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The Alaska GIS Team has posted updated training materials from their popular "GPS for Ologists" 8-hour Garmin Training course. This course is targeted for "Ologists" (biologists, archaeologists, or other resource professionals) who wish to use GPS as part of their field program. The course focuses on simple point and track collection for basic, low attribution GIS jobs using autonomous, non-differential Garmin Map76 receivers. By using 3 field scenarios, students transfer GIS data to/from ArcView 3.3 and DNRGarmin and navigate to fictitious transect and sample points. Emphasis is placed on good field and coordinate handling techniques and staying out of the datum tarpit.

Software used as part of the training include ArcView 3.3, AlaskaPak, DNRGarmin 4.4.2 and GPSPhotoLink. Materials including powerpoints, and handouts with step-by-step instructions can be modified in your region/park to satisfy your GIS requirements.

This training differentiates from a more complex Trimble mapping grade class used for industrial strength mapping applications. The data collected here is adequate for most point collection at NMAS standards from 1:24,000 to 1:12,000 scale. Digital attribution is extremely limited, but navigation, and simple GIS data transfer is the primary focus here. Many skeptics are surprised by end of class on the power of this simple, simple digitizing tool.