ISSR Summer Methodology Workshop | Introduction to GIS | Rebecca Seifried

GIS projection map of world, downloaded from UMass Amherst GIS Hub
Monday, July 15, 2024 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Integrative Learning Center N111 | UMass Amherst

This workshop will be offered in person on the UMass Amherst campus.

Description: This three-day (15-hour) in-person workshop (with lunch break) will introduce you to the basics of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) using QGIS, a free and open-source software platform.

GIS is a spatial analysis tool with wide-ranging applications, including navigation, unmanned aerial vehicle surveys, satellite remote sensing, data visualization, and location analytics. The content of this workshop is geared towards beginners with little to no experience with GIS, but people with an intermediate skill level are welcome to attend for a refresher on the core concepts or to learn how to use QGIS.

Topics covered include:

  • Geospatial data types and formats
  • Coordinate reference systems
  • Best practices for managing geospatial data
  • Installing QGIS software and adding plugins
  • Visualizing data in different ways
  • Finding and creating geospatial data
  • Conducting spatial analysis
  • Georeferencing historical maps
  • Crafting an aesthetically pleasing map

The workshop will be heavily participatory, with dedicated time for practicing using the software. Attendees should have a computer that meets the minimum hardware specifications for similar visualization software programs (see Adobe Photoshop or ArcGIS for examples). QGIS works on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines.

***Note: There is limited funding available on a first come first serve basis to pay half the registration fee  for UMass Amherst graduate and undergraduate students who wish to attend this workshop. If you are a UMass Amherst student and would like to register for this workshop, please contact Sue Falcetti instead of using the registration link.***

Instructor: Rebecca Seifried 

Rebecca Seifried joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2019 as the Geospatial Information LibrarianShe earned a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016 and went on to complete a two-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellowship in Europe. Broadly, her research applies geospatial technology to the study of archaeological landscapes in the eastern Mediterranean. She has published on least-cost analysis, viewshed analysis, and landscape archaeology in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Levant, and Hesperia, among others. At UMass, she is helping to georeference the Libraries’ collection of historical aerial photos, and she provides consultations and instruction to support GIS across the entire campus community.

Questions? For more information about this or any of the ISSR Summer Methodology Workshops, please contact ISSR's Director of Research Methods Programs, Jessica Pearlman (


Important: If you are registering for more than one workshop, please verify that all workshops are in your cart with the correct institutional and career status selected, for accurate pricing.

Five College Students and Faculty

  • Five College Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Postdocs:  $187.5/person
  • Five College Faculty & Staff:  $337.5/person

Non-Five College Students and Faculty

  • Non-Five College Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Postdocs:  $375/person
  • Non-Five College Faculty, Staff & Other Professionals:  $525/person

Registration note: The Five Colleges include: UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College. Faculty, students and staff from University of Massachusetts Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses and UMass Chan Medical School pay the five college rates. Registration closes for each workshop 2 full business days prior to the start date. If paying with departmental funds, contact Sue Falcetti (

Cancellation note: In cases where enrollment is 5 or less, we reserve the right to cancel the workshop.  In cases where the registrant cancels prior to the workshop, a full refund will be given with two weeks notice, and 50% refund will be given with one week notice.  We will not be able to refund in cases where registrant does not notify us of cancellation at least one week prior to the beginning date of the workshop.