Accelerated B.A./M.A. Program in Geographic Information Science
Who is Eligible
Students majoring in geography, global environmental studies, earth system science, international development and social change, or environmental science and policy can apply to the accelerated B.A./M.A. program in Geographic Information Science.
To be eligible for the fifth year M.A. program in GISc, a student must meet all university requirements for entry into the fifth year program, as well as have completed Geography 190 Intro to Geographic Information Science, Geography 206/306: Advanced Vector GIScience, Geography 293: Introduction to Remote Sensing, and Geography 296/397: Advanced Raster GIScience by the end of their senior year. A GPA of 3.6 (overall Clark GPA) is required for entry into this program, although students not meeting this requirement may petition the School for a waiver. Applicants are expected to complete an Honors Thesis in their senior year, although in some circumstances students may opt to enroll in the honors program for the spring semester of the junior year and fall semester of the senior year.
In accordance with these requirements, students who have declared their intention to apply for the fifth year program must submit a formal application to the Graduate School of Geography by October 15 of their senior year. Then by April 1 of the senior year, it is necessary to submit to the Geography B.A./M.A. Program Advisor, evidence (such as a current transcript) that all course requirements will be met, and an approved Master’s Project proposal, signed by a Geography faculty advisor and a reader. The reader can, with the approval of the Geography B.A./M.A. Program Advisor, be a faculty member from outside Geography. Final offers of admission will be made by the Graduate Dean.
B.A./M.A. Program of Study
The M.A. degree in Geography specializing in Geographic Information Science requires the completion of 10 graduate course credits, two of which are taken during the senior year and two of which are completed during the summer between the senior year and the fifth year. Three of the 10 credits are devoted to the completion of a master’s research project. The breakdown is as follows:
- Senior year: Geog. 296/397: Advanced Raster GIScience (please note prerequisites for Geog. 397 are Geog 190: Into to GIS and Geog 206: Vector GIScience) and Geog 293: Introducation to Remote Sensing. Candidates for the fifth year program are also required to develop a master’s research proposal, with a signed statement of support from two faculty sponsors who will act as the advisor and the reader. The proposal must include a three-semester work plan. See the Departmental Requirements section for details on timing.
- Summer following senior year: a one-credit internship in Geographic Information Science and a one-credit directed research project associated with the master’s research project. This project is focused on database development for the Master’s project, and may be linked to the internship project. Typically, this course is completed off-campus. However, it requires frequent communication with the student’s advisor. Details of the mechanism for this communication must be included in the project proposal.
- Fifth year: six graduate course credits (three per semester), of which one credit each semester will be devoted to the completion of the master’s research project. In April the student will be required to give an oral presentation of the findings of the master’s research project, along with other students in the GIS and GISDE masters programs. In addition, the student must submit to the B.A./M.A. Advisor, by the end of the spring semester, a publication quality paper, associated with the project, certified by the student’s advisor and reader.
Of the six courses not associated with the master’s project and internship (taken during the senior and fifth years), a minimum of four must be directly associated with Geographic Information Science and two may be electives associated with the application area of specific interest to the student.
Because of the very heavy costs associated with hardware and software licensing in the GIS and Image Processing area, students will be required to pay a lab fee of $1000 per semester (fall and spring) during the completion of their fifth-year program. This lab fee is NON-refundable and will be billed through your student account.
Current BA/MA Students
Students admitted for accelerated BA/MA in fall 2012:
Dylan Broderick BA '12
Laura Hansen BA '12
Andrew (A. J.) Shatz BA '12
Recent B.A./M.A. Graduates and First Employment
- Blaize Denfeld (BA '10?MA '11) is continuing her education in pursuit of a PhD at Uppsala University in Uppsala Sweden. She will be studying dynamics of CO2 emissions from inland waters in relation to ice cover dynamics. Her research will be incorporated into the Nordic Center of Excellence CRIACC and into the CoW Project.
- Tom Hamill (BA '10/MA '11) is continuing his education in pursuit of a PhD in Geography and Urban Studies from Temple University. Tom was also a one-year member of the HERO REU site project and a student manager in HERO for two years.
- Boyd Zapatka (BA '10/MA '11) has accepted a position at AIR-Worldwide as an analyst. AIR-Worldwide is the leader in catastrophe modeling and risk analysis for the insurance and reinsurance industry. As a part of the Data Management Group, Boyd's duties include developing and organizing claims databases, general DBA, generating internal reports, and making maps for publications.
- Samuel Blanchard (BA '09/MA'10) has accepted a position at UC Berkeley as a Staff Research Associate II in the College of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management. Sam is the lead researcher for the Advanced Tools for Consolidation of California’s Groundwater Data project to develop a webGIS spatial database and visualization platform aggregating archival groundwater data throughout the state of California. read more
- Nick Bumbarger (BA '09/MA '10) is a Geospatial Analyst Level II for MDA Information Systems, Inc. in Maryland. He is currently serving as the Task Lead of validation within a high-priority global-coverage mapping contract.
- Andrew Caiazzo (BA '09/MA '10) is a Geospatial Analyst for MDA Information System, Inc. In Maryland. Andrew will work on the Global Mapping Project in which they use Landsat TM/ETM+ data to create land cover maps for the entire globe.
- David Hattis (BA '09/MA '10) - is a Research Analyst for AIR Worldwide, a consulting company that models risk for insurance companies. David's main role is to help develop a geospatial database of insurance exposures.
- Rachel Shmookler (BA '09/MA '10) is a Junior Scientist at Applied SciencesAssociates, Inc., Cranston, RI. She uses geospatial techniques to process model outputs of oil spills in the marine system for the presence of surface, entrained, and shoreline oil. Rachel supports environmental data analysis for projects such as entrained oil tracking, coastal habitat assessments, and windfarm site planning, and develops data automation models in ArcGIS using VBA and Python. She is building off of the skills acquired from her undergraduate, graduate, and HERO experience at Clark University, and looks forward to working on future projects at ASA on habitat assessments, marine spatial planning, and water quality monitoring.
Recent Publications by BA/MA Grads
Gao, Y.,Marpu, P., Niemeyer, I., Runfola, D.M., Giner, N., Hamill, T., Pontius Jr., G.R., 2011. "Object-based classification with features extracted by a semi-automatic feature extraction algorithm - SEaTH." Geocarto International. 26 (3)
Rogan, J., Bumbarger, N., Kulakowski, D., Christman, Z., Runfola, D.M., Blanchard, S., (Forthcoming, 2011). "Improving forest type discrimination with mixed lifeform classes using fuzzy classification thresholds informed by field observations." Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing.
Fortier, J., Rogan, J., Woodcock, C., Runfola, D.M., 2011. "Utilizing temporally invariant calibration sites to classify multiple dates of satellite imagery." Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing. 77 (2): p.181
Blanchard, Samuel D., John Rogan, and Deborah W. Woodcock, 2010, "Geomorphic Change Analysis using ASTER and SRTM Digital Elevation Models in Central Massachusetts, USA" GIScience & Remote Sensing, 47 (1): 1–24
The geography B.A./M.A. program advisor is Professor John Rogan mailto:email@example.com (508) 793-7562.