Geography/Geographic Information Systems


About This Program

The Geography/Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program is designed to provide individuals with a background in geography, spatial processes, mapping techniques, and the ability to manage and utilize geographic information as a planning and decision-making tool. The program guides the student in developing a sound approach to geographic inquiry and analysis, and provides the opportunity for students to explore the diverse political, economic, social and environmental interrelationships at local, regional and global scales. Embedded in this interdisciplinary science, is a focus on the technical components of mapping, cartographic analysis and production, and the use of state of the art GIS, global positioning systems, and remote sensing software for advanced level data acquisition, integration and spatial analysis. The program maintains articulation agreements with Bemidji State University and the University of Minnesota-Duluth, which facilitates the transfer of ICC credits and allows ample time to complete an additional minor.

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Degrees & Credits

A.S. GIS Degree (60 credits)

A.A.S. Degree (64 credits)

Certificate (16 credits)

Online (Minnesota North)

Program Features

100% Online GIS Certificate

The Geography Department at Itasca is dedicated to developing students’ knowledge of geospatial technologies and how they can be utilized to explore dynamic interrelationships between humans and their environment.

Start Fall or Spring

Coursework taken at Itasca prepares students for entry level professional work settings and creates a foundation of geographic skill and knowledge for further study. Individuals of all backgrounds and disciplines and expertise are welcome.

Meet the Faculty

Tim Fox

Geography/Geographic Information Systems Faculty

Meet Our Alumni

Kathleen Scanlan in the field

Kathleen Scanlan

GIS Certificate, Minnesota North College - Itasca / BA, Archaeology & Cultural Anthropology, Boston University

Minnesota North - Itasca

Employer: Moose Hill Archaeology Project

Job Title: Archaeologist and GIS Analyst

Sample Job Duties: Excavation of a multi-component prehistoric site in Southwest Alaska. In addition to the excavations, my primary responsibilities consist of the management of all GIS feature classes and joined attribute tables, spatial and density analyses using ArcGIS, the maintenance of artifact catalogs, and the completion of plan view and stratigraphic profile documentation of excavation units. Secondary duties include assisting with lithic analysis, and project logistical coordination.

Alumni Quote: “Itasca was instrumental in getting the Moose Hill database off the ground. While I knew what the software was capable of, I finally had the skills to make our research goals possible and quickly answer research questions. Additionally, steps that had previously taken hours to complete were streamlined because I had the editing skills needed to complete the task rather than building every feature from scratch. This program has not only broadened my career opportunities but also sparked my interest in further academic research potential.”

Erika Eigenberger in the field

Erika Eigenberger

GIS Certificate, Minnesota North College - Itasca / M.A., Anthropology, Cultural Heritage Management Program, University of Minnesota / M.A., Museum Studies, University of Minnesota / B.A., Anthropology, St. Cloud State University / B.A., History, St. Cloud State University

Minnesota North - Itasca

Employer: HDR, Inc.

Job Title: Archaeology Project Director

Sample Job Duties: Manage archaeological projects, complete agency coordination, coordinate and direct cultural staff, monitor construction activities in culturally sensitive areas, analyze pre-contact and historic period cultural materials, complete background research and literature reviews, author cultural reports, create field maps, complete spatial analysis, and prepare GPS units for field survey.

Alumni Quote:The online GIS program at Itasca is designed for student success. Classes follow a logical progression and the staff is extremely supportive and very accessible when questions arise. Completion of this program has allowed me to branch out from my normal working duties as an archaeologist by taking the lead on deliverables that were previously addressed by other departments. I can now assemble data, complete analysis, and produce field and reporting maps for my own projects which not only saves time, but also allows me greater control of the final product. This program has also allowed me to assist with more company-wide GIS tasks, something that has been a great help during the winter months when fieldwork is not available. Regardless of your career path or current discipline, the completion of this program definitely opens doors and provides students with a valuable skill set. It’s a great choice, whether you are interested strictly in GIS or if you simply want to apply GIS knowledge to your current field.”

Andrew Kurth

Andrew Kurth

M.S. Cultural Resources Management, Archaeology – Saint Cloud State University / B.S. Anthropology – University of Minnesota, Duluth / GIS Certificate – Minnesota North College - Itasca

Minnesota North - Itasca

Employer: HDR, Inc.

Job Title: Cultural Resources Specialist

Sample Job Duties: Research and analyze historic and environmental data, write technical reports and environmental permit applications, perform cultural resources survey, data verification, and archaeological site monitoring for infrastructure projects in diverse environmental settings throughout the Midwest.

Alumni Quote: “The Itasca GIS Program has allowed me to diversify my skill set and gain a better understanding of the role GIS can play in Archaeology. The program provides an excellent opportunity for professionals to gain valuable GIS experience while still working full time.”