GIS In Natural Resource Education: Where Are We Headed? | 2485
ISSN: 2157-7617

Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change
Open Access

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GIS in natural resource education: Where are we headed?

International Conference on Earth Science & Climate Change

Joseph K. Berry

Accepted Abstracts: J Earth Sci Climate Change

DOI: 10.4172/2157-7617.S1.007

Over the past three decades, GIS education has evolved from a focus on automated cartography, to spatial database management, to geo-web applications. Within these contexts, curricula have emphasized the mechanics of descriptive mapping (?Where is What?) involving acquisition, storage, retrieval, query and display of spatial objects. However, the future of GIS education is moving from a ?down the hall and to the right? specialist?s role for providing mapped data, to a broader and more active role of providing spatial information for natural resource research, policy, planning and management. The instructional emphasis is shifting from data?centric tools to application-specific constructs of prescriptive mapping (Why, So What and What If) that infuses consideration of geographic patterns and relationships within problem-solving contexts. The paradigm shift replaces spatially-aggregated tools and models that assume uniform or random distribution in geographic space with spatial reasoning and analytical procedures that capitalize on the variation within and among map variables.