Geology and Geological Engineering

Curtis Price
Geographic Information Systems
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Learning GIS At South Dakota Mines

SD Mines offers three programs of study in Geographic Information Systems: Also

Student comments

  • What I learned in the Geodatabase intro class has been especially handy when working with FEMA. The topology rules and python scripting has also made me stand out a bit at work.
  • You know that I mostly focus on geology but the recruiter told me that he liked my experience with GIS.
  • I really enjoyed all of the GIS classes, and they are the main reason I have a job.
  • Thank you for helping me build such a useful skill with an incredible tool.
  • For some reason I had it in my head that gold mines didn't use Arc and that it would be a secondary backup job to being a mine geologist once I graduate. I'm finding that to not be the case... I think the skills I'm learning from your classes are applicable to many aspects of industry and that having a minor in it will be extremely valuable.


  • GEOL 416/516 / Introduction to GIS 3 cr. (undergraduate/graduate), An introduction to GIS, including mapping, data management, and spatial analysis, culminating in a short independent GIS project to collect and analyze some GIS data.

  • GEOL 417/517 / Geospatial Databases 3 cr. (undergraduate/graduate), A look at more advanced techniques for compiling GIS data and building GIS databases, including editing, database design, and field data collection using GPS and smartphones. Students tackle a major database development project of their own choosing.

  • GEOL 419/519 Advanced Geospatial Analysis 3 cr. (undergraduate/graduate), This course will introduce those already familiar with GIS and basic statistical principles to advanced spatial analysis techniques including interpolation, sampling, spatial distributions, surface analysis, and geospatial modeling. Emphasis is placed on developing the knowledge to effectively and soundly employ geospatial analysis techniques in a variety of applications.

  • GEOL 420/520 Introduction to Remote Sensing 3 cr. (undergraduate/graduate), An introduction to the theory and applications of remote sensing. Students will study the electromagnetic spectrum as it applies to remote sensing as well as the physical principles of imaging system technologies. Imaging and applications of visible, near-infrared, thermal infrared, and microwave band remote sensing are discussed. Environmental remote sensing applications to be covered include terrestrial and ocean ecology, resource exploration, land use and land cover change, natural hazards, and atmospheric constituents. Image processing techniques will be introduced.

  • MEM/GEOE 201L Surveying for Mining and Geological Engineers 2 cr. (undergraduate), Principles of surface and underground surveying, including measurements, data collection, calculations, error analysis, topographic mapping, and applications of the Global Positioning System.

contact: Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering, 501 E. Saint Joseph St., SDSMT, Rapid City, SD 57701
phone: (605)394-2461 / fax: (605)394-6703 / email: