This student workshop is part of the Future of Environmental Decisions Series.

Since 2008, ESA has worked with several partner organizations to ensure continental-scale science reaches the diverse faculty and students in the undergraduate and graduate community.

To learn more about this series, visit the program website at: www.esa.org/fed


This workshop is organized by:

Office of Education & Diversity Programs

Pre-Workshop Activities

Participants of the Scaling UP: Future of Environmental Decisions workshop will be asked to attend one Pre-Workshop Webinar. The purpose of the webinar was to introduce the students to the topics that would be discussed during the workshop, allow them to meet and interact with the faculty, and to properly install the QGIS program and related datasets.

You will need to do the following 3 things BEFORE the webinar.

All information provided below was sent out in an e-mail. Instructions for joining the webinar are provided in the e-mail as well.

  1. Confirm that your computer has the appropriate players for the rich media files in the meeting please check whether you have the players installed on your computer by going to https://esahq.webex.com/esahq/systemdiagnosis.php. This should be done at least 30 minutes before the meeting.
  2. Install QGIS & Download preparatory materials onto your computer (see instructions below)
  3. Download the QGIS user manual (http://docs.qgis.org/1.8/pdf/QGIS-1.8-UserGuide-en.pdf)

It is important that you download this onto the computer that you will be bringing to the workshop. If you do not have a computer to bring to the workshop, you should try to access a computer where you will be able to download this software and practice using these materials. It will be necessary for you to do this to complete the Pre-workshop assignments. For those of you who do not have a computer that you are able to bring to the workshop, there will be computers provided for you.

If you have any issues downloading this program, we can address them during the webinar.

Installing QGIS on your laptop computer

  1. Go to: http://hub.qgis.org/projects/quantum-gis/wiki/Download
  2. Identify the correct section for your operating system
    1. For Mac OS X you will be directed here, where each of the following 3 installation files are available: http://www.kyngchaos.com/software/qgis
      1. Install the GDAL Complete package
      2. Also install the NumPy package, which is downloaded with GDAL Complete
      3. Install the GSL framework package
      4. Install QGIS
    2. For Microsoft Windows you can download a standalone installer directly from the qgis.org.
  3. Once the software is installed, open QGIS via your Applications Folder (Mac) or Start menu (Windows).

Download preparatory materials

  1. Download ZIP files from: Data Folder on Google Drive (see link sent in e-mail)
  2. Next, extract the ZIP file onto your hard disk. Make sure the files are extracted in a manner that preserves the directory structure given below:
    • GIS Data
      • Raster
        • National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) for 2006
      • Vector
        • Potomac Watershed with subwatersheds
        • County boundary file with selected census data

Additional instructions for pre-workshop assignments will be sent out via e-mail.