UK: The University of Greenwich launched the first MSc Landscape Ecology with GIS course in the UK in a bid to fill a growing skills gap. Landscape ecologists identify, monitor and map the spread of plants and movements of wildlife across landscapes.
Taking advantage of GIS technology, the landscape, plant and wildlife specialists can upload the information they have gathered in the field. These data are then shared and combined with information collated by other environmental and conservation experts working in the same or neighbouring areas of the country.
The input of skilled landscape ecologists is now seen as an essential part of all environmental, conservation and land management projects and many planning and land-use proposals.
The new University of Greenwich course, which will be available part-time or full-time from September 2012, has been designed in partnership with landscape management and ecological consultancies as well as professional organisations across the industry.
Dr Meredith Williams, Senior Lecturer in the University of Greenwich Centre for GIS & Remote Sensing, said that the course will be particularly popular with companies and consultancies looking for staff training opportunities as well as full time students from across the UK and overseas.
He added, “People working in the rapidly growing environmental, conservation and landscape management sector are increasingly required to understand and manage the wide range and quantity of data now available to them through GIS – but they don’t need to be GIS specialists. This new course brings together the established expertise from our MSc Environmental Conservation programme and our MSc GIS with Remote Sensing programme.”