Fort Lewis College GIS Certificate

At Fort Lewis College, I teach courses in spatial science and also direct the College’s Geographic Information Science Certificate program. My upper-level teaching responsibilities as part of the Certificate include:

  • GIS Programming and Web Mapping. Students learn the basics of Python programming (along with some R and MATLAB), and how to interface their code with ArcGIS/QGIS to automate tasks and spatial analysis. We also cover web map development and deployment (including Leaflet, Folium, Mapbox).
  • Remote Sensing. This course covers the fundamentals of active and passive remote sensing, including electromagnetic energy, image classification/regression, satellite and aerial platforms, and the applications of remote sensing data to natural resources science.
  • Raster GIS. In this course, we cover the fundamentals of raster datasets, including resolution, bit depth, storage, and processing, along with numerous applications of rasters for terrain analysis, hydrology, wildfire science, and landscape conservation.

No matter the course I’m teaching, my goal as an educator is to foster an environment of mutual respect and collaborative learning. As a researcher, I’m always discovering new things about the processes and landscapes that I study, and I strive to bring those discoveries into the classroom to show students that science is a continuous learning opportunity. Likewise, I enjoy learning from my students - both in terms of techniques for teaching, and by taking the time to explain and research the topics they’re most curious about. Courses are best when we both come to the table acknowledging what we don’t know, and working together to learn those topics.

Alan Kasprak
Alan Kasprak
Research Physical Scientist

I study how rivers work, how we affect them, and the ways that we can restore their physical and ecological processes.