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Environment, Peace, and Security Certification Program Academic Courses Online Educational Resources

CIESIN regularly offers undergraduate and graduate courses through several different schools and departments at Columbia University, held at either the Morningside campus or the Lamont campus. CIESIN also provides a wide variety of online resources, including mapping tools, for K–12 teachers and students, college classrooms, and graduate-level education and research.

Environment, Peace, and Security Certification Program

The Environment, Peace, and Security Certification of Professional Achievement was developed in 2015 by CIESIN with the Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program and other faculty and centers in the Earth Institute. The certificate program is aimed at practitioners involved in providing environment-security assessments or designing programs to manage such risks, especially those who work at the United Nations or in diplomatic missions, global finance organizations, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, consulting companies, emerging market investment firms, or public relations agencies. The program may be completed in two terms of part-time study. Marc Levy, deputy director, is on the faculty.

Academic Courses                   

FALL 2016

Title: GIS for International Studies
Course #: ENVPU6275
School: School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Instructor: Malanding Jaiteh
Description: An introduction to the fundamentals of GIS and GPS technologies and their use in a variety of social and environmental science applications. Topics include GIS data structures and formats, design and compiling databases from various sources, GPS data acquisition, performing queries from tabular or spatial data, basic techniques for designing maps for communicating analysis results to others, and GIS project design and implementation. Students will also learn how to use Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth and Interactive Map Services (IMS).

Title: GIS for Sustainable Development
Course #: SDEV W3390.00
School: Columbia College
Instructor: Kytt MacManus
Description: A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) as a foundation for practical GIS skills used in sustainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use emerging Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) will also be explored.

Title: GIS for Sustainability Management
Course #: SUMA K5205
School: School of Professional Studies
Instructor: Dara Mendeloff
Description: A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) and introduction to the practical GIS skills used in sustainability management. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and basic cartographic techniques for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use newly emerging Web-based mapping tools such as ArcGIS Online, Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as remote sensing and the global positioning system will also be explored. Case studies will draw from a wide range of GIS applications that assist in the design, implementation, and evaluation of sustainable development projects and programs. This course satisfies the quantitative analysis curriculum area requirement for the MS in Sustainability Management program. 

Title: Human Populations and Sustainable Development
Course #: SDEV W3400
School: Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology-Columbia University
Instructor: Susana Adamo
Description: Demographic processes and their outcomes in terms of population size, distribution and characteristics have a fundamental role in sustainable development and also broad policy implications. This course will introduce students to the scientific study of human populations as a contribution toward their understanding of social structure, relations, and dynamics, as well as society-nature interactions. We will consider the implications for population-environment relationships in the context of consumption trends, economic development, sustainability and cultural change. The aim is to offer a basic introduction to the main theories, concepts, measures, and uses of demography. The course will address: (a) the issues of population size, distribution and composition at different scales from global to regional to local; and (b) the fundamental demographic processes of mortality, fertility and migration, including their trends and transitions. The course will also include an overview of basic demographic techniques and tools used for identifying, managing, analyzing and interpreting population data, and an introduction to population projections. These assignments and exercises will complement readings and lectures by enabling students to explore data sources, calculate rates, and graphically represent demographic data.


SUMMER 2016

TitleWorkshops in Geographic Information Systems
Course #: ENVP U9229.006
School: School of International and Public Affairs
Instructor: Kytt MacManus
Description: Workshops in Geographic information Systems (GIS) is an introduction to GIS theory and application for the incoming master of public administration in environmental science and policy class. The three-week intensive course covers the fundamentals of data capture and storage and introduces analytical techniques. Students will complete a site suitability analysis and presentation using desktop and Web GIS technologies.

WINTER/SPRING 2016

Title: Environmental Data Analysis  
Course #:
ENVP U6224.001
School:
School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Instructors:
Xue Liu and Valentina Mara
Description:
A rigorous look at the statistical analysis of environmental data in different contexts through a combination of lectures and laboratory exercises. Emerging tools and methods for environmental data analysis will be examined across several topic areas. Within these topic areas, applications of regression techniques, risk assessment, spatial analysis, spatial statistics, remote sensing, and data visualization techniques will be explored. Underlying the analysis will be the goal of learning how to apply statistical and data visualization techniques to affect policy- and decision-making.

