Spatial Literacy Across the Curriculum – 2430 – ENST 311 – 05

MR 3:00-4:30pm Stern 11

Understanding how to think about problems and concepts in a spatial context is a fundamental skill that is not well taught in the current Dickinson College curriculum. Alternatively referred to as “Spatial Literacy” or “Spatial Reasoning”, this type of thinking generally focuses on understanding the importance of geographic space and the relationships formed by this space. Spatial literacy, like writing and quantitative analysis, is not a stand-alone subject, but rather it is a way of thinking that is applicable to many fields of studies, and is becoming increasingly important as a valuable competency for liberal arts students throughout all divisions. This course will examine the importance of geographic space as a learning construct and explore the value of spatial literacy for problem solving, creative expression, and communication across the humanities, social science and scientific disciplines. In doing so, students will have the opportunity to consider topics within their specific areas of study, and to discover how the application of spatial thinking can enable and facilitate the problem solving process across the curriculum. Students will be introduced to an assortment of easy-to-use mapping tools that include both quantitative and qualitative techniques, and will learn how to use these tools to investigate issues and questions from a spatial perspective, incorporate spatial analysis techniques into their problem solving methodologies, and to effectively visualize their data in ways that promote a more comprehensive understanding of the problem statement.

Attributes: Sustainability Investigations


Geographic Information Systems – 2425 – ENST 218/ ARCH 218/ ERSC 218

TR 9:00-10:15am/ R 1:30-4:30pm Kaufman 185

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a powerful technology for managing, analyzing, and visualizing spatial data and geographically-referenced information. It is used in a wide variety of fields including archaeology, agriculture, business, defense and intelligence, education, government, health care, natural resource management, public safety, transportation, and utility management. This course provides a fundamental foundation of theoretical and applied skills in GIS technology that will enable students to investigate and make reasoned decisions regarding spatial issues. Utilizing GIS software applications from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), students work on a progression of tasks and assignments focused on GIS data collection, manipulation, analysis, output, and presentation. The course will culminate in a final, independent project in which the students design and prepare a GIS analysis application of their own choosing.
Three hours classroom and three hours of laboratory per week. This course is cross-listed as ENST 218 and ERSC 218. This course fulfills the QR distribution requirement.
1.000 Credit hours
4.000 Lecture hours

Course Attributes:
ARCH Area A Elective, ARCH Area B Elective, Environmental Studies Elective, Quantitative Reasoning