimate it will take up to nine hours to complete (although some will complete it in a substantially shorter periods of time). The practical exercises in the course are based around those found in our book GIS For Biologists: A Practical Introduction For Undergraduates and cover the same content as you would be taught on the first day of our popular in-person course An Introduction To Using QGIS In Biological Research. A subscription to the videos costs US$30 and lasts for three months, giving you more than enough time to complete all three exercises (and indeed come back and do them again, if you so wish). You do have to purchase a copy of the book separately (although you could probably get away with just working from the videos), but this still represents a substantial saving on learning the same GIS skills on our in-person course (which would costs up to £295 in course fees, excluding associated travel and accommodation costs).

The software which is used for the course is QGIS, and we selected it for this online course because it is freely available, meaning that there is no additional cost for software licences for those who wish to learn how to use GIS in biological research. It is also the software package that we recommend novice biological GIS users start with. However, the skills that you learn can be easily transferred to other GIS software packages, including ArcGIS, the leading commercial one.

This course represents the start of a new phase in the development of GIS In Ecology, and we aim to make more of our training materials available online through www.GISforBiologists.com over the next year or so. By doing this, we hope to further promote the use of GIS as an important tool for the modern-day biologist, no matter where in the world they are working, or what field they are working in.

GIS IN ECOLOGY - Providing Training, Advice And Consultancy On The Use Of GIS In Ecology

Web: www.GISinEcology.com Email: info at GISinEcology.com

Need to ask a question about using GIS? Try the GIS In Ecology Forum: www.GISinEcology.com/GIS_in_Ecology_forum.htm

Books From GIS In Ecology Staff:

GIS For Biologists: A Practical Introduction For Undergraduates; RRP: £24.99
An Introduction To Using GIS In Marine Biology; RRP: £44.99
An Introduction To Using GIS In Marine Biology: Supplementary Workbook One - Creating Maps Of Species Distribution; RRP: £19:99 

If you wish to purchase these books, visit: http://www.gisinecology.com/Book_Shop.htm

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