Module 0: Getting Started with the Course

 0.1: ePortfolio Pre-Assignment

Step 1: Set-up (or fix) your academic ePortfolio.
Your ePortfolio may be in draft mode (a preliminary work in progress) but should have of the basic structure in place: Welcome, Goals & Outcomes, Coursework (any Gen Ed coursework that has been completed), and Outside the Classroom. To receive FULL CREDIT on this assignment, you need the required structure AND content filled in within each of them. What this means is that you need to have a filled out page for each component of your ePortfolio. Depending on your previous participation in General Education courses at SLCC, the Coursework page may have varying degrees of content. 

Step 2: Create a course page.
You also need to have a course page that has our course title and a brief description of the course. Within your Coursework page, created a hidden page for this course. Within this course page, title it Physical Science and the subtitle Remote Sensing of Earth. Next, put the course description below (copy-paste from the course syllabus). We will be adding more content into the course page throughout the semester. 

Step 3: Submit your ePortfolio

0.2: Career Paths

In the Environmental Management Industry, GIS is used to create data for a variety of different scenarios. From locating areas within a community that have had their soil and drinking water contaminated to tracking the course of a hurricane in real time in an effort to keep the public informed and first responders prepared for varying degrees of immediate need by the communities affected to enabling companies to integrate themselves seamlessly with ArcGIS to better create clean energy like wind farms, GIS can manage it all. Geospatial Information Systems are capable of collecting a broad range of data so that projects can be visualized and managed, the data can be analyzed, and maps can be created and published giving those involved better knowledge to create solutions to environmental problems like contaminated drinking water and its proximity to residences and businesses, allowing an opportunity to clean up the mess with timeliness and efficiency.  When it comes to using GIS in the Environmental Management Industry, it appears to have limits for helping solve problems, sometimes before they start, and others as quickly as humanly possible.

In the Agriculture Industry, GIS is used to highlight areas of the world, both close to home and a continent away, in an array of ways. Not only can GIS be used to demonstrate communities and regions that are prone to drought and flooding due to natural hazards,  but it can also show where food crops are vulnerable to disease and pests. Going even farther, using soil science and GIS together enables farmers  of all scales to utilize the software to better understand their soil content to not only grow more appropriate and stable crops, but to also produce them with much higher success rates. Globally, as we face climate change and natural disasters, GIS will aid in leading the way in providing food security, by granting farmers, organizations and governments with the means to assess, measure, compile, manage, inform, integrate, optimize, and understand how to continue to provide and feed the populations of the world.

For more information on how GIS is applicable in different industries, you can explore Esri’s web page here.


0.3: Class Introductions

This is a relatively large class and we will be discussing several important and potentially controversial issues about the world throughout the course. So now is an excellent time to introduce yourself to the class. Please answer the following questions in your main response:

  • What is your background and where do you come from?

  • How has your personal history lead you to this moment in your academic career?

  • What are your academic goals and how will that influence your career goals?

Hi, my name is Megan Heaton. I am in my mid to late thirties working towards obtaining my A.S. degree next semester. I am happy and excited to finely be at this point in my life! I grew up in the NW corner of Indiana near Lake Michigan, in between both the heavily industrialized areas of Gary and Chicago to the north and multi-generational corn and soybean farms to the south. I am thankful for that because it was an area of immense diversity and allowed me to engage with so many different cultures. That said, half of my dad’s large Irish family lived in “The Region” (as Northwest Indiana is lovingly referred to back home) and the other half lived in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California so I was able to travel with my Grandmother to visit a couple western states from a very early age. In 7th grade, I distinctly remember telling my dad that I wanted to go to college in Arizona—to ASU (it had a beautiful pool) and I recall him saying that he didn’t want me that far from home.

When I was 19 years old, I packed what I could fit in my car, and drove to Tempe, AZ. I proceeded to spend my 20s enjoying what Arizona had to offer, always working full time and trying to figure out what I wanted to pursue in school. I eventually enrolled at Scottsdale Community College and began taking Anthropology and Geology classes along with Gen Ed’s.

Last year, in an effort to make a decision about which path to take at this particular junction in my life, I began conducting research into the fields of science that interest me the most. My top three fields of interest are Anthropology, Geology, and Botany. I also kept in mind that whatever career path I embarked on, I wanted to make sure that I could also be of service to humankind in that field. After speaking with my sister-in-law and meeting with a Geography adviser at the University of Utah, I realized that I could dabble in all of the fields I love by creating a career from a Geography degree with a GIS certificate. My academic goals are to start at the U next fall to finish my Bachelor’s as well as build GIS courses into that degree. I have already begun looking for a mentor or two currently working in SLC in the GIS field as well as reading about internships. I would love to work for a state or federal agency like the DNR or Forest Service and hopefully find a position that allows me to split my time outdoors in the field and the rest inside.

I am really excited to be taking this class and hope to connect with at least a couple of you who have similar goals.