BACKCOUNTRY GPS NAVIGATION (PE 1165)
Department of Sports Science & Physical Education - Idaho State University
Course: Backcountry GPS Navigation (PE 1165 )
Semester: Fall Semester (Workshop Format - Held one evening during the week and all day Saturday & Sunday - Check the university course schedule for dates - or contact the instructor at the email address, below.)
Place: Held in the Field
Instructor: Justin Dayley
No text is required.
CATALOG COURSE DESCRIPTION
The practical use of portable GPS devices for outdoor applications. Topics covered include angular and rectangulat coordinates, cross-country land navigation, use of waