Geoprocessing methods for ecological applications - QGIS for PhD students

Responsible person
Dr. Robert Nuske
9 h attendance time
21 h self-study time
14th, 16th and 18th March 2022

9:15 till 12:30
Type of Examination
Written presentation; to be submitted untill 18th April 2022
CIP room I
Büsgenweg 4
37077 Göttingen
Number of students
fully booked
The workshop is organised in cooperation with the Research Training Group 2300. It is open for up to 7 GFA members.

Location is very important not only in real estate, but also in everyday life and research. All Information is becoming increasingly spatial, allowing you or your sample plots to be linked to information from other sources such as elevation above sea level, soil type, air temperature, satellite imagery, or average household income. Geographic information systems (GIS) help answer questions like: Where is the largest contiguous forest in Lower Saxony? How far is my sample plot from the nearest road, stream, or forest edge? What is the average precipitation during the growing season based on the three nearest climate stations?

The course introduces the underlying principles and methods of Geographic Information Systems. It explores the processes involved in acquiring, storing, manipulating, analyzing, and presenting geographic data in a GIS. The course includes lectures, hands-on exercises, and assignments. We will use QGIS (also known as Quantum GIS), a user-friendly open source GIS software that is already widely used in both academic and commercial organizations. The course is designed for those who have no GIS experience as well as those who are familiar with using a GIS but want to learn how to use QGIS.

The course is divided into three parts.

The first part covers the concept and basics of GIS including projections and coordinate reference systems. QGIS, its user interface and plugin system will be introduced as well as QGIS projects and data management. We will look at loading, visualization, and publication-ready presentation of geographic data such as study sites (map making).

The focus in the second part is on the two basic data models and geoprocessing. We will look at the typical use of raster and vector data, their advantages and disadvantages, and common data formats. We will edit vector data based on satellite imagery and work with raster data. The planning and execution of geoprocessing workflows will be explored, taking into account the processing framework of QGIS.

The last part is dedicated to slightly advanced tasks such as querying geodatabases, automating repetitive tasks using QGIS Model Builder and scripting, and interfacing with R statistical software.

Examination requirements: Written presentation of an own research project, which addresses in particular the choice of appropriate geoprocessing methods depending on data properties and investigation objectives. The report has to be handed in until 18.04.2022.

Cancellation policy:

Your registration for courses and workshops offered by the GFA is binding. If you want to cancel your registration later than three weeks prior to the workshop start date, you have to provide a physician's note. A late deregistration without a reason for illness is only possible with the consent of the first supervisor. If non of these two conditions is met, you will be barred from registering for GFA courses for the period of one year.
Please be aware that with a late deregistration you block seats for other PhD students, which otherwise could have taken part in the workshop.

Absence policy

To earn credits for a workshop/course, you must not miss more than 10% of total contact hours. In most cases, this will be less than a day. If it is inevitable that you miss more than a whole day, please notify us well in advance (at least one week).