Applications of geographic information systems to marine conservation

Cohort: 2017, 2018

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4



Tools for marine conservation
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology


This module will cover the use of geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool for field biologists. It will enable the learners to store, manage, analyse and display data that has both spatial and attribute components. It will be taught using ArcGIS and will be 100% practial and continuous assessment


Components and application of a Geographic Information System
Hardware, software, data sources

Practical examples of GIS in marine research, policy and resource management

Co-ordinate systems, transformations, projections and scale
Difference between projected and geographic data
Global and national co-ordinate systems
Transformations between projection systems

Geographic and attribute data, data management and retrieval
File formats
Raster and vector data
Attribute data
Database management and queries
Combining location and attribute data

Creating & obtaining spatial data
Data sources
Data input

Display, analysis and producing GIS outputs
Spatial joins
Layer algebra
Mapping outputs


This module aims to develop the GIS knowledge and skills of learners. Some will have little or no GIS expertise, others will have some or considerable expertise. The instruction and examples are designed to ensure that all participants can improve their knowedge, experience and skills in the use of GIS.


Explain the components of a GIS and demonstrate an understanding of its application

Source, store and manipulate a broad range of data types within a Geographic Information System

Analyse and interpret data using a Geographic Information System

Create outputs pertinent to the application of Geographic Information Systems in line with their needs

Examine advanced GIS data and discern the appropriate presentation of such data

Demonstrate the ability to self direct learning in the application of GIS


An introduction to using GIS in marine biology (2013). Colin D MacLeod, Pictish Beast Publications, Glasgow.

Module materials placed on moodle to include:


The module is 100% CA. Students are required to demonstrate critical thinking, judgement and technical ability in the application of GIS in marine research or resource management.

This is achieved through assignments that evaluate technical ability and scenarios where students are presented with research questions, they must source appropriate data, choose appropriate analyses and display techniques and finally interpret the results of their work.

Assessments will be designed to determine the students' ability to demonstrate that they have attained the learning outcomes appropriate to an MSc module

Involved teachers

Dr Ian O'Connor

Contact hours




39 hours of computer practicals