GSP 270 Syllabus

Nicolas MalloyAuthor: Nicolas R. Malloy, Spring 2017

Welcome to Geographic Information Science!


GSP Curriculum Flowchart

In previous years, the Geographic Information Science course focused primarily on learning proprietary software, rather than analysis, communication, and project management. Geographic Information Science served as a pre-requisite for subsequent GIS courses. However, there was an absence of any direct learning progression related to concepts, methods, and skill sets between courses. The Geospatial Curriculum at Humboldt State University has undergone a broad scale revision in order to reduce redundant content and to prepare our students for the modern geospatial workforce. This online course is a reflection of those revisions, intended to provide a consistent learning progression between the lower division Geospatial Concepts course, and the upper division Intermediate GIS course.


Course Format: GSP 270 is offered in both16-week and 8-week sections. Undergraduate students may register for the Online 16-week section. Graduate students and working professionals interested in the HSU Geospatial Certificate may register for the 8-week Online section through the College of eLearning and Extended Education.
Expected Work Load: The planned workload at Humboldt State University is calculated at 3 hours per week for each unit in a standard 16-week course.
  • For the 16-week online course, this amounts to 9 hours per week.
  • For the 8-week online course, this amounts to 18 hours per week.
Credit: 3 units

An image of the U.S. Department of Labor Geospatial Competency Model
U.S. Department of Labor Geospatial Competency Model

The course content focuses on the academic, workplace, and industry sector competencies outlined in the U.S. Department of Labor Geospatial Technology Competency Model, including:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Core Geospatial Abilities and Knowledge
  • Working with Tools & Technology
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Critical & Analytical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Positioning & Data Acquisition

An image of Nick Malloy and Students working with a Trimble GPSThough the course is online, it may include components related to field work and data collection.  The hallmark of this course is a geospatial data collection and mapping project that students will plan and execute from start to finish.

Navigating the Course Syllabus


This course syllabus provides students with detailed information about the course components and formats, such as grading methods, course policies, instructional videos, and the course calendar. While reading, students can navigate through pages in this using the numbered pagination links at the bottom, or by using the menu system located on the right

S1. Welcome to Geographic Information Science

S2. Course Instructor

S3. Course Overview

S4. Online Etiquette and Electronic Communication

S5. Questions and Answers

S6. Campus Learning Resources

S7. Keys to Success

S8. Required Course Materials

S9. A Non-Traditional Teaching Model

S10. Course Format

S11. Final Project

S12. Grades

S13. Course Policies

S14. Course Schedule