Title: Environment, Conflict and Resolution Strategies
Course #: INAF U8909
School: School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Instructor: Marc Levy; Teaching Assistant Carolyn Hayek
Description: The class explores the connection between environment and conflict, focusing on scholarly debates regarding scarcity and conflict, the resource curse, and climate change as a security issue. It also explores strategies for managing these linkages more effectively on the part of national and international organizations.

Title: Spatial Analysis and Modeling for Sustainable Development
Course #: SDEV 3450 x and y
School: School of General Studies
Instructor: Greg Yetman, Tricia Chai-Onn
Description: An intermediate course in spatial modeling developed specifically for students in the undergraduate Sustainable Development program (with priority given to juniors and seniors), this course will provide a foundation for understanding a variety of issues related to spatial analysis and modeling. Students will explore the concepts, tools, and techniques of GIS modeling and review and critique modeling applications used for environmental planning and policy development. The course will also offer students the opportunity to design, build and evaluate their own spatial analysis models. The course will cover both vector- and raster-based methods of analysis with a strong focus on raster-based modeling. We will draw examples from a wide range of applications in such areas as modeling Land Use and Land Cover for biodiversity and conservation, hydrological modeling, and site suitability modeling. The course will consist of lectures, reading assignments, lab assignments, and a final project. Offered in the fall and spring. Students must register for required lab: SDEV W3452. Lab Required.

Title: GIS for Sustainable Development
Course #: SDEV W3390.00
School: Columbia College
Instructor: Dara Mendeloff
Description: A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) as a foundation for practical GIS skills used in sustainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use emerging Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) will also be explored.

FALL 2015

Title: GIS for International Studies

Course #: ENVP U6275
School: School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Instructor:
Malanding Jaiteh
Description: An introduction to the fundamentals of geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic positioning systems (GPS) technologies and their use in a variety of social and environmental science applications. Topics include GIS data structures, formats, and design, and compiling databases from various sources; GPS data acquisition using mobile technologies; performing queries from tabular or spatial data; basic techniques for designing maps for communicating analysis results to others; and GIS project design and implementation. Students will also learn how to use Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth and crowd-sourcing technologies.

Title: GIS for Sustainable Development
Course #: SDEV W3390.00
School: Columbia College
Instructor: Kytt MacManus
Description: A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) as a foundation for practical GIS skills used in sustainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use emerging Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) will also be explored.

Title: GIS for Sustainability Management
Course #: SUMA K4205
School: School of Continuing Education 
Instructor: Dara Mendeloff
Description: A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) and introduction to the practical GIS skills used in sustainability management. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and basic cartographic techniques for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use newly emerging Web-based mapping tools such as ArcGIS Online, Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as remote sensing and the global positioning system will also be explored. Case studies will draw from a wide range of GIS applications that assist in the design, implementation, and evaluation of sustainable development projects and programs. This course satisfies the quantitative analysis curriculum area requirement for the MS in Sustainability Management program.  

SUMMER 2015

TitleWorkshops in Geographic Information Systems
Course #: ENVP U9229.006
School: School of International and Public Affairs
Instructor: Kytt MacManus
Description: Workshops in Geographic information Systems (GIS) is an introduction to GIS theory and application for the incoming master of public administration in environmental science and policy class. The three-week intensive course covers the fundamentals of data capture and storage and introduces analytical techniques. Students will complete a site suitability analysis and presentation using desktop and Web GIS technologies.

WINTER/SPRING 2015

Title: Environmental Data Analysis  
Course #:
ENVP U6224.001
School:
School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Instructors:
Kytt MacManus and Valentina Mara
Description:
A rigorous look at the statistical analysis of environmental data in different contexts through a combination of lectures and laboratory exercises. Emerging tools and methods for environmental data analysis will be examined across several topic areas. Within these topic areas, applications of regression techniques, risk assessment, spatial analysis, spatial statistics, remote sensing, and data visualization techniques will be explored. Underlying the analysis will be the goal of learning how to apply statistical and data visualization techniques to affect policy- and decision-making.

Title: GIS for Sustainable Development
Course #: SDEV W3390.00
School: Columbia College
Instructor: Dara Mendeloff
Description: A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) as a foundation for practical GIS skills used in sustainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use emerging Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) will also be explored.

