cod. 14891

Academic year 2020/21
2° year of course - Second semester
- Gianmarco PARIS
Academic discipline
Ecologia (BIO/07)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
24 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The main aim of the course is to present the basic principles of Geographic Information Systems and their applications to the management and conservation of the environment and natural resources.


Basic knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

Course unit content

The course follows a full hands-on, skill-building approach: students are guided through the most important spatial analysis techniques by analyzing and solving problems of increasing complexity. In addition, two of the following case studies will be addressed:
- environmental suitability models for threatened species
- assessment of biomass production potential
- strategic environmental assessment
- local and regional spatial planning
- environmental sustainability and climate change: the European Copernicus Programme data for assessing climate change

Full programme


Introduction to GIS
- Definitions
- Applications
- Modeling the real world
- Structure of geospatial data

The QGIS Graphic User Interface (GUI)
- Zoom levels (in, out, full extent, layer extent)
- Selecting features
- Layer properties
- Project properties
- Layer’s attribute table
- Symbology of vector layers
- Working with tables
- Joins and relationships

- Buffering
- Clip
- Intersect
- Union
- Difference


Two of the following case studies will be addressed:
1. Wildlife management and conservation
1.1. Habitat Suitability Indices (HIS) to evaluate the species – area relationship
1.2. The application of an HSI to a chamois population in Northern Italy

2. Renewable energy sources: assessment of biomass production potential at regional scale
2.1. Evaluation of residues availability
2.2. Spatial analyses aimed at the identification of areas suitable to short rotation forestry practices
2.3. Quantitative assessment of the potential energy and the avoided CO2 emissions

6. Environmental sustainability and climate change
6.1 The European Copernicus Programme data for assessing climate change


Boffi, M. (2004). Scienza dell’informazione geografica, introduzione ai GIS. Zanichelli.

DeMers M. N. (2008). Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems, 4th Edition. John Wiley & Sons.

Scally R. (2006). GIS for Environmental Management. ESRI Press.

Teaching methods

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Assessment methods and criteria

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Other information

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