The Physical and Environmental Sciences (PES) Department at Colorado Mesa University offers a minor or certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T). The GIS&T minor and certificate programs are multi-disciplinary in nature. Students from any discipline can take advantage of the unlimited realm of applications of the GIS&T program. The GIS&T certificate documents the completion of focused GIS&T coursework for students who have already graduated and are returning to school. Students in the GIS&T program learn three integrated technologies: Cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
Cartography is the art and science of making maps to represent earth as flat surface. Cartography displays maps showing geospatial information such as latitude and longitude, map scale, projections, and colors.
GIS includes computer hardware and software capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information; that is, data identified according to location. The power of GIS is in the ability to graphically display data and information associated with location and to query geographic data sets.
Remote sensing encompasses techniques to obtain information about objects and the environment from a distance, such as from air crafts or satellites. Remote sensing often permits us to see the world more clearly than we can with the unaided eye and provides a different perspective of the Earth's surface and the resulting images and data are frequently used in GIS.
GPS is a worldwide radio-navigation system consisting of a network of orbiting satellites. Radio signals broadcast by the satellite are used to compute geographic position of a GPS receiver. GPS is a useful tool for map-making, land surveying, commerce, and scientific uses. Position and attribute data collected with a GPS can be incorporated into maps and databases in GIS.