The College of Sciences offers students a scientific education to meet the needs of the 21st century, allowing them to compete for a variety of careers in an increasingly complex and evolving world.

Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems

This degree is a two-year professional degree specifically designed to prepare students of GIS for post-secondary appointments in government or the private sector. Graduates of the MSGIS program acquire all the essential skills to assume management positions in business, government, and industry, or seek employment as specialists in other areas where geospatial expertise is needed.

Graduate students in GIS at Auburn University at Montgomery learn how to operate high-tech scientific equipment and computers to collect information and analyze data using programs designed by the world’s leading geospatial software providers. They also work with internationally recognized faculty members on research at home and abroad, and fill internships with federal, state, and local government as well as private industry.

Drs. Ha and Costa all advise graduate students in GIS.

Dr. Costa: Dr. Gabe Costa is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Sciences, and Coordinator of Environmental Sciences and GIS at AUM. His research is mainly focused in understanding the ecological and evolutionary drivers of variation in Biodiversity across the globe. Dr. Costa has worked with different groups of organisms such as amphibians, reptiles and mammals disentangling the roles of abiotic, biotic and evolutionary factors in explaining diversity patterns from local to global scales. Dr. Costa is also interested in using his findings to create instrumental knowledge that can support conservation decisions. By understanding what factors influence how biodiversity changes across space we might be able to quantify, predict, mitigate and possibly manage the growing negative impacts caused by human activities. Dr. Costa teaches Biostatistics, Species Distribution Modeling, Landscape Ecology, and Biogeography and Macroecology. His classes usually have a strong focus on analytical skills including learning to work in the R environment, GIS and spatial analysis. Dr. Costa research has reached a broad audience with over 60 peer reviewed articles published that collectively have been cited more than 2,400 times (Scholar page:; Lab page: Dr. Costa can be contacted at

Dr. Ha: Dr. Hoehun Ha is an Assistant Professor of Geography specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). His primary research interests focus on the linkages between socio-physical environment and human interactions, using GIS, and statistical methodologies. His research includes 1) the spatial modeling of chemical exposure and risk assessment, and the investigation of soil contamination with toxic substances in Anniston, Alabama. He also has worked on 2) conservation easement suitability modeling : a case study from South-East Michigan and 3) roadkill hot-spots modeling using a geographic socio-environmental niche-based approach: a case-study from 3 state highways in Central California. Furthermore, in his current research, he has developed 4) spatial models in public health - physical / socioeconomic based approach; a case study from U.S counties.
His teaching interests cover a wide range of geography courses including: Introduction to GIS, Advanced GIS, GIS in Environmental Modeling & Management, GIS in Public Health, Cartography, Geography of World Region, Human Geography, Spatial Statistics, and Earth Systems Science.
Dr. Ha's publications have appeared in numerous internationally reputable scholarly journals including: Environmental Science & Technology, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Transportation, Applied Geography, Ecological Informatics, High Altitude Medicine & Biology, International Journal of Environmental Health Research, and International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. He is a member of Association of American Geographers (AAG) and Applied Geography Conference (AGC) (Scholar page:; ResearchGate page: Dr. Ha can be contacted at

Career Possibilities
Jobs for those holding GIS certification are expected to grow by more than 20% over the next decade in the private and public sectors. Opportunities include:
Private Sector
State, local and federal agencies
Industrial and Public Relations
Monitor population growth and expansion
Develop predictive models to guide future infrastructure 

Geographic Information Systems Certificate

The Geographic Information Systems Certificate equips students to use technology (hardware and software) as well as data to unearth and explain relationships, patterns, entities and attributes related to geographic areas. As an ever-increasing number of professions are using technology to make data-driven decisions, the need for GIS-savvy technicians is growing rapidly.