Live Online Course – An Introduction To Using GIS/QGIS In Biological Research

***Date Changed***

New Live Online Training Course – An Introduction To Using GIS/QGIS In Biological Research, 20th to 23rd March 2023

GIS In Ecology will be holding a new online training course on using GIS in biological research between the 20th to 23rd of March 2023 (please note these dates have been changed from the original dates for this course). It will be taught by Dr Colin D. MacLeod, the author of GIS For Biologists: A Practical Introduction For Undergraduates (Pictish Beast Publications), and will provide an introduction to using GIS in a wide variety of biological research situations ranging from the basics of making maps through to studying the spread of diseases and creating maps of species biodiversity. It will consist of a series of background sessions on using GIS mixed in with practical sessions where you will work directly with GIS software to complete various tasks which biological researchers commonly need to be able to do.

This course will be held using the Zoom video-conferencing platform. It will consist of four three-hour sessions, and one session will need to be completed each day. However, you will have a choice of completing it between 10:00 and 13:00 UK Time (primarily for those living in Europe, Asia and Africa) or 19:00 to 22:00 UK Time (primarily for those living in North and South America) .This choice of time slots for each session allows participants from as wide a range of time zones to participate in the course.

Each three hour session will consist of a background talk covering a specific topic, followed by practical exercises based on instructions from one of our workbooks. While you are encouraged to remain online during the practical sessions, you can choose to go off-line as you work though the exercises (or if you need to take a break). However, if you have any questions, the course instructor will be available for you to ask any questions you wish at any point.

This course will primarily be based around QGIS (also known as Quantum GIS), which provides a user-friendly, open-source, free alternative to commercial GIS software packages, and it is becoming increasingly widely used in both academic and commercial organisations As a result, it is aimed at both those with no GIS experience, but wish to learn how to to do GIS with QGIS, and also those who are familiar with using commercial GIS software, such as ArcGIS, but who wish to learn how to use QGIS as an alternative. However, this course is taught using software-independent approach, and it is also open to those who wish to learn how to use ArcGIS to do biological GIS.

When you attend this course you will receive a free copy of GIS For Biologists: A Practical Introduction for Undergraduates as the practical exercises in that course are based on the ones contained in that book. NOTE: If you wish to use ArcGIS software for this course, alternative materials will be provided for the practical sessions.

Attendance will be limited to a maximum of 24 people. The fees for this course are GBP 295 per person (with a discounted rate of GBP 245 for students, the unwaged and those working for registered charities). To book a place, click on the button below to pay the course fees with a credit/debit card. For more information, or if you would prefer to pay using another method (such as a bank transfer), contact

Please Note: If you choose to pay using the button below, please do not make any arrangements regarding your participation until you have received an email from us confirming your booking for a specific course (this may take a couple of days, depending on how busy we are).

Fee Options

At the end of the course, all attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and completion. Each certificate is embossed with the GIS In Ecology official stamp to prevent its fraudulent reproduction. In addition, each certificate has its own unique identification number that we will record, along with your name, meaning that we can verify the authenticity of the certificates we issue (and the course you have completed) on request.

To attend this course, you must have your own laptop computer with an appropriate GIS software package installed on it. Our recommended GIS software for this course is the freely available QGIS software. For those wishing to use QGIS, you will need to download and install QGIS 2.8.3 (for those using Windows computers) or 2.8.4 (for those using Macs) rather than the latest version. The best way to download the correct version of QGIS for this course is to use the links on our GIS For Biologists webpage, which can be found here. If you would prefer to use ESRI’s ArcGIS software instead of GIS, this can be accommodated, but please let us know at the time of booking that this is the option you would like to use.