Learn More About GNRL-296, Intro to Geographic Information Systems

This year, a new class is being offered at PUC, GNRL-296, Intro to Geographic Information Systems (GIS for short), taught by Peter Lecourt, the college’s new forest manager. Peter recently received his master’s in geographic information systems from the University of Redlands and has a passion for the environment. He is eager to share his knowledge with students at PUC. We asked Peter to tell us more about the class and why students should be interested in taking it.

Tell us about the class and why it’s significant that it’s being taught at PUC.
GIS is the use of computers to analyze and portray geographic information. Maps are key tools in many fields, and the vast majority of modern maps are made using GIS. PUC is one of just four Adventist institutions offering an undergraduate class in GIS, which is significant as GIS is a growing field important to many industries and disciplines.

What type of student should take the class?
Anyone interested in maps will enjoy this class. Specifically, the knowledge gained in this class will help students in the disciplines of environmental studies, business, emergency services, social work, and history.

Why should students take the class?
Aside from being a useful skill in many industries, digital map making is fun. Students in the fall 2017 class really enjoyed the hands-on experience playing with GIS in the lab period. At a light two credits, and offered in the evening, even the most demanding schedule can fit this class.

What can students hope to gain from taking this class?
The ability to create maps, as well as an appreciation and better understanding of cartography, and knowledge of a cutting-edge field.

What is your favorite thing about teaching this class?
Sharing knowledge of a discipline that many enjoy, yet didn’t even know existed. There are a lot of “light bulb” moments in this class as students see behind the scenes of how maps they have seen before are created.

Interested in taking GNRL-296? The two credit class is available this coming spring quarter on Mondays from 6-6:50 p.m., with a lab on Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m.

Peter Lecourt, who also works as the college’s forest manager, will be teaching GNRL-296.

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