GIS refresher courses

Refresh your GIS skills, May 2021


Mapping and spatial data

Refresher - for those who have studied the basics before

May 2021

Social learning

Openly-licenced materials



These courses have ended

Upcoming learning opportunities are listed on our Courses page, or you can join our mail-list to stay informed about future courses, events and resources

You can still access the learning materials for self-study:

  1. Find and use free environmental data
  2. Combine GPS and field data

For a introductory GIS course for complete beginners, see the self-study learning materials from our November 2021 course

Aerial view of forested river gorge

Free part-time online GIS refresher courses with VerdantLearn, mid-May 2021

Find and use free environmental data

10-14 May 2021

Combine GPS and field data

17-20 May 2021

Deadline: 5pm UTC, Wednesday 05 May 2021 Spaces are limited to the first 20 applicants, and only a few remain!

Aerial view of meandering river running through lush grassland

What time commitment?

Each course requires 3-4 hours of effort spread over the 5 days.  Most exercises will be asynchronous, meaning that you can do the work at a time to suit you, aside from short video calls on Monday & Friday, offered at two different times (morning and afternoon UTC) to provide flexibility in when you join them


The learning materials will be available on our teaching website from the Friday before each course begins

Aerial view of motorway junction surrounded by housing and forested parkland

Is it right for me?

If you are a wildlife conservation professional or student who would like to refresh your GIS skills in handling and visualising spatial data, these courses are for you!  You can be based anywhere in the world, and you do not need to be currently employed


These refresher courses are not for complete beginners in GIS. You need to have:

  • Prior field experience in wildlife conservation and/or research
  • A basic level of familiarity with QGIS; i.e. be able to add new layers to a QGIS project and adjust their symbology (the way that features are drawn)
  • Access to a laptop or desktop computer with QGIS installed on it
  • A good enough internet connection to join video calls
  • 3-4 hours of free time to work on exercises over the week of the course
  • Ideally, your own field data to work with, but example data will be provided for those who lack this

Aerial view of rocky coastline with sandy beach and blue sea

What will I get out of it?

After completing “Find and use free environmental data”, you will be able to:

  1. State the specific data you need, and describe how you intend to use it
  2. Identify and share relevant sources of geospatial data
  3. Evaluate the suitability of data sources
  4. Download and view your chosen data in QGIS
  5. Optional: Extract a subset by clipping or spatial join

After completing “Combine GPS and field data”, you will be able to:

  1. Import location data from a GPS file into QGIS
  2. Import a spreadsheet of field observations into QGIS
  3. Join your field data to the GPS locations
  4. isualise your field data
  5. Optional: Extract data from another spatial layer

Aerial view of patchwork of fields in an agricultural landscape

How do I apply?

Register for one or both refresher courses by completing the form below Refresher class sizes are limited 20, and only a few spaces remain!  We keep cohorts small as we test our new learning materials and teaching approach. You will be informed on Tuesday 4th May if you have successfully secured a place You can also choose to sign up for our mail-list to hear about future learning opportunities with VerdantLearn, and register your interest in our upcoming complete beginner course in June/July 2021