SOCI 6332 GIS for Disaster Management


SOCI 6332 GIS for Disaster Management course which is offered in MA Disaster Studies program in Spring 2018. This course is designated as a service learning course.

Learning Objectives (LOs)

After completing the GIS for Disaster Management course, students will be able to:

LO 1.      Understand fundamental concepts of Geographic Information System (GIS) and effective use of available GIS tools in ArcGIS® software.

LO 2.      Understand the commonly accepted disaster management process which consists of preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery stages, and be able to apply GIS tools to effectively manage the entire process.

LO 3.      Identify challenges in applying GIS concepts and techniques to the disaster management process.

LO 4.      Understand current trends of GIS applications and their potential solutions to current challenges and problems in effectively managing disasters.

LO 5.      Experience application of GIS concepts and techniques to disaster management process in “real-life” situations.

Service Learning Objectives (SLOs)

SLO 1.    To apply GIS knowledge to creating online GIS maps and risks assessment in real-life situations (LO1, LO2, LO5).

SLO 2.    To utilize the ArcGIS skills in creating online GIS maps and risk assessment (LO1). 

SLO 3.    To understand difficulties and challenges in applying GIS knowledge to creating GIS maps at the selected community partner organizations (LO3).

SLO 4.    To understand how GIS knowledge could be applied to effectively manage disaster in preparedness, mitigation, and response and recovery stages at the partners’ organizations in real-life situations (LO2).

SLO 5.    To understand current trends of GIS application to disaster management and best-practices that could provide solutions to emerging issues at the partners’ organizations (LO5).


Course Activities

Week 1 (01/17/2019)

Welcome to GIS for Disaster Management! We had a productive kickoff meeting. Everyone was so excited to find out more in this course.

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Week 2 (01/24/2019)

Students worked on practical 2 which introduced them using ArcGIS Desktop and working with different map layers.

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Week 11 (03/21/2019)

Today, we had the first meeting after a week long Spring break.


Service-Learning at NOAA/NWS, Brownsville, TX

A service-learning trip was performed on March 31, 2019. Students learned how GIS technology was applied to the weather forecasting and how weather information were incorporated into disaster and emergency management process. The learning opportunities provide an eye opening for students how the two disciplines, meteorology and disaster & emergency management are tightly coupled in building disaster resiliency.


Lunch after the service-learning activities at the Rudy’s BBQ, Brownsville, TX


Students’ comments

  • Awesome class

  • Class was awesome!!!

  • Dr. Kyne cares about his students learning the material that is critical for their career. G.I.S can be a challenge but Dr. Kyne tries his best to get the information across.

  • Dr. Kyne is a wonderful professor. He is very knowledgeable in the area of Disaster Studies.

  • Great learning experience.

  • Incredible professor! Very knowledgeable and always available should we need help!

  • Overall exceptional educator with processes to allow for interpretation of all the material.

  • Thank you for two great semesters. I feel like I really did learn a lot from this class.

  • Very helpful and knowledgeable.

  • While GIS is a difficult program to learn, it is quite necessary for those seeking to work within the disaster management framework. With that being said, Dr. Kyne is an excellent professor and highly qualified to teach this course. He is very knowledgeable in the real life applications of GIS and allows his students to participate in their education by offering service learning opportunities. He is always available outside of class to answer questions and is overall an amazing professor!