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As a part of one of the world's fastest growing industries - information and communication technology - Geographic Information Science & Technology (GIS&T) encompasses technologies for collecting and analyzing geographic information as well as the underlying academic theory or science. Geographic information includes positional data and descriptive information about places on the Earth's surface, which can be graphically presented in maps to convey a great deal of information effectively and quickly.

Students participate in hands-on lab exercises and projects in our new state-of-the-art computer lab. Each year our ESRI software package is updated so students work with the latest releases of GIS software. Students are encouraged to participate in class projects relevant to their field of study.

There is a strong demand for people who are trained in geospatial technology and the GIS&T certificate or minor program at Colorado Mesa University will assist students in securing jobs in this rapidly growing field. For example:

  • Businesses can query and perform analysis of site locations concerning land use, zoning, and customer service.
  • Archeologists can map artifacts, ruins, and other ancient cultural features.
  • Biologists can map and monitor wildlife and associated habitats.
  • Geologists can map locations of natural resources such as oil, gas, coal, and mineral deposits.
  • Environmental scientists can map contaminants in ground water, pollutants, and toxic substances.


Scholarships are available for students in the geospatial technology program. Each year, the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) provides $1000 to Colorado Mesa University for scholarship to outstanding GIS&T student. Other organizations also provide scholarships.


A GPS/GIS lab in Wubben Hall provides a hands-on learning environment for students. The lab is equipped with 13 computers, an HP plotter, a color printer, 12 Garmin GPS units, fourteen Trimble handheld GPS units and a Trimble PRO-XR survey-grade GPS unit. Cutting-edge software for cartography, GIS, remote sensing, and GPS are available for student use in their classes and independent projects. Colorado Mesa University's campus-wide license with ESRI allows student access to all ESRI software, including ArcGIS™, ArcInfo™ and many extensions. Other software including TOPO! ™ for ArcGIS™, Image Analysis™, and Stereo Analyst™ are also used for classes and research projects.