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Course: Environmental Information Management Training Institute

May 13, 2011 Leave a comment

When you were little you learned very quickly why it was important that you not touch the stove at certain times. You may have learned by physically touching the stove also known as kinesthetic learning. Or you may have watched (and/or subsequently) heard when someone else touched the stove which means you used visual and auditory means of learning not to touch the stove. These different ways of learning apply just the same as a wildlife professional minus the heat unless you’re doing prescribed burns or fighting wildfires.

My strongest area for learning is kinesthetic learning. While I enjoy reading books leisurely or listening when the teachers are preaching, nothing works for me like getting out into the field to put what I’ve heard into practice to see how things connect. What better way for a wildlife career professional to gain experience that fits into their schedule than through courses often offered yearly that can help them stay up to date with current field practices or learn new ones?

One set of field courses being sponsored by the University of New Mexico and DataOne as the Environmental Information Management Training Institute in Albuquerque, NM. Being held May 23 through June 10, 2011 the courses are open to Master’s  and PhD students plus professionals who seek to enhance their data skills…and that is just saying it simply. More specifically the Institute seeks to teach its students “to effectively design, manage, analyze, visualize, and preserve data and information” by exposing potential students to “all aspects of the data life cycle: from managing data files and creating databases and web portals, through state-of-the-art analysis and visualization techniques, as well as managing, analyzing, and visualizing geospatial data.”

Composed of three courses (all must be taken) six credit hours will be earned and graduate tuition rates apply. The total for the program is $1,595.34 regardless if you are considered in state versus out-of-state. If you’re not a student at the University of Mexico, you are still welcome to apply to the program. Take note however to apply as a non-degree student before registering to the Institute, a $10  fee applies. As for housing (hopefully you’re being funded through an agency or are already a student) you will be on the search for a potential place to stay. This can be discouraging for many looking to take the course even if they already live in the state much less are coming from out-of-state. Hotels in the area run $50-75 per night but during the last week of the program on campus residence halls open up that you could stay in for $45/night. Studying from your car is not an option…unless of course your car is actually an RV.

The courses that you will be taking are as follows:

INFO 530  Environmental Information Management

INFO 532  Environmental Data Analysis and Visualization

INFO 533  Spatial Data Management in Environmental Sciences

Details for these courses will be found via the University’s website dedicated to the Institute. Each course is a week-long journey beginning at 8am and ending at 5pm Monday through Friday hosted in a computer classroom. Don’t worry; I’m sure there will be sometime in there to eat!

With the amount of data we obtain growing each day the means of organizing and being able to easily retrieve that data is important. The organizers of Databasin are aware of this and created a site centered around the collection and distribution of data for professionals in the natural resource fields (and interested parties) working with spatial data (hint: Ctrl-D).

If you’re an undergraduate you might be interested in taking the online course Info 320 Information Management for Professionals online. This (I feel) would be a great introduction and look into what you can expect if you should decide to attend the Institute.

You can  find this and other courses detailed on the Field Course Calendar that I’ve created. While at this moment the calendar only has this course check back often for new additions.

Note: There are some more facts about this Institute that I am waiting to obtain. I will update this post when I get them.

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Phase 1 of Environmentally Related Studies for Students

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve just completed Phase 1 of the Environmentally related degree programs in the U.S. and thought it would be necessary to provide you all with an inkling of the progress that I’ve made. Using the Wildlife Society’s document I have updated broken links for each school and will be moving on to updating department information. I also plan to create two other documents based off this information that separates Undergraduate adn Graduate degrees for easier viewing by the degree focus. Right now I have the discipline areas divided as so:

  • Environmental- Science, Technology, Biology, Management, Policy, Ecology
  • Forestry- Technology, Management, Biology
  • Wildlife- Science, Technology, Conservation, Ecology, Management, Biology
  • Fisheries- Science, Management, Technology, Aquaculture
  • Marine- Policy, Science, Biology, Management
  • Natural Resource- Management, Technology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Other- Human Dimensions, Rangeland Management, Ecology, Zoology etc*

You may wonder why I have not included focus areas such as agriculture,  general biology, veterinary and some others. Understand it’s not that I don’t want to but I felt that doing so would result in creating an umbrella thus getting away from the original reason for starting this. Plus my interest in the areas mentioned above are stronger than other areas not mentioned here. Lastly I believe that these areas are more closely intertwined than mentioning other areas of study. So that is all that’s going on right now. Be back with you soon!

*This will be updated as I go back through the schools to pick on programs of study at the school that may not have been mentioned by TWS or that I feel would fit the purposes of this document.