2013 SFCC Advanced GIS - 2 - smallThe best way to encourage and facilitate the use of the spatial data in GIS applications is to train practitioners to develop their GIS and spatial data skills and, in so doing, build capability in their organisations. Environmental professionals are often highly ‘geographically literate’, but they do still require specialised, application-based training to become skilled GIS technicians who can then incorporate the robust and effective use of GIS into their day-to-day work.

To meet the growing demand for GIS training in the environmental sector Westcountry Rivers Trust have teamed up with the University of Reading, The Scottish Fisheries Coordination Centre (SFCC) and the Catchment Based Approach Support Group to develop a series of intensive GIS short-courses specifically tailored to develop and disseminate best practice and technical GIS skills for practitioners engaged in catchment management planning, landscape ecology, fisheries science, river restoration, ecology and conservation biology.

GIS_Layers_NPalingIntroduction to GIS

Designed for complete beginners or those wanting to refresh their basic skills, this specialist 2-day course covers the fundamental principles and techniques of GIS and, most importantly, summarises its potential applications in the environmental sector through a series of case studies and worked examples. Different versions of the course have been developed for ecologists & conservation practitioners, rivers trusts, Catchment-Based Approach organisations, and Scottish Fisheries Trusts.

The Introduction to GIS Course has been designed to give environmental professionals and postgraduate students a comprehensive ‘step-by-step’ introduction to the industry standard GIS software package, ESRI’s ArcGIS™, and to equip them with the technical skills and expertise required to start incorporating the use of GIS into their scientific research, conservation and catchment/river management activities.

View the flyer for the standard GIS for Ecology & Conservation Courses – Reading GIS short courses 2011

View the flyer for the GIS CaBA Courses – CaBA GIS Course Flyer 2014

Advanced GIS

Daniel_Winter_MapThe 2-day Advanced Course builds on the core GIS skills by introducing many of the more advanced techniques that can be used in GIS. The subject areas covered in the Advanced Course include: advanced creation and editing of spatial data; professional map production; complex spatial queries using selection, geoprocessing and spatial joins, and an introduction to raster-based spatial analysis techniques such as interpolation, density, topographical and hydrological analysis.

The Advanced course also examines the use of spatial analysis techniques in suitability, priority and opportunity mapping for conservation strategy development.

Like the Introduction Course, the Advanced Course also includes a number of case studies which illustrate the application of GIS in the environmental sector – these make the training relevant and ensure that trainees learn both the technical step-by-step methods for using GIS, but also develop their awareness of how GIS can be used.

View the flyer for the standard GIS for Ecology & Conservation Courses – Reading GIS short courses 2011

View the flyer for the GIS CaBA Courses – CaBA GIS Course Flyer 2014

Bespoke GIS Training: Masterclasses, Workshops & Surgeries

CaBADataToEvidenceWshpIn addition to our ‘standard’ training courses, we also offer individuals, organisations or partnerships in the environmental sector the opportunity to have bespoke GIS, data and evidence training tailored to their needs in the venue of their choice.

These sessions can be run as formal training courses (‘master-classes’), but they can also be run as GIS ‘surgeries’ for troubleshooting specific challenges that people have encountered or as workshops for exploring the ways that data and evidence can be accessed and used.

These courses also allow training to be more targeted at specific GIS methods or issues and are more conducive to more detailed exploration of the potential applications of GIS in a team or organisation’s specific work area or project.

Recent examples of these bespoke training workshops include the CaBA Data to Evidence Sessions held during the CaBA Training Conferences in 2014 and the first CaBA Data to Information Workshop held at the University of Reading, which was funded under the first year of the EA’s Catchment Partnership Fund.

This latter workshop was held to help disseminate learning and best practice from the teams involved with the Defra Pilot Catchments and Evidence & Measures Project. Find out more HERE.