Geographic Information Science


Academic Program Chair:

Dr. Gordon Holley

(318) 257-4926


Mr.Palmer assists a student with collecting gps data on a Trimble unit.
Many GIS classes are held in the state-of-the-art Spatial Data Lab.




The Geographic Information Science (GISc) program is both an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental degree program shared between the School of Forestry in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences and the Department of Social Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts. The 120 semester credit hour concentration in Natural Resources directed by the School of Forestry incorporates 31 hours of concentration electives that allow students to specialize in natural resources. Students are prepared for rewarding and high-paying careers in the field of spatial data technologies that more specifically engage environmental issues and issues that pertain to the natural sciences. Careful selection of concentration electives provides the opportunity to earn a minor in forestry, wildlife habitat management, environmental science, or other fields. Specific requirements for minors are identified in the departmental sections of the course catalog.

The GISc curriculum is designed for students interested in understanding, analyzing, and applying the spatial relationship among human and physical features (e.g., social and economic impact of natural disasters). Students of GISc learn how to use computer software programs that identify the interactions that transpire between humans and the physical environment based on location. They also learn how to analyze those interactions, and to use that information to assist with public and private sector management, administration and planning. 


Career opportunities for graduates with GISc training specifically mention a degree in GISc as a favored condition of employment. There is an enormous and growing need for graduates with GISc training. Ample job opportunities exist both in Louisiana and across the country and such opportunities are growing and diversifying as GISc technologies prove their value in even more areas. Excellent opportunities exist for GIS analysts, cartographers, database and system administrators, photogrammetrists, image analysts, GIS coordinators, and programmers. Employment can be found in U.S. Government agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in city and state government for planning, environment, resources, and transportation, and in the private sector for a diverse set of disciplines including agriculture, archeology, architecture, business, communications, computer science, defense, ecology, economics, education, engineering, forestry, health and human services, natural resources, and many others.