Geospatial Information Science (GISC) Minor

Discover why space matters.

Lidar Landscape image

Why take a GISC Minor at UBC Okanagan?

Learn how human-environment relationships are influenced by their spatial context and why spatial arrangements are critical to understanding how ecosystems, cities, and social interactions work.

Career Possibilities

Adding a GISC Minor to your degree greatly enhances your prospects for employment by demonstrating technical ability and familiarity with how to manipulate, analyse, and visualize geographic data sets to solve real-world problems. Acquired GISC skills are transferable to a broad range of professions, such as consulting, environmental assessment, mining and more.

Research Participation

Our close-knit campus allows you to work with professors and fellow students in an intimate and friendly environment that is conducive to hands-on learning. Current research projects focus on: remotely-sensed imagery (e.g. LIDAR) to assess wildfire risk in urban interface zones; disappearing wetlands; wildlife movement; and the power of citizen science.

Experiential Learning

Geospatial information science is rich with a variety of experiential learning opportunities because it involves finding and mining data from disparate sources and mapping them for the purpose of solving real-world problems. Many instructors have private-sector experience, and classroom exercises involve team-work to develop project management skills, beginning with problem definition and formulation through to delivery of project reports and presentations.

Co-op Experience

Co-op placements based on your Major help you gain professional experience that is important to building a resumé, receiving certification from professional organizations, expanding your network of contacts, and it helps to pay for tuition! The GISC Minor gives you an additional skillset that co-op employers value.


The GISC Minor is a value-added credential that is complementary to your BSc or BA degree, designed to enrich your learning experience, expand your knowledge, and provide essential technical literacy skills. The interdisciplinary nature of the Minor exposes you to ways of thinking about problems and structuring solutions that may be different from what you might be exposed to in your Major, whether it be Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geography, Computer Science, or any other discipline that involves geospatial data and complex relationships. The program concentrates on developing practical skills that can be applied in a variety of professional or academic settings, while also providing the conceptual underpinnings of geospatial information science that will help you to appreciate why things are the way they are on Earth’s surface.


UBC Okanagan’s GISC Minor draws from a range of subject areas to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on geospatial relations. Three core courses (GISC 380/381/480) taken sequentially provide the foundational concepts and skills, while a series of seven additional electives from approved subject areas allow you to tailor your program to suit your interests and needs.

Career Options

The GISC Minor demonstrates to potential employers that you have useful technical skills beyond your disciplinary major, and that you are spatially literate. Upon completion, you will be able to create geospatially informed communication tools that help to convey important messages to clients and government agencies.

Potential Occupations

  • GIS Data Analyst
  • Remote Sensing Specialist
  • Environmental Professional
  • Geoscientist
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • Environmental and Civil Engineer

Potential Employers

  • Local, regional, provincial, and federal government agencies
  • Consulting companies
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • First Nations governments and organizations
  • Universities, Colleges, and Research Institutions
  • Health and Epidemiology

Mathieu Bourbonnais, UBC Professor


How an interest in GIS changed the course of Mathieu Bourbonnais’ life.


Mathieu Bourbonnais


Learn more about BSc and BA degrees in earth & environmental sciences from UBC Okanagan.