Enabling Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing in a graduate curriculum for Natural Resource Management: Case study of the COGS- BIOTROP relationship


Robert V. Maher -Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), Nova Scotia
Valerie Thomas – Department of Geography, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
Stephen Rawlinson – Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering,
University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick.


A three year relationship between the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Tropical Biology (BIOTROP), based in Bogor, Indonesia and the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), based in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Canada is discussed in the context of internationalizing geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) curriculum development. The COGS-BIOTROP relationship offers a model for extensible and flexible transnational co-operation in addressing educational needs in developing countries. The specific product is an M.Sc. in Information Technology for Natural Resources Management.

The case study presented in this paper illustrates the respective roles of BIOTROP and COGS in curriculum design, program delivery and program evaluation. Issues identified in the literature which merit discussion include cultural imperialism, content localization, student-teacher relationships, and academic equivalencies between developed and developing countries and assessment strategies. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for the next cycle of the program which encourages self-sufficiency in program delivery, joint research projects and long term technical support.

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