FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All


  • NON-RESIDENT: £270

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken. Explore our current programme of courses here

Formerly known as Quantum GIS, QGIS is a freely available open-source Geographic Information System (GIS) of the highest quality. Thanks to a community of dedicated and talented developers and an active and vocal user community, QGIS matches the functionality and usability of commercial products like MapInfo and ArcGIS. An increasing number of ecologists and biological recorders are using this free GIS software to help them visualise, explore and analyse their spatial data. During this course, participants will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of GIS and using QGIS as a tool to explore biological records and ecological data. We explore, in some depth, options for obtaining and displaying basemap data (e.g. Ordnance Survey basemaps and Google & Bing aerial imagery), accessing other free value-added data, e.g. via web services, capturing spatial data including that generate by GPS smart-phone apps or hand-held GPS, registering and manipulating raster data, and producing maps for reports or for display on the web. We will explore advanced use of the FSC Tom.bio Productivity Tools plugin for QGIS and introduce various methods of data synthesis, display and analysis. By the end of the course you should feel that you have an in-depth understanding of the range of capabilities of QGIS and the ways it can help you in your work. You will have gained considerable experience of carrying out some of the most important spatial data generation and management tasks with QGIS.

Dr Rich Burkmar is an ecologist with more than two decades experience as a GIS trainer and application developer on systems including MapInfo and ArcGIS. In recent years he has managed a Local Records Centre and worked as a programmer with the NBN Gateway team. He has a particular interest in the use of technology by biological recorders and currently manages the FSC Tomorrow’s Biodiversity Project. He is the author of the FSC Tom.bio tools – a QGIS plugin aimed particularly at UK biological recorders and ecologists. 


This course is part of the Biological Recording programmes run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). There is assessment of learning on the course through, for example, identification tests, producing survey reports or field journals, working through keys and other various pieces of work.

Credits from these assessments contribute towards the University Certificate in Biological Recording and Species Identification and the MSc Biological Recording. To gain University Credits you must register in advance.

To do this, please contact the Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, Manchester Metropolitan University (Shrewsbury Office),The Gateway, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 1NB Telephone: 01743 355137 E-mail: [email protected] For more information about the course please visit the MMU website: http://www.sste.mmu.ac.uk/recording/ The course is also suitable for non-credit students.

Further Information

About Preston Montford
Directions to Preston Montford
Course Details

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken. Explore our current programme of courses here.

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