Morrisville State College

Dr. Walid H. Shayya
School of Agriculture and Natural Resouces



Course Outline for AGSC 130

COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN PRECISION FARMING I

 

Fall 2000


INSTRUCTOR:

Dr. Walid H. Shayya

Instructor Contact Information


GENERAL COURSE DESCRIPTION:

AGSC 130 is the first of two one-credit courses in the laptop curriculum of Agriculture Science involving the application of selective computer software in site-specific crop management. The course reviews the basics of global positioning systems (GPS) and provides an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS). Students enrolled in AGSC 130 will be introduced to these important systems through lectures. Students are expected to gain practical knowledge on using GPS and ArcView GIS software through assignments which they are expected to complete on their laptops. Software related to soil conservation, agronomy, and dairy will also be highlighted to provide the student with some understanding of additional computer tools normally utilized in precision farming.


COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  1. To provide the student with basic concepts and applications of GPS.
  2. To enable the student to gain an understanding of the concepts and applications of GIS.
  3. To provide the student with an understanding on how these tools work together and in conjunction with a variety of other spatial data (field collected data, air photos, digital photos, etc..).
  4. To acquaint the student with additional computer software generally used in precision farming.
  5. To acquaint the student with the use of computer technology in interpreting research data and making presentations.
  6. To get the student acquainted with using the laptop in his/her courses.

OFFICE HOURS:

The instructor's designated office hours are on Tuesday (2:00 to 4:00 p.m.), Wednesday (11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon), and Thursday (3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Students are also welcome to make appointments to see the instructor at other times. Students with disabilities who require accommodations to fully-participate in the course activities are requested to contact the instructor within the first two weeks of the semester.


CONTACT HOURS AND CLASS SCHEDULE:

This is a one-credit hour course. The class includes one contact hour per week for 15 weeks. The class is scheduled for Tuesdays, 5:00 to 5:50 p.m., Room 102, Marshall Hall.


TEXTBOOK(S):

There is no textbook to buy. Handouts and reading material will either be made available on-line or placed on reserve at the library. The following publications may serve as references:

ESRI. 1986-2000. Using ArcView GIS. Environmental Systems Research Institute, Redlands, California.

Hurn, J. 1989. GPS: A Guide to the Next Utility. Trimble Navigation, Sunnyvale, California.

Shayya, W.H. 2000. An Introduction to ArcView GIS (web tutorial). 


CLASS POLICIES:


GRADE COMPOSITION:


GRADING SCHEME:

The distribution of grades in this course will be based on the A-F University grading scheme. The letter grades correspond to the following percentage scale: A (90-100%), A- (87-89.9%), B+ (83-86.9%), B (80-82.9%), B- (77-79.9%), C+ (73-76.9%), C (70-72.9%), C- (67-69.9%), D+ (63-66.9%), D (60-62.9%), and F (<60%).


TENTATIVE OUTLINE OF TOPICS:

Week

Lecture Topic*

1 Introduction to AGSC130
2 Introduction to Windows
3 GPS Fundamentals
4 Differential GPS
5 GPS Demonstration and Practice (to download instructions for using the GPS system in 'pdf' format, click one of the following links:  Operating Rover, Operating Base Station, Processing GPS Data)
6 Progress Examination I (Oct. 3, 2000)
7 October Break (No class)
8 Installation of Software and Exam Review 
9 Introduction to GIS (GIS.COM, USGS)
10 Working with ArcView (projects, views, and themes)
11 Redefining Themes, Projections, and Theme Attributes
12 Labeling Features and Layouts
13 Progress Examination II (Nov. 21, 2000)
14 Creating Layouts (maps) and Practice
15 Precision Farming: An Overview
16 Wrap-up Lecture on Precision Farming and Class Evaluation
  Final Examination (9:00-10:50 a.m., Tuesday - 19 December, 161 Galbreath Hall)

*The topics and corresponding dates listed in the table above are tentative and may be subject to change during the semester.