CE394K: GIS in Water Resources

Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Spring Semester, 1998

Course Objectives
Term Project Requirements
Course Outline

Term Projects

Final Exam 

Class Exercises:
1. Introduction to ArcView
2. Digital watershed delineation and HECPREPRO
3. Map Projections
4. Building a Watershed Base Map
5. Working with Statsgo Soils and Land Use Data
6. Nonpoint source pollution in the Mission Basin
7. Mapping environmental data in a relational database

Making your Home Page

Unique Number: 13630

Meeting time/place: TTh 11:00 - 12:30 ECJ 1.214

Instructor: David R. Maidment: phone 471-4620 or 471-0065; maidment@mail.utexas.edu

Office hours in ECJ 8.602: TTh 3:30 5:00 p.m. (or by appointment)

Textbook: Understanding GIS: the Arc/Info Method, produced by the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Redlands CA 92373, Tel: (909) 793-2853. This book can be ordered through Internet at http://www.esri.com under "Shop Online: Books". There are different versions of this book for DOS and Windows 3.1 and for Unix and Windows NT versions of  Arc/Info. You should get the Unix and Windows NT version. Handout notes and readings on internet will also be provided by the instructor.

Homework: The homework in this course will be mostly computer exercises. I expect you to turn in the output of your exercise and a suffiiciently good explanation of what you have done that I can follow your output. If I receive essentially identical solutions from two or more individuals such that it appears it was done in a group and there was really only one unique solution, the credit this solution would have received will be divided among the people submitting the essentially identical solutions. 

Course Objectives:

(1) T0 teach the principles and operation of geographic information systems, focusing in particular on ArcView and its Spatial Analyst extension.

(2) To show how spatial hydrologic modeling can be done by developing a digital representation of the environment in the GIS, then adding to that functions simulating the hydrologic processes.

(3) To develop individual experience in the use of GIS in Water Resources through execution of a term project, and presenting it both orally and written form in html on the world wide web.


Students will be evaluated based on class participation, homework assignments, a midterm exam, a term project, an in-class presentation of the student's term project and a final exam. A breakdown of the evaluation process is provided below:

Homework: 20%
Term Project:
    Written report: 30%
    Oral presentation: 10%
Midterm Exam: 20%
Final Exam: 20%

Letter grades will be based on the weighted average specified above and assigned as follows:

There will be no make-up exams or incomplete grades in this course. I reserve the right to change the date of a quiz with notice in advance.


Midterm Exam: Thursday, March 5(in class)

Final Exam: Wednesday, May 13 (2 to 5p.m. - room to be announced)

Special Notes:

Course/Instructor Evaluation Plan: Course/Instructor evaluation forms will be distributed during one of the final two lecture periods. A student within the class will be asked to distribute and collect the evaluation forms, and to return them to the Department of Civil Engineering office on the 4th floor of ECJ. I also encourage students to speak to me during the course of the semester, and are open to suggestions related to the course.

"The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4241 TDD"

Term project

The purposes of the term project are:

(1) to enable you to explore in-depth some aspect of the subject of personal interest to you and to develop experience in the use of technology to solve that problem..

(2) to provide experience in the formulation, execution and presentation of original research, including the proper documentation of a GIS project.

(3) to produce a report in html on the world wide web that will be informative to you and to your classmates.

The steps in carrying out the project are:

(1) Prepare a 1-page prposal in html on your website by Thurs Feb 12 specifying the objective of your project and outlining how you plan to go about executing it. Notify the instructors by email that your proposal is available and you will receive a response by email containing an assessment of the scope of work that you propose. After making any revisions in your proposal that seem necessary in the light of this assessment, this proposal defines the scope of your term project.

(2) Present a report orally in class and have a progress report presented on your web page by Thurs Mar 24. You are expected to make some progress by mid-semester but the main effort on your term project will come after Spring Break once you've learned more about the methods in the course.

(3) Present a final report orally in class near the end of the semester (you will have about 12 minutes for your presentation) and present your term paper in html on your web page by the last day of classes (May 7). The written report will normally be about 15-20 pages long. It will include any plots and maps you made as a result of doing your project. You can see term papers done by students in the GIS course in Spring 1997 in the GIS Term Paper Library.

If you would like to work in a group to pursue a term project, that is fine, but you must carry out a particular section of the project on which you will present your oral and written report.

Course Computer Environment

The software used for the exercises will be the ArcView and Arc/Info GIS systems running either on Windows NT or on Unix workstations in our Learning Resource Center. You may want to get a magnetic card so that you can enter the laboratory in the evenings or on weekends.

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