Hello, my name is Jim Sloan. I teach three of our courses in this online Certificate and Master's programs: this course (Geography 897D), Geography 482: The Nature of Geographic Information, and Geography 484: GIS Database Development. I've been a member of the faculty in this program since January of 2003.

I started learning GIS in the early 90s because we wanted to put shaded relief imagery behind some of the thematic maps we were producing in the Deasy Geographics lab in the Department of Geography at Penn State. Shortly thereafter, I was teaching GIS in several contexts within the Department of Geography: a course built around the Esri Arc/INFO software (now called ArcGIS for Desktop) back when it was a command line interface, the graduate student section of the introductory GIS course, and a course based in Penn State's map library.

I also spent from 1998 through 2002 teaching GIS and cartography in the Department of Geography at the University of Florida. I am involved in creating and updating the content for not only this course but also for some of our other courses that are part of the Certificate and Masters in GIS programs.

When I can get away, I enjoy golf and fly fishing.

Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Maria Wherley

Maria Scalzi Wherley (she, her) is a Learning Designer and Writer-in-Residence with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience. Learn more about Maria to see what she has to say about online education.