Free online GIS course for conservation professionals this September

August 19, 2015

WildCRU’s Dr  Lucy Tallents is excited to be teaching a free online course introducing the basics of GIS using QGIS over the first three weeks of September (Mon 31 Aug – Sun 20 Sept) as part of her role to enhance conservation capacity through online learning. She’s using this opportunity of testing a draft course to offer it at no cost, in return for feedback from students. This is a great chance for conservation professionals to boost their career skills using learning materials usually only available to students and staff at the WildCRU.

This opportunity is available to conservation professionals and students working in bio-diverse countries, with first-hand experience of fieldwork and conservation issues. They can be at any stage in their career, but priority will be given to early-career professionals and graduate students who are active in conservation within their own country, and who have had limited opportunity to study at overseas academic institutions.

The application deadline is Tuesday 25th August at midnight GMT.

After completing this short course, you will be able to:
• Source and manage spatial data from field surveys and online data repositories
• Use QGIS to create, save and navigate around a GIS project
• Distinguish between vector and raster data models
• Distinguish between geographic and projected coordinate systems
• Determine an appropriate spatial reference system for your study area
• View a data layer’s properties and attributes, including its spatial reference system
• Add raster and vector layers to your project and adjust the way they are drawn
• Symbolise and label vector features according to information in the attributes table
• Describe sources of uncertainty in your spatial data

You can study from anywhere in the world, provided you have a reliable internet connection and can commit 8-10 hours per week to the reading, online discussions, computer-based exercises and group work. Within each week, the timing of your study is flexible – you can choose when to study, provided you complete the exercises and are involved in the group work for that week. Places are limited to 25 participants to allow for individual support and feedback by the tutor.

In return for this free training, you commit to studying the weekly topics and giving feedback on how useful and engaging the learning materials are, and where they could be improved.

If you are interested, please email by Tuesday 25th August at midnight GMT with a brief description of your experience and current job/student status (one paragraph), and how you will use your new GIS skills to benefit conservation (second paragraph). Successful applicants will be informed by Friday 28th August, 12 noon GMT.