G&ES Computer Laboratory
of Geography & Environmental Studies has maintained a computer laboratory
for research and instruction in GIS and computer cartography since 1991. Approximately
10 networked computers and a complement of peripheral equipment, including
digitizing boards and large format plotters are available for student use.
Considerable use is made of the Internet.
A second computer laboratory was furnished in 2001, with four stations ready
for advanced use such as theses, various GIS projects, and collaboration. It
houses the department's s server, which is used for projects requiring interactive
access to databases.
Classes which use the laboratory extensively often are taught in a"Smart Classroom," which
has 20 networked workstations. The instructor may project images from on line
in almost any classroom on campus. Students are able to learn and practice
new software in the classroom and complete assignments in the G&ES laboratory,
and often from remote stations.
All students at Northeastern Illinois University are assigned an Internet
account free of charge with which they have on-line access from campus or remotely,
are offered free and generous e-mail services, and access to a campus-wide
discussion board, with special conferences for individual departments or interest
groups. Web hosting is provided free of charge. Student laboratories across
campus are open for student use. Many classrooms are internet-ready, and "smart
classrooms" across campus are outfitted with networked computers for student
use as well.
In addition to the technical equipment, students may also use the field equipment
for sampling and mapping. The department has a Global Positioning
System (GPS), several transits, a stream table, and equipment for coring trees
and sampling soils. It has specialized equipment for prairie burns and
natural area management. Students also may learn to use current meters for
velocity of flow and a variety of portable atmospheric monitering equipment. Other
tools are available, as needed, from other departments on campus.
Labs and Classrooms
Labs and classrooms used in G&ES classes have the standard features, in
additon to equipment and maps and large tables for group work and large-image