Community Health Programs
University Credit  or CEUs or CECHs Opportunities

Image of people holding hands around the globe.GIS Program:
Mapping Your Community for Public Health Improvement

Dates TBD


Today it is becoming most important to group health-related information in an efficient manner so that trends and patterns can be easily reviewed and planning for next steps can take place. A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) approach provides such a process enabling community health promotion planning to take place in a more informed manner.


  • Registration Deadline: Thursday, June 30, 2011
  • Early Registration Fee: $235 (includes materials, use of individual computer while in the workshop, lunch each day and 2.1 CEUs) Received by Monday, April 18, 2011.
  • Regular Registration Fee: $250 after Monday, April 18, 2011

Workshop overview:
This three-day, inaugural workshop is designed to provide health and human service professionals and students with the opportunity to gain basic knowledge and usable skills in both internet and non-internet based GIS. This workshop utilizes ArcGIS 9.x software and provides the foundation for becoming a successful HealthMapper, ArcView®, ArcEditor™ or ArcInfo™ user through classroom teaching, facilitation and hands-on computer training using relevant community-based health topics.

  • During the first two days, participants will review and practice with ArcView® formats, while on day three the same process will be used with HealthMapper.
  •  The typical instructional process will start with a guided introductory session as participants are instructed in the easy-to-follow steps to take with their classroom computer, followed by practice with an example.
  •  Questions will be encouraged at any time.
  •  There also will be sufficient time for discussion prior to moving on to the next topic.

Who should attend:
Health and human service professionals and students who focus on population health and well-being. It is particularly designed for those who are new to ArcGIS and new to GIS in general. Participants should feel comfortable operating in a Windows environment.

Benefits of attending:

  • Opportunity to gain foundational skills in the use of both internet and non-internet based GIS in addressing community health issues.
  • Opportunity to gain basic GIS skills in just three days.
  • Cutting edge skill-set that is relevant to the interdisciplinary work that is being done by others throughout the nation, as evidenced by the current literature.
  • Opportunity to learn a new way to think about and display community health data.

Program Objectives:
Participants will:

  • Learn and practice basic GIS skills:
    •  Display feature and tabular data
    •  Work with geo-referenced spatial data
    •  Query features using logical expressions
    •  Find features using spatial relationships
    •  Edit spatial and attribute data
  •  Create associations between tabular and geographic data.
  •  Produce maps, reports, and graphs.
  •  Work with practical community health issues.

Credit Options
2.1 CEUs will be provided to all participants or one of the following options:

  •  One academic undergraduate credit* (additional tuition fees apply)
  •  One academic graduate credit* (additional tuition fees apply)
  •  Non-credit program for 2.1 CEUs or 18 Category 1 CECH units for Certified Health Education Specialist

*A $15 Registration Fee/semester and a $2/credit D2L (Desire2Learn) Fee is assessed to all undergraduate and graduate students each semester.

The tuition plateau does not apply to students enrolling in undergraduate or graduate credit courses through the  Office of Continuing Education and Extension.

Cancellation Policy:

Full refund less $25 processing fee before July 1 2011. No refunds on or after July 1. Substitutions will be accepted.

Registration implies permission for photos, publicity & inclusion in a participant list unless Continuing Education andExtension is notified in writing prior to the program.

Sponsored by: Community Health Programming Unit, Continuing Education and Extension

To register: Karen DeSchepper, 608.785.6508 or

Questions regarding program: Dan Duquette, 608.785.8161 or


Dan Duquette is currently a professor in the Department of Health Education and Health Promotion at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He has been with the department since 1984 and has taught courses in research methods, data analysis, and environmental health. In addition he has taught a variety of courses through Continuing Education and Extension and has worked to enhance the data analysis skills of the public health workforce. He has been working with a variety of GIS tools for the past six years employing them to better understanding public health issues and improve the health of individual communities. Duquette has numerous publications and presentations; has been the recipient of more than a million dollars in grants; was the UW-L nominee for the Board Regents Teaching Excellence Award in 1998; served has chair of the board of directors for the Midwest Division of the American Cancer Society and was a member of the ACS National Board of Directors.

Bethany A. Kies is currently a 2011 candidate in the Master’s of Public Health Program (MPH) in Community Health Education at the UW-La Crosse. Additionally, she holds an undergraduate degree in Community Health Education from UW-L, and has obtained Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) training from Western Technical College. Kies plans to pursue a Ph.D in public and community health from the Medical College of Wisconsin starting the fall of 2011. Her interest areas include teaching health education and health promotion, health disparities and the social determinants of health, and community-academic partnerships both locally and abroad. As an MPH candidate, Kies has had the opportunity to engage in two independent studies in geography with Professor Lin to gain a foundation in GIS applications for public health. In addition to internship experiences with a local health department and a healthcare system, in the past 10 years she has worked in a variety of public health and human services positions for various types of agencies, including a long term care facility, a homeless shelter, a public school and most notably at a non-profit organization as a service coordinator in the birth to three program for children with developmental delays. She has been a member of the La Crosse Healthy Living Collaboration since it’s inception.

Wen Lin is an assistant professor in the Geography and Earth Science Department at the UW-La Crosse. She joined the department in Fall 2009 after receiving her Ph.D. from the Geography Department at the UWMilwaukee. Her teaching and research interests include GIS, urban geography and environmental issues. In particular, she has taught GIS courses and instructed GIS labs since 2004. These GIS courses have attracted students not only from the geography program, but also from a range of other academic programs such as computer science and history at UW-Milwaukee and UW-L. Her main research includes investigating the ways in which GIS is being developed and utilized in a variety of contexts, such as within community organizations and local government agencies. She has a number of publications and awards resulting from these research experiences. She has recently started to examine GIS usage in public health issues, as reflected in a recent National Science Foundation grant proposal submission (in collaboration with Dan Duquette) on investigating children’s spatial knowledge of their trips to school experiences through a mixed-methods approach integrating interactive GIS mapping and interviews.

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