Gordon Longsworth

B.A. College of the Atlantic
M.R.P. Planning, University of Pennsylvania
Course areas: geographic information systems, land use planning

Mr. Longsworth has 23 years experience developing and teaching Geographic Information Systems. He has held the position of GIS Laboratory Director since 1993. Mr. Longsworth was introduced to GIS as an undergraduate at College of the Atlantic and was lead student in the establishment of the GIS Laboratory in1988. Since then, he has supervised and collaborated on numerous projects for federal, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, universities, companies and individuals. He enjoys the challenge of tackling projects from all academic disciplines. Gordon also does private consulting which enables him to work on an even broader range of projects and has a small business where he builds light camping trailers for motorcycles and small cars. Notable achievements are a Special Achievement Award in GIS from ESRI, Inc.on behalf of the college. He has had maps selected for publication in the prestigious, annual ESRI Map Book. His students have gone on to earn advanced degrees, win awards, hold key positions, become teachers and start businesses. Gordons strengths are in teaching COA students applied ways of using GIS to suit their particular needs and interests. He earned a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic in 1991 and a Master of Regional Planning, with awards, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 where he studied under environmental planning pioneer Ian McHarg. Mr. McHarg was also a long time friend of COA and inspired founding trustees in the ways of Human Ecology. Gordons passion is still about sending his students off into the real world with the best tools and education possible to tackle the many challenges that face them.

Courses Taught

HS2020Geographic Information Systems I: Foundations & Applications

Ever-rising numbers of people and their impact on the Earth's finite resources could lead to disaster, not only for wildlife and ecosystems but also for human populations. As researchers gather and publish more data, GIS becomes vital to graphically revealing the inter-relationships between human actions and environmental degradation. Much of what threatens the earth and its inhabitants is placed-based. Solutions require tools to help visualize these places and prescribe solutions.  This is what GIS is about. Built on digital mapping, geography, databases, spatial analysis, and cartography, GIS works as a system to enable people to better work together using the best information possible. For these reasons, some level of competency is often expected for entry into many graduate programs and jobs, particularly in natural resources, planning and policy, and human studies. The flow of this course has two tracts, technical and applied. The course begins with training in the basics of the technology. Then, skills are applied to projects that address real-world issues. Project work composes the majority of course work and each student has the opportunity to develop their own project. Because GIS provides tools to help address many kinds of issues, GIS lends itself well to the theory of thinking globally and acting locally. Projects often utilize the extensive data library for the Acadia region developed by students since the lab was founded in 1988. The GIS Lab acts as a service provider to outside organizations and students can tap into the resources of a broad network of groups and individuals working towards a more sustainable future. Course evaluations are partially based on the on-time completion of exercises and problem sets. Most of the evaluation is based on critique of student independent final project work and related documentation.

Level:  Introductory/Intermediate,   Pre-requisites: Basic computer literacy.  Class Limit: 8.  Lab Fee: $75.

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