Developing Sustainability Awareness using Geographic Information Systems (GIS): A Multidisciplinary Curriculum Proposal

By Daniel Farkas and Narayan Murthy.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Sustainability integrates core environmental values across many disciplines and themes. Unfortunately, sustainability education has no niche in University curricula (except for certain majors). By introducing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) more broadly into the curriculum, it may be possible to enhance student awareness with the result of educating citizens with a deeper understanding of environmental and other issues. GIS has several powerful advantages in capturing the interest and enthusiasm of students. Firstly, it can be used to provide a multifaceted view of the Earth and its inhabitants. More importantly, since GIS can combine both field work with interactive computing, it has the potential to motivate university (and younger) students. Current tools insulate the user from some of the difficult geoscience and cartography concepts allowing students to explore several issues in a single semester. This paper will give a brief overview of GIS concepts, a suggested curriculum for a one semester course and a description of an educational module created for a multidisciplinary group of educators and presented in July, 2006.

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, GIS, Sustainability, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.21-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 917.175KB).

Dr. Daniel Farkas

Chair, Information Systems Department, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY, USA

As chair of the Information Systems department, Dan has been innovative in developing curriculum in operating systems, telecommunications, web-development, computer security and global impact on IT. His research interests are in security, geographic information systems, globalization issues and educational technology. He has delivered numerous workshops in Security, Web Development, System Administration and Network Administration. Additionally Dan has presented at local and national Computer Science and Information systems conferences.

Dr. Narayan Murthy

Chair, Computer Science Department, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY, USA

Narayan is Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems and has been teaching computer science for more than 20 years. His research interests include web-development, network security, and web-based GIS.

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