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

From Advanced Python Programming for GIS (GEOG 489), learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, solving complex geoprocessing tasks, and leveraging open source.Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Richard Alley

Dr. Richard Alley has been with us since the beginning, with one of our first OPEN courses - Geology of the National Parks. See what he has to say about the OPEN.ED effort over ten years later.