FALL 2015

Title: GIS for International Studies
Course #: ENVPU6275
School: School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Instructor: Malanding Jaiteh
Description: This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of GIS and GPS technologies and their use in a variety of social and environmental science applications. Topics include GIS data structures and formats, design and compiling databases from various sources, GPS data acquisition, performing queries from tabular or spatial data, basic techniques for designing maps for communicating analysis results to others, and GIS project design and implementation. Students will also learn how to use Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth and Interactive Map Services (IMS).

Title: GIS for Sustainable Development
Course #: SDEV W3390.00
School: Columbia College
Instructor: Kytt MacManus
Description: A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) as a foundation for practical GIS skills used in sustainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use emerging Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) will also be explored.

Title: GIS for Sustainability Management
Course #:
SUMA K4205
School:
School of Continuing Education
Instructor:
Dara Mendeloff
Description:
A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) and introduction to the practical GIS skills used in sustainability management. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and basic cartographic techniques for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use newly emerging Web-based mapping tools such as ArcGIS Online, Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as remote sensing and the global positioning system will also be explored. Case studies will draw from a wide range of GIS applications that assist in the design, implementation, and evaluation of sustainable development projects and programs. This course satisfies the quantitative analysis curriculum area requirement for the MS in Sustainability Management program.

SPRING 2014

Title: Environmental Data Analysis  
Course #: ENVP U6224.001
School: School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Instructors: Kytt MacManus and Valentina Mara
Description: A rigorous look at the statistical analysis of environmental data in different contexts through a combination of lectures and laboratory exercises. Emerging tools and methods for environmental data analysis will be examined across several topic areas. Within these topic areas, applications of regression techniques, risk assessment, spatial analysis, spatial statistics, remote sensing, and data visualization techniques will be explored. Underlying the analysis will be the goal of learning how to apply statistical and data visualization techniques to affect policy- and decision-making.

TitleGIS for Sustainable Development 
Course #: SDEV W3390
School: Columbia College
Instructor: Dara Mendeloff
Description: A comprehensive overview of theoretical concepts underlying geographic information systems (GIS) as a foundation for practical GIS skills used in sustainable development research. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain knowledge of the principles behind raster- and vector-based spatial analysis, and learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message. Students will also learn to use emerging Web-based mapping tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar tools to develop online interactive maps and graphics. The use of other geospatial technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) will also be explored.

SUMMER 2014  

Title:
 Workshops in Geographic Information Systems
Course #
:
ENVP U9229.006
School:
School of International and Public Affairs
Instructor: 
Kytt MacManus
Description:
Workshops in Geographic information Systems (GIS) is an introduction to GIS theory and application for the incoming master of public administration in environmental science and policy class. The three-week intensive course covers the fundamentals of data capture and storage and introduces analytical techniques. Students will complete a site suitability analysis and presentation using desktop and Web GIS technologies.

OTHER PREVIOUS CURRICULUM

Title: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Sustainability Management, School of Continuing Education (Now School of Professional Studies)
Instructor: Dara Mendeloff

Title: Capstone Workshop, SIPA
Instructor: Marc Levy

Title: GIS for Public Health, Mailman School of Public Health
Instructor: Malanding Jaiteh, Gregory Yetman, Mark Becker

Title: Introduction to GIS Methods, Barnard College
Instructor: Tricia Chai-Onn

Title: Spatial Analysis for Sustainable Development, Dept. of E3B 
Instructor: Mark Becker

Title: United Nations Environment Program (UNEP): Payment for Ecosystem Services in Rural Haiti, SIPA
School: School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Instructor: Marc Levy

Title: GIS for International Affairs, SIPA
Instructors: Malanding Jaiteh, with lab support from Kytt MacManus  


Online Educational Resources

CIESIN Fact Sheets and Thematic Guides
These PDF information sheets provide overviews and instruction for selected CIESIN online data resources, including instructions for use:

Climate and Health Analysis for Global Education Viewer (CHANGE Viewer)
A mapping tool which uses 3-D NASA World Wind technology to visualize climate change impacts on human health. The tool and related training, for educators, is part of the NASA Climate Change Impacts and Human Health program, and was developed in partnership with the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology (IAGT).

