AGSC 140 Course Outline
State University of New York at Morrisville

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

Course Outline for AGSC 140



Fall 2000


Dr. Walid H. Shayya

Instructor Contact Information


AGSC 140 is the second 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 builds on the basic knowledge acquired by the student in AGSC 130 on global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS). Students enrolled in AGSC 140 will pursue projects that involve the use of GPS and ArcView GIS software. Students will work in groups of 3 to 4 and are expected to present a team report at the end of the course and make presentations in the class using PowerPoint. Each student will also acquire some working knowledge with spreadsheet and database software to complement the computer tools discussed in both AGSC 130 and AGSC 140.


  1. To provide the student with a learning experience on proposing, designing, and successfully completing a spatially-distributed data project involving the integrated use of GPS and GIS software.
  2. 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..).
  3. To acquaint the student with the use of computer technology in interpreting research data and making presentations.
  4. To get the student acquainted with using the laptop in his/her courses.


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.). Given the nature of the course, students are encouraged to see the instructor on regular basis, during and even outside the scheduled office hours. 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.


This is a one-credit hour course. The class is scheduled on Tuesdays, 6:00 to 6:50 p.m., Room 201, Charlton Hall. Initially, the contact hour will be used for lecture. Eventually the scheduled hour will be used for group discussions and class presentations.


There is no textbook to buy. Some reading material will either be made available on-line or placed on reserve at the library. However, students enrolled in AGSC 140 will have to be actively involved in acquiring pertinent knowledge from the on-line resources available on web. 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). 




The distribution of grades in this course will be based on the A-F College 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%).



Lecture Topic*

1 Introduction to AGSC140
2 Review of GPS
3 Review of DGPS and Forming Project Teams
4 GPS Equipment and Exercise (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)
5 Field Data Collection (2-hour exercise)
6 Installing ArcView and Quick Introduction to GIS
7 Review of GIS (GIS.COM, USGS)
8 Using ArcView GIS I
9 Using ArcView GIS II
10 Field Data Collection
11 GIS ArcView Demonstration
12 GIS ArcView Extension Demonstration
13 Thanksgiving Recess (No class)
14 GIS Presentation Using PowerPoint and Group Discussion
15 Precision Farming and Course Evaluation
16 Project Presentations (Thursday - December 14) 
  Individual Team Member Critique Due Date: Friday - December 15
  Final Report Submission Due Date: 10:00 a.m. on Monday - 18 December

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