Kate Carlson, MS
Spatial Technology Consultant
U-Spatial, Research Computing, University of Minnesota

Peter Wiringa, MGIS
Computing Geospatial Analyst
U-Spatial, University of Minnesota

This course is an introduction to the concepts and uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Lecture topics include GIS data structures, sources of data, GIS tools, vendors and software, health-related GIS applications, and resources. Through a combination of presentations and hands-on exercises, participants will learn and apply basic GIS concepts and the fundamentals of spatial analysis. Hands-on exercises include spatial data display and query, map generation, field data collection, and simple spatial analysis using ArcGIS software. Students will be required to apply GIS concepts, assigned readings, and project development principles to create their own GIS project model.

This course is designed for participants who have not had experience working with GIS software or applications; however, participants should have some experience with spreadsheets.

This non-credit course meets with the academic course PubH 7253-101 as part of the 2024 Public Health Institute.

Enrollment for this course will open on February 22, 2024.

For more information: z.umn.edu/PHI.


Upon completion of this course participants will have experience:

  • accessing and using GIS data, including data collection, creation, and preparation;
  • designing thematic maps applying cartographic principles;
  • performing spatial analyses;
  • sharing maps, data, and results; and
  • designing a GIS project to investigate a public health research question.


The core competencies for public health professionals are a consensus set of skills identified by the Council on Linkages (CoL) between academia and public health practice as being desirable for the delivery of the essential public health services. The CoL competencies identified for this course are:

Domain 2:  Communicate and Manage Information

  • 2.1 Manage information related to an emergency
  • 2.4 Collect data according to protocol

The core competencies identified in the HRSA Council of Linkages model that apply to this course include:

 Analytic/Assessment Skills     Tier 2:

  • 1.2.  Determines quantitative and qualitative data and information needed for assessing the health of a community
  • 1.4. Uses information technology in accessing, collecting, analyzing, using, maintaining, and disseminating data and information
  • 1.10. Interprets quantitative and qualitative data

Registration & Cancellation

The registration fee for this course is $595. You will receive an email letter outlining program logistics two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Requests for refunds will be honored in full if a written cancellation request is received prior to the course start date. An administration fee of $50 will be charged to all refund requests received after the first day of class. The University of Minnesota School of Public Health (SPH) reserves the right to cancel any course. In the event of a course cancellation, registrants will receive a full refund of the program registration fee. SPH is not responsible for refund of travel or other costs incurred by registrants.

SPH will provide a certificate of attendance verifying 1.5 CEUs (15 contact hours) offered for this program. This course is eligible for 15 CPH recertification credits.

All courses are approved for CPH Recertification Credits by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

Contact & Questions


Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.
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