E2C (Earth to Class)
The E2C program brings together researchers from Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and Earth Institute with local K-12 teachers and specialists in curriculum and technology integration from Teachers College Columbia University and Colégio Bandeirantes, São Paulo, Brazil, to enrich earth science curricula for K–12 students and to support development for their teachers. The program is centered around a series, “Saturday Workshops for Educators,” which features scientists from the Lamont community presenting topics in their area of expertise, often involving new areas of research. CIESIN participates by offering hands-on workshops on using new data products and becoming familiar with various levels of spatial data visualization techniques that are designed to be integrated into the classroom.

Environmental Peacebuilding Academy
An online educational partnership to cultivate the next generation of environmental peacebuilding practitioners, researchers, and decision makers. CIESIN deputy director Marc Levy is a founding member. Members teach classes related to environmental peacebuilding and are committed to using and promoting the Knowledge Platform and Community of Practice. Environmental peacebuilding integrates natural resource management with conflict prevention, mitigation, resolution, and recovery to build resilience in communities affected by conflict. The Academy is a collaborative effort of the Environmental Law Institute, UNEP, McGill University, and the University of Tokyo.
Environmental Sustainability: Perspectives on the World
This multi-media teaching module was developed in collaboration with the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning and Fathom.com. It includes talks, video clips of presentations by Columbia University scientists on the environmental systems and human responses that make up environmental sustainability, and an online mapping tool with data from the Environmental Sustainability Index. Issues covered include climate change and past civilizations, human impacts on the Arctic environment, sustainability in the Sahel, sustainable design, industrial ecology, and international environmental regimes. Environmental Sustainability: Perspectives on the World is free to Columbia University students and staff; $45 for others.
Geospatial Data Preservation Resource Center
A Web site containing the latest approaches and tools for long-term geospatial data preservation and access. Included are descriptions and links for a variety of relevant resources, including education and training modules, useful tools and software, information on policies and standards for preserving geospatial data, and examples of successful preservation and associated benefits.

Metro-East Coast Regional Climate Assessment Education Module
The study of the Metropolitan East Coast (MEC) area is one of eighteen regional components of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, organized by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The MEC Educator's Pack is a package of GIS software, datasets and lesson plans designed for educators who are interested in using GIS technology to explore global climate change issues. The package includes a free GIS software program called ArcExplorer, a registered trademark of Environmental Systems Resource Institute (ESRI), the world's leading GIS software developer. The datasets available include much of the data used in the MEC project such as the climate change models, GIS data from ESRI and the U.S. Census Bureau’s TIGER Files. Also provided are two lesson plans that use ArcExplorer to view the data and produce a series of maps to study climate change predictions in the MEC region. See also: U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change and CIESIN’s Climate Change Information Resources for the New York Metropolitan Region. a registered trademark of ESRI.)

Mapping Tools
A variety of mapping tools developed by the CIESIN’s Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, both Web-based and stand-alone, that let students visualize, query, and analyze various map layers created from our geospatial data holdings.

Population Estimation Service Classroom Exercise and Tutorial
For grades 6–12, a step-by-step exercise in comparing the population of Haiti and its capital city, Port-au-Prince. Gridded data and common terms are also explained. The exercise draws on the online Population Estimate Service, which uses gridded data to estimate population totals and related statistics for any area of the world.

Terra Viva! SEDAC Viewer Tutorial
This three-part video tutorial, available on the YouTube Web site, explains how to use this powerful map viewer and standalone software application. Terra Viva! SEDAC Viewer enables the visualization and integration of hundreds of socioeconomic and environmental variables and layers, including a range of satellite-based data.
Terra Viva! SEDAC Viewer User Guide and Tutorial (22 pages, 2.65 MB PDF)
This print booklet introduces users to the Terra Viva! SEDAC Viewer. It explains installation, benefits and limitations, and how to use basic through advanced features.
Thematic Guides on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
CIESIN’s Thematic Guides offer overviews of some of the key topics and issues that pertain to the human dimensions of global environmental change. The guides are designed to complement data-access tools such as the CIESIN Gateway by providing context and background information.

This page last modified: Sep 23, 2016