May 19, 2024  
2021-2022 University of Wyoming Catalog 
2021-2022 University of Wyoming Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geospatial Information Science and Technology

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Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center
337 Agriculture C Building

Ramesh Sivanpillai, Program Director
Web site:


The Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses, degrees, and certificates in Geospatial Information Science and Technology under the GIST prefix. These provide fundamental geospatial science education to undergraduate and graduate students from across disciplines at UW and are appropriate for science and non-science majors. They cover core and advanced geospatial concepts and subdisciplines including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, spatial data analysis, spatial visualization, spatial databases, cartography, programming, and other topics.


SHANNON E. ALBEKE, B.A. University of Colorado, Boulder 1997; Ph.D. University of Georgia 2010. Associate Research Scientist 2019, 2010.

KENNETH L. DRIESE, B.S. University of Virginia 1981; M.S. University of Wyoming 1992; Ph.D. 2004; Senior Lecturer in Geospatial Information Science and Technology 2019, 2002.

JEFFREY D. HAMERLINCK, B.S. University of North Dakota 1988; M.P. University of Wyoming 1992; Ph.D. University of Colorado - Boulder 2011; Senior Research Scientist 2004.

PADDINGTON HODZA, BSC, University of Zimbabwe, 1994; MSC, University of Zimbabwe, 1998; Ph.D. West Virginia University, 2007; Associate Research Scientist 2016, 2013.

AUSTIN MADSON, B.A. University of California, Los Angeles 2012; M.A. 2015; Ph.D. 2020; Assistant Professor of Geospatial Information Science and Technology 2021. 

RAMESH SIVANPILLAI, B.Sc. Bharathiar University 1987; M.Sc. Cochin University of Science and Technology 1990; M.Phil. Bharathiar University 1992; M.S. University of Wisconsin, Green Bay 1995; Ph.D. Texas A&M University 2002; Senior Research Scientist 2012.

CHEN XU, B.S. Sichuan University, China 1999; M.S. Sam Houston State University 2005; Ph.D. Texas A&M University 2010; Associate Professor of Geospatial Information Science and Technology 2019.

DI YANG, B.S. Liaoning University of Petroleum and Chemical Technology 2011; M.S. Texas A&M 2013; Ph.D. University of Florida 2019; Assistant Professor of Geospatial Information Science and Technology 2020. 

Geographic Information Science and Technology Degrees and Certificates

GIST degrees and certificates include a Bachelor of Science Degree in GIST (to launch Fall 2022 contingent on demonstration of student demand), undergraduate certificates in GIST and Remote Sensing, each of which can contribute to the B.S. degree; a Research Master’s Degree (with thesis), an online Professional Master’s Degree (no thesis), and three online graduate certificates, in GIST, Remote Sensing, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, a.k.a. drones). 

Drawing on expertise from geography, computer science, mathematics, statistics, psychology, design, and others, geospatial information science refers to the multi-disciplinary research enterprise that addresses the nature of geospatial information and the application of geospatial technologies to scientific questions. Geospatial information technology is a specialized set of information and communication technologies that support the acquisition, management, analysis, and visualization of geo-referenced data. Examples include: geographic information systems; global navigation satellite systems; and satellite, airborne, drone-based, shipboard and ground-based remote sensing and image processing systems. 

Successful students in Geospatial Information Science and Technology (GIST) combine proficiency in spatial thinking and geospatial data science analysis with fluency in geographic information systems, remote sensing, data analytics, and visualization. As professionals, graduates apply their knowledge and skills in a wide range of fields, from environmental management and public health, to civil engineering and urban planning, to economic analysis and marketing. 

Any courses listed in degree plans that are not described in the GIST course list are under development and will be added in future catalogs as they are approved. 

Undergraduate Certificates 

Undergraduate certificates in GIS and Remote Sensing provide a means of adding credentials to your degree that reflect expertise in geospatial science.  

Graduate Certificates 

Graduate certificates provide a means for students and professionals to earn marketable credentials over the course of 1-2 semesters. These certificates require a combination of core and elective courses as outlined below and will be delivered primarily online. 




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