Environmental Remote Sensing Certificate

The environmental remote sensing certificate provides cutting-edge skills in remote sensing science, digital image processing, and big data visualization. Emphasis is placed on applications of remote sensing technology in environmental planning, sustainable development, climate change adaption, urban resiliency planning, and natural resource management. 


You will learn practical applications of geospatial technologies and develop working competency in remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) software, such as ERDAS Imagine, eCognition, and ESRI ArcGIS.

Students will complete a minimum of 12 credit hours to receive certification. Up to six credits can be transferred from another institution (subject to course content approval).

REQUIRED COURSE (6 credits):

  • GPY 370 - Introduction to Remote Sensing    Credits: 3
  • GPY 470 - Digital Image Processing   Credits: 3

ELECTIVES (take any two of the following):

  • CIS 160 - Programming with Visual Basic Credits: 3
  • CIS 162 - Computer Science I Credits: 4
  • CIS 233 - Concepts of Database Systems Credits: 3
  • GEO 425 - GIS Applications in Geology Credits: 3
  • GPY 307 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems Credits: 3
  • GPY 365 - GIS for Economic and Business Decision-Making Credits: 3
  • GPY 385 - GIS in Urban and Regional Analysis Credits: 3
  • GPY 407 - Advanced GIS Credits: 4
  • NRM 250 - Resource Measurement and Maps Credits: 3
  • NRM 395 - GIS Applications in Resource Management Credits: 3
  • NRM 450 - Applied Spatial Analysis of Natural Resources Credits: 3


Alumni have found rewarding careers such as:

  • Aerial photo interpretation
  • Big data visualization
  • Digital image processing
  • Environmental resource management
  • Geospatial intelligence
  • Land use mapping
  • Satellite imagery analysis
  • Urban and regional planning

Read about successful alumni at www.gvsu.edu/geography/alumni-success-stories-34.htm/.


  • An emerging field. Geospatial technology is one of the most important emerging fields in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Marketability. Remote sensing competency offers top jobs in a wide variety of sectors.
  • A competitive edge. Studying geospatial technologies will give students an edge over peers in the current job market.
  • Practical application. You will learn practical skills that will benefit your future career.
  • Flexibility. You can attend full- or part-time. Any major combined with this certificate creates a new hybrid skill set.
  • Affordability. Get an extra credential on your official transcript with little to no additional cost.

For more information visit the GVSU Course Catalog.


Page last modified June 17, 2021