Geography & Geographic Information Systems

Welcome to the GIS Department

Napa Valley College > Academics > Science Mathematics and Engineering > Geography & Geographic Information Systems


Dr. Richard Della Valle

Dr. Della Valle has a B.S. degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Science Queens College in New York, earned in 1970.  This was followed by a M.A. degree in Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the City University of New York in 1975, culminating with a doctorate in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 1980.  He is a member of many professional associations: Geochemical Society; Association of Engineering Geologists; National Water Well Association; Hazardous Materials Control Research Institute; Geological Society of America; National Association of Geology Teachers; American Geophysical Union; and the American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygienists.

His email is and his web page can be found here

Jeffrey P. Schaffer

Jeffrey P. Schaffer went to M.I.T. to continue his passion of yacht design, but they did only supertankers and warships, so he switched majors, and went to U.C. Berkeley obtaining a B.A. in Field Biology (1965), a Secondary Teachers Credential (1967), and an M.A. in Physical Geography (1969).  Between 1972 and 1988 he worked for Wilderness Press, writing a dozen mostly Sierran nature-oriented guidebooks, which collectively sold about a half million copies.  From 1990 onward he engaged in serious field work on Sierran uplift and glaciations, writing two major books on alpine geomorphology.  He has been part-time at NVC since 1994, and at 65 in 2008 he still does serious rock climbing (begun in 1963) and Sierran research.  He is a member of Geological Society of America, Northern California Geological Society, Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, and a number of environmental organizations.

Reg Parks

Reg Parks worked as a field epidemiologist for Contra Costa County Department of Public Health (DPH) from 1973 to 1977.  In 1980, Reg received a double Baccalaureate in Chemistry and Microbiology from California State University at Humboldt.  From 1989 to 1995, Reg worked directly with clinical teams and bioengineers on multi-center, international clinical trials.  Since 1995, Reg has been working with GIS, GPS, and terrestrial spatial measurement methods in the areas of agriculture, civil engineering and land surveying.  Currently, he is a faculty member in the SRJC Survey and Engineering Technology Program where he teaches methods courses in Satellite Based Land Surveying and Advanced GIS.  Additionally, he is the sole proprietor of a GIS consulting firm that focuses on Land Surveying and Civil Engineering support, Precision Agriculture and Agricultural Land Development.

Courses Offered:

World Regional Geography (GEOG 101)

The world's major geographic regions, including their major internal geographic features and their external relations with other regions.  Emphasis on understanding how the geographic systems of other areas differ from our own, and how geography relates to contemporary world problems.  Cultural practices, political, economic, and religious characteristics for each region are surveyed.  Focus is on place-name location.  CSU and UC transferrable.  3 units. 

Human Geography (GEOG 102)

Patterns of land use, settlement and movement developed by humans as a result of the interaction of cultural and geographical factors.  An analysis of the nature and variety of the human impact on the earth.  CSU and UC transferrable.  3 units.

Physical Geography (GEOG 110)

A basic geography course emphasizing physical elements of the human environment.  The course includes earth-sun relationships, maps, global time, land forms, oceans, soils, natural vegetation, weather, andf climatic regions of the world.  CSU and UC transferrable.  3 units.

California Geography (GEOG 114)

An in-depth look at the physical and cultural regions of California.  The emphasis is twofold: first on various processes that have created the state's landscapes, climates, and distribution of native plants, and second on how humans have utilized or impacted the state's resources.  Also studied are agriculture, water issues, energy, manufacturing, transportation, population, and cultural patterns.  CSU and UC transferrable.  3 units.

Geographic Information Systems & Science 1 (GEOG 120)

This course introduces the student to the rapidly expanding field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Science.  It addresses both theory and application and provides the student with a dynamic analytical framework within which temporal and spatial data and information is gathered, integrated, interpreted, and manipulated.  It emphasizes a conceptual appreciation of GIS and offers an opportunity to apply some of those concepts to contemporary geographical and planning issues.  CSU transferrable.  4 units.

Geographic Information Systems & Science 2 (GEOG 121)

This second course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Science further enhances the student's studies by adding extensions to their knowledge of computer-based techniques for storage, retrieval, analysis, and representation of spatially referenced data.  It emphasizes the applications of GIS technology to research problems such as natural hazard mapping, surface runoff, environmental impact assessments, business trends, and others.  Students are required to develop system models in their chosen field area.  Prerequisite: Successful completion of GEOG 120. CSU transferrable. 4 units.

Advanced Satellite Based Field Data Collection Methods (GEOG 131)

This course provides advanced training for students interested in a more rigorous grounding in field data collection methods using high-precision GPS measurement devices. Students will learn basic data collection and post processing methods employed in land surveying and civil engineering professions. Field data will be prepared for integration with a GIS project. Recommended preparation: GEOG 130. CSU transferrable. 4 units.

Geographic Information Systems (GEOG 300)

This 16-hour course provides hands-on experience and the functional overview necessary to display, edit, perform queries, perform analyses, construct and plot a map using ArcView. UC transferrable. 1 unit.