Geospatial Information Science and Technology

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The minor in Geospatial Information Science and Technology (GIST) has been approved by three departments at UC Berkeley. The Departments of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management in the College of Natural Resources, City and Regional Planning in the College of Environmental Design, and Geography in the College of Letters & Science offer minors in GIST which includes courses across campus. These programs serve students in geography and other social sciences, archaeology, environmental science, policy and management, city and regional planning, humanities, architecture, landscape architecture and environmental planning, civil and environmental engineering, public policy, and environmental public health. The minor is open to all majors at UC Berkeley.

Declaring the Minor

The Geospatial Information Science and Technology minor is available to any current UC Berkeley student in good academic standing. The deadline to complete this minor program is before your degree at UC Berkeley has posted. For more information, please visit

Visit Program Website

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

Completing the Geospatial Information Science and Technology Minor Program

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process. 
  2. Students must complete one required prerequisite and at least five upper division courses. At least three upper division courses must be selected from the restricted elective list.
  3. Students must check with their home college for overlap restrictions between majors and minors.
  4. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and the cumulative minor GPA must be 2.0 or higher.


Prerequisite, select one course from the following list. 1
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems [3]
An Introduction to Geospatial Technologies: Mapping, Space and Power [4]
Upper Division Courses - Restricted Elective Courses: Select at least 3 courses from the following list.
GIS and Environmental Science [3]
GIS and Environmental Spatial Data Analysis [4]
Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis [3]
Cartographic Representation [5]
Earth System Remote Sensing [3]
Geographic Information Analysis [4]
Geographic Information Science [4]
GIS and Environmental Spatial Data Analysis [4]
Geographic Information Science [4]
Upper Division Courses - Additional Elective Courses: Select final upper division courses from the lists above or below.
Undergraduate Courses
User Interface Design and Development [4]
Introduction to City Planning [4]
Field Geology and Digital Mapping [4]
Landscape Ecology [3]
Remote Sensing of the Environment [3]
Web Cartography [5]
Ecological Analysis [3]
Sustainable Landscapes and Cities [4]
Graduate Courses (Graduate courses may be used with the consent of instructor and with the completion of necessary prerequisites.)
Analytic and Research Methods for Planners: Introduction to GIS and City Planning [4]
Urban Informatics and Visualization [3]
Advanced Remote Sensing of Natural Resources [3]
Special Topics in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management [1-4] (Depends on topic, see minor advisor for details.)
Geographic Information Systems: Applications in Geographical Research [4]
Topics in Earth System Remote Sensing [3]
Quantitative Methods in Environmental Planning [3]
Applied Remote Sensing [3]
Geographic Information Science for Public and Environmental Health [4]
Special Topics in Public Policy [1-4] (Depends on topic, see minor advisor for details.)

For additional preparation, students might consider taking optional coursework involving programming such as COMP SCI 61A. Students should also consider attending Geoglunch Seminars. Go to for more information.


Faculty and Instructors

* Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Jeffrey Q. Chambers, Professor. Forests, climate change, trees, tropical forests, remote sensing, Drought.
Research Profile

Sharad Chari, Associate Professor. Geography as history of the present and as Earth/world-writing, social theory, political economy, development, agrarian studies, labor and work, racial/sexual capitalism, Black radical tradition, biopolitical struggle, oceanic humanities, photography, South Asia, South Africa, Indian Ocean .
Research Profile

John Chiang, Professor. Climate change, climate dynamics, ocean-atmosphere interactions, paleoclimate.
Research Profile

Kurt Cuffey, Professor. Continuum mechanics, climate, geomorphology, glaciers, glaciology, climate history, stable isotopes, geographical thought.
Research Profile

Brandi Summers, Associate Professor. Black geographies; urban geography; race and urban aesthetics; design, planning, and architecture; cultural politics of difference.
Research Profile

Clancy Wilmott, Associate Professor. Critical cartography; media geographies; critical GIS and data studies; cultural memory and landscape; politics of representation, textuality and visuality; digitalities, lived, made and inherited.
Research Profile

Desiree Fields, Associate Professor. Economic geography; urban theory; financialization; digital platforms and real estate; urban social movements; constructions of markets; geographical political economy; housing justice.
Research Profile

You-Tien Hsing, Professor. China, geography, political economy of development in East Asia, the process of international economic restructuring, cultural and institutional configuration in the processes of Taiwanese direct investment, growth in Chinese cities, business networks.
Research Profile

G. Mathias Kondolf, Professor. Ecological restoration, landscape architecture, environmental planning, fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, environmental geology, environmental impact assessment, riparian zone management.
Research Profile

Jake Kosek, Associate Professor. Cultural politics of nature and difference, cultural geography, science and technology studies, critical race theory, critical cartography, biopolitics, human and the non-human, and environmental politics.

