GeoProcessing Laboratory

The Mount Holyoke College GeoProcessing Lab is managed by Thomas Millette, Professor of Geography and Director of the GeoProcessing Laboratory; and Eugenio Marcano, GeoProcessing Lab Manager, GIS Specialist, and instructor in Geology and Geography. This dedicated computer facility offers training and research in Geospatial technologies:  Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, and Global Positioning System (GPS).

  • Through Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing, we can study processes on the Earth surface from satellite or aerial images. 
  • With GIS we can study digital maps and find relationships between geographic features, determine/predict changes in the landscape, find the best location for different activities, etc.

Our specialized geospatial analysis software includes: ArcGIS, Erdas Imagine, TerrSet, eCognition.

Independent Study, Summer Research, and Senior Thesis

Students and faculty from a variety of fields, including geography, including Africana studies, environmental studies, geology, international relations, and engineering carry out research and thesis work using Remote Sensing, GIS, and GPS techniques with the support of the GeoProcessing Lab. Students are welcome to explore these technologies for their projects. Faculty and staff are also welcome to discuss with us the use of these technologies in their classes or applications.

Courses and ArcGIS Training

In addition to these courses, students can take Independent Study courses to work on specific projects of their interest.

  • GEOG 205 - Mapping and Spatial Analysis (offered in the Spring semester) Prof. Millette
  • GEOG 210 - GIS for the Social Sciences (offered in the Fall semester), E. Marcano
  • GEOG 307 - Remote Sensing  (offered occasionally) Prof. Millette
  • GEOG 320 - Research with Geospatial Technologies (offered in Spring) Prof. Millette
  • GEOG 321 - Geographic Information Systems (offered occasionally), E. Marcano

ESRI Virtual Campus

If you are interested in learning to use the software suite ArcGIS you can train online at ESRI's Virtual Campus using the facilities of the GeoProcessing Lab. 

A number of online courses at ESRI E-Learning are available to our MHC community through the college's ArcGIS site license, managed by the GeoProcessing lab. (GPL)  These courses include datasets for exercises, quizzes, and a certificate at the end.  Make sure you have available the required software/hardware for each course. You are welcome to use the facilities of the GPL to practice/learn GIS. 

To request any of these courses send an email to the GPL manager, Eugenio Marcano. You will be given a new account, to access these courses, associated with our institutional account.  This account will stop working after your graduation unless other arrangements has been made.

You can browse through the available courses by exploring the ESRI catalog

Examples of student research

  • GIS Mapping HIV in South Africa (Joanna Brown '09)
  • Evaluation of Wooly Adelgid infestation using AIMS-1 imagery.  Results were presented in the Howard Hughes Student Symposium, and in GIS day poster (Mellisa Joyce '08, Issabelle Castillo '09, Caitlin Dickinson '10, Samantha Farrell '10).
  • Use of vans in the city of Holyoke to provide comprehensive transportation as well as mobile social services to city residents (Hillary Meckel '07)
  • Mapping of invasive plant species (Erin Coates '08)
  • Crab census in the coastal marsh of South Carolina (Christine Raczka '08)
Tracy Whelen

Explore Geography: The Tools for Exploration

Tracy Whelen '14: Geography has also allowed me the independence to chart a course through the projects that interested me.