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My second online course is drafted and ready for testing!  Could you be one of my next students?

I’m looking for developing-country conservation professionals to try out my online course introducing the basics of GIS using the free, open-source software QGIS.  This 3-week part-time course will run from Monday 31st August to Sunday 20th September.

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Learning objectives

After completing this short course, you will be able to:

  • Source and manage spatial data from field surveys and online data repositories
  • Use QGIS to create, save and navigate around a GIS project
  • Distinguish between vector and raster data models
  • Distinguish between geographic and projected coordinate systems
  • Determine an appropriate spatial reference system for your study area
  • View a data layer’s properties and attributes, including its spatial reference system
  • Add raster and vector layers to your project and adjust the way they are drawn
  • Symbolise and label vector features according to information in the attributes table
  • Describe sources of uncertainty in your spatial data

Studying the course

You can study from anywhere in the world, provided you have a reliable internet connection and can commit 8-10 hours per week to the reading, online discussions, computer-based exercises and group work.  Within each week, the timing of your study is flexible – you can choose when to study, provided you complete the exercises and are involved in the group work for that week.  Places are limited to 25 participants to allow for individual support and feedback by the tutor.

This is a great chance to boost your career skills at no financial cost, accessing learning materials and tutor expertise usually only available to students and staff at the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit!

How to apply

If you are interested, please email me at lucy.tallents@linacre.oxon.org with a brief description of your experience and current job/student status (one paragraph), and how you will use your new GIS skills to benefit conservation (second paragraph).  Successful applicants will be informed by Friday 28th August, 12 noon GMT.  Demand is likely to be high so I may not be able to respond to every application/query.

The course is free and in return you commit to studying the weekly topics, and providing me with feedback on how useful and engaging the learning materials are, and where they could be improved.

This opportunity is available to conservation professionals and students working in bio-diverse countries, with first-hand experience of fieldwork and conservation issues. You can be at any stage in your career, but priority will be given to early-career professionals and graduate students who are active in conservation within their own country, and who have had limited opportunity to study at overseas academic institutions.