Laurel G. Larsen, Associate Professor. Hydroecology, geomorphology, complex systems, restoration ecology, environmental modeling, wetlands, sediment transport, environmental fluid mechanics.
Research Profile

Jovan Scott Lewis, Associate Professor and Chair. Jamaica and the USA, constructions and infrastructures of poverty, inequality, race (blackness), economy, and the market.
Research Profile

Robert Rhew, Associate Professor. Geography, terrestrial-atmosphere exchange of trace gases, atmospheric chemistry and composition, halogen biogeochemistry, stratospheric ozone depletion issues, coastal salt marsh, chaparral, desert, tundra, boreal forest, grassland.
Research Profile

Nathan F. Sayre, Professor. Climate change, endangered species, rangelands, political ecology, pastoralism, ranching, environmental history, suburbanization, human-environment interactions, environmental geography, range science and management, Southwestern US, scale, community-based conservation.
Research Profile

David B. Wahl, Associate Adjunct Professor. Biogeography, regional focus: Central America, Western US, Pacific Islands .
Research Profile

Affiliated Faculty

Teresa Caldeira, Professor. Comparative urban studies, urbanization in the global south, social theory, ethnography, qualitative methodology.
Research Profile

Pheng Cheah, Professor. Nationalism, rhetoric, legal philosophy, feminism, 18th-20th century continental philosophy and contemporary critical theory, postcolonial theory and anglophone postcolonial literatures, cosmopolitanism and globalization, social and political thought.
Research Profile

Iryna Dronova, Assistant Professor.
Research Profile

N. Maggi Kelly, Professor.

Nancy L. Peluso, Professor. Political ecology/resource policy and politics/forests/agrarian change/property and access.
Research Profile

John Radke, Associate Professor. City and regional planning, landscape architecture and environmental planning, geographic information systems, database design and construction, spatial analysis, pattern recognition computational morphology.
Research Profile

Isha Ray, Associate Professor. Water and development, Gender, water and sanitation, technology and development, social science research methods .
Research Profile

Raka Ray, Professor. Feminist theory, gender, social movements, South and Southeast Asian studies, relations between dominant subaltern groups in India, women´_s movements in India.
Research Profile

Joel Wanek, Lecturer. Film, photo, sound.
Research Profile

Diana Negrin da Silva, Lecturer. Human and cultural geography, race and indigeneity, social movements, Latin America and California.
Research Profile

Melanie Feakins, Lecturer.

John Isom, Lecturer. Political ecology, historical ecology, the Tibetan Plateau, environmental governance and environmental human rights; cartographic theory, critical and counter cartographies, and maps as rhetorical and critical texts.
Research Profile

Seth R. Lunine, Lecturer. Cities and suburbs; economic geography; cultural landscapes; the S.F. Bay Area, California, and the American west.
Research Profile

Emeritus Faculty

Paul Groth, Professor Emeritus. Architecture, vernacular architecture, urban geography, suburban America, cultural landscape studies, housing (US) .
Research Profile

Gillian P. Hart, Professor Emerita. Political economy, social theory, critical human geography; Southern Africa, Southeast Asia.
Research Profile

Michael Johns, Professor Emeritus. Latin America, development, geography, culture of cities.
Research Profile

Beatriz Manz, Professor Emeritus. Latin America, human rights, peasantry, migrations, social movements, political conflict, Mayan communities in Guatemala, issues of memory, grief.
Research Profile

Norman Miller, Professor Emeritus. Hydroclimate modeling and assimilation and analysis, climate change impacts to sociology-economic and ecological sectors.
Research Profile

Harley Shaiken, Professor Emeritus. Mexico, labor, globalization, education, United States, geography, work organization, issues of economic and political integration in the Americas, information technology, skill.
Research Profile

Richard Walker, Professor Emeritus. Race, environment, urbanism, politics, geography, resources, economic geography, regional development, capitalism, cities, California, class.
Research Profile

Michael J. Watts, Professor Emeritus. Islam, development, Africa, social movements, political economy, political ecology, geography, South Asia, peasant societies, social and and cultural theory, US agriculture, Marxian political economy.
Research Profile

William E. Dietrich, Professor Emeritus. Morphology, earth and planetary sciences, geomorphology, evolution of landscapes, geomorphic transport laws, landscape evolution modeling, high resolution laser altimetry, cosmogenic nuclide analysis.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Geospatial Information Science and Technology Program

Visit Program Website

Undergraduate Advisor

Katie Owensby

260 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-7895

Back to Top