I am the program director for the “Geographic Information Systems in Belize: A Focus on Communities, Fieldwork and Service” course. Applications for the 2019 offering of the course are now closed due to overwhelming demand, but we will offer the program again in Summer 2020.
The Belize course runs for summer session A. We’ll spend a few days on campus pre-trip at UCF, then 10 days in Belize, then 10 days post-trip on campus at UCF. The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students of all majors. No previous GIS experience required. We are open to students from any college/university, not just University of Central Florida. The course also counts as an elective for both the Graduate and Undergraduate Certificate Programs at UCF. This course is an extension of a similar program I led at Georgia State University.
Check out this quick hype video of our 2016 UCF course. We expect to have a similar awesome research and learning experience in Belize in 2019 and beyond! This international community GIS experience is unlike any other study abroad program in the country. You’ll never regret it if you choose to join us for this incredible experience.
And check out this short video created by my graduate student, Adam Acker of Georgia State University, highlighting the course experience when I taught it at my previous university.
The course takes place throughout the nation of Belize. We visit such places as Belmopan, Hopkins VIllage, South Water Caye, Carrier Bow Caye, and other Barrier Reef Cayes. This course introduces students to the art and science of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), drones, and related geospatial technologies, geographic analysis, map communication, and geographic inquiry in an international setting. As part of the course, students will apply their geographic skills in a series of learning activities and projects with residents and organizations throughout Belize. In the course, students learn about the major components of Geographic Information Systems, including the hardware, software, people and data needed to make these systems useful, but with an applied international focus on themes of uneven development, agriculture, historical landscape interpretation, and the impacts of eco-tourism in Belize. Given that this is an international, study abroad experience in Belize, the class will provide students with numerous applied learning situations where they can use geographic and GIS-based knowledge for engagement in real world communities.