Program Overview

The Geospatial Applications concentration within the Integrative Plant Science MPS focuses on the use of modern tools to geographically map and analyze the Earth and human societies. This concentration provides education in geospatial applications, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to develop data management and decision-making skills for a wide range of geographical data. 

Geospatial applications have many relevant and useful applications, such as:

  • Effective collection of data – such as soil data and seasonality of topography – can  help take the guess work out of agricultural planning
  • Mapping of areas, especially areas that are vulnerable to natural disasters, can help protect food supplies
  • Urban and regional planning

At Cornell, students have used geospatial applications to study a wide breadth of topics, such as:

  • Vegetation responses to drought conditions
  • Analyzing the influence of landscape context on the efficacy of sustainable agricultural practices in Kenya
  • Flood exposure due to poor infrastructure, and its relation to social vulnerability in Kolkata
  • Understanding bike sharing activity patterns of NYC Citi Bike

MPS Degree Requirements

The CALS MPS degree is a one-year, course-based program where students study the intricacies and in-depth questions of their field of study. Instead of a thesis or research project, MPS students complete a capstone project during their final semester. To understand this difference in greater detail, please visit our FAQ page. Students earning the MPS in Integrative Plant Science complete 30 credits of graduate level courses (5000+), with at least 20 of these credits earned through the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and at least 18 of these credits taken for letter grade. (Note that physical education courses and language courses do not count towards degree.)

The Integrative Plant Science Master of Professional Studies program is a STEM-designated degree with coursework requirements that differ slightly from other MPS programs at Cornell. 

Specific course requirements of the Integrative Plant Science MPS Degree are as follows:

  • Core Courses (13 credits minimum):
    • Professional Development (5 – 9 credits)
    • Quantitative Literacy (2 – 6 credits)
    • Capstone Project (2 – 6 credits)
  • Concentration Courses (12 credits minimum):
    • Courses specific to your concentration
  • Elective Courses (5 credits minimum)
    • Graduate level course you choose in consultation with your advisor.

Note: 2.5 GPA required for graduation.

Here are some of the courses you can take to fulfill the field core requirements. Courses are not necessarily offered every semester or every year. Refer to the Courses of Study website for details.

Professional Development: 5-9 credits

  • PLSCI 5050 Cultivating Community through Self-discovery and Skill Development (2 credits)
  • PADM 5431 Fundraising, Grantmaking, and Lobbying (1.5 credits)
  • NCC 5540 Managing and Leading Organizations (3 credits)
  • NBA 5690 Management Consulting Essentials (1.5 credits)
  • NBA 5670 Management Writing (1.5 credits) 
  • NBA 5640 The Business of Entrepreneurship (3 credits) 
  • NBA 5380 The Business Idea Factory (1.5 credits)
  • NBA 5150 Leadership Theory & Practice (3 credits)
  • NBA 5070 Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers (3 credits) 
  • ILRHR 6640 HR Research for Executive Decision-Making (3 credits) 
  • HADM 6130 Entrepreneurial Management (3 credits) 
  • GDEV 6820 Community Organizing and Development (3 credits) 
  • COMM 5660 Science Communication Workshop (1 credits) 
  • ALS 5211 Career Readiness: Engaged Learning for CALS Professional Master’s Students (1 credit)
  • AEM 6145 Business and Management Fundamentals for STEM Graduate Students (1.5 credits) 
  • AEM 5700 MPS Management Communication (1.5 credits)
  • AEM 5110 Design and Innovation (3 credits) 

Quantitative Literacy: 2-6 credits

  • STSCI 5200 Biological Stats 1 (4 credits) 
  • STSCI 5150 Introductory Statistics for Biology (4 credits) 
  • STSCI 5120 Intro to R Programming (2 credits)
  • SOC 6310 Qualitative Research Methods for Studying Science, Technology, and Medicine (3 credits)
  • SOC 6010 Statistics for Sociological Research (4 credits)
  • PUBPOL 6040 Qualitative, Survey, and Mixed Method Approaches to Policy Research (3 credits)
  • ILRST 6100 Statistical Methods I (4 credits)
  • GOVT 6019 Introduction to Probability and Applied Statistics (4 credits)
  • GDEV 6190 Quantitative Research Methods (4 credits)
  • ENTOM 6060 Applied Statistics: Biological Experiments in Practice (4 credits)
  • DEA 6560 Research Methods in Social Sciences (4 credits)
  • CRP 6201 Research Design and Qualitative Methods (3 credits) 
  • COMM 6820 Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits) 
  • CEE 5980 Decision Framing and Analytics (3 credits) 
  • BTRY 6010 Statistical Methods I (4 credits) 
  • BTRY 5090 Theory of Statistics (4 credits) 
  • BTRY 5010 Biological Statistics I (4 credits)
  • AEM 5605 Predictive Analytics for Business Strategy (2 credits) 
  • AEM 5510 Environmental Economics (3 credits) 
  • AEM 5225 Systems and Analytics in Accounting (3 credits) 

Capstone Project Courses: 2-6 credits

  • ALS 5900 Master of Professional Studies Project Development (1-5 credits)
  • ALS 5910 Master of Professional Studies Project Completion (1 credit)
  • VTPEH 6175 Introduction to GIS for Public Health (3 credits)
  • PUBPOL 6950 Spatial Demography (3 credits)
  • PLSCI 6250 Data-Model Fusion in Research (3 credits)
  • PLSCI 6200 Analysis of Spatial Data: A Case-Based Approach (3 credits)
  • PLSCI 5290 Remote Sensing and Modeling for Ecosystems (3 credits)
  • PLSCI 5200 Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • PLSCI 5140 Global Cropping Systems and Sustainable Development (3 credits)
  • NTRES 6260 Applied Conservation Ecology (3 credits)
  • CRP 5530 Land Use and Spatial Planning Methods (4 credits)
  • CRP 5080 Introduction to GIS for Planners (4 credits)
  • BIOEE 6550 Data Analysis in Ecology (3 credits)

Refer to the Courses of Study website for details.

Next steps

Deadline to apply: January 15*

*For regular Fall Semester start. Late applications may be accepted under exceptional circumstances.  Contact Tara Reed for more information: tln2 [at] cornell.edu (tln2[at]cornell[dot]edu).

Students and technician prepare a drone for info gathering flight.

Meet some of our Geospatial Applications faculty

Faculty spotlight

Ying Sun

Ying's research focuses on understanding fundamental processes governing interactions between agroecosystems and climate at various scales. She is working with a team of researchers using NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) to more accurately measure photosynthesis – with implications for creating more reliable estimation of crop productivity and global carbon uptake in the face of increasing climate change. “Our population and food demand growing. But we only have limited land and water resources. My goal is to provide sustainable solutions to increase food productivity while reducing negative impacts on the environment. Using this novel data set and state-of-the-art modeling tools, I feel confident about being able to help solve these systemic agricultural problems.”

Portrait of geospatial expert Ying Sun
Yu Jiang
Yu Jiang

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Cornell AgriTech

Yu Jiang
Agricultural robotics and artificial intelligence
Image processing
High throughput plant phenotyping
dan katz
Daniel Katz

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Daniel Katz
Plant ecology
Ecosystem services and disservices
Aerobiology
Johannes Lehmann
Johannes Lehmann

Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Professor

Department of Global Development

Johannes Lehmann
Soil biogeochemistry, fertility management, organic matter, and carbon and nutrient cycling from wastes
Soil carbon sequestration and biochar systems
Sustainable agriculture in the tropics
louis longchamps
Louis Longchamps

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Louis Longchamps
  • ll928 [at] cornell.edu
Farm data management
Farmer-centric on-farm experimentation
Precision agriculture
Andy McDonald
Andrew McDonald

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Associate Professor

Department of Global Development

Andrew McDonald
  • ajm9 [at] cornell.edu
Cropping systems ecology
Climate change adaptation and mitigation
Agricultural sustainability, food security, water resources, international agriculture, policy, and applied social sciences
David Rossiter
David Rossiter

Adjunct Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

David Rossiter
  • dgr2 [at] cornell.edu
Soil Survey
Geostatistics
Spatial modeling of the environment
Diana Sinton
Diana Sinton

Adjunct Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Diana Sinton
  • dss326 [at] cornell.edu
Geographic information science and systems and natural resources management
Integration of in social and cultural data in GIS and humanitarian mapping projects
Geospatial literacy and spatial thinking, GIS in Higher Education
Ying Sun
Ying Sun

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Ying Sun
Geospatial analysis and big data synthesis
Remote sensing
Canopy- to global-scale modeling
Harold van Es
Harold van Es

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Harold van Es
Soil health
Precision nitrogen management (Adapt-N)
Digital agriculture
Justine Vanden Heuvel
Justine Vanden Heuvel

Professor

Horticulture Section

School of Integrative Plant Science

Justine Vanden Heuvel
  • justine [at] cornell.edu
Sustainable viticulture production
Ecophysiological factors and their impact on fruit and wine composition
Computational tools for vineyard management
Peter Woodbury
Peter Woodbury

Senior Research Associate

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Peter Woodbury
Agricultural and forest ecosystems
Greenhouse gas emissions
Geospatial modeling, land use and environmental quality
Dominic Woolf
Dominic Woolf

Senior Research Associate

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Dominic Woolf
  • dw433 [at] cornell.edu
Soil carbon sequestration and climate-smart agriculture
Sustainable landscape management, agroforestry reforestration and restoration of degraded land
Biochar

Questions about Integrative Plant Science MPS? Contact us:

Bill Miller
Director of Graduate Studies
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-1799
Email: wbm8 [at] cornell.edu (wbm8[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Tara Reed
Program Coordinator
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-2131
Email: sips-mps [at] cornell.edu (sips-mps[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Marvin Pritts
Student Experience Coordinator
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-1778
Email: mpp3 [at] cornell.edu (mpp3[at]cornell[dot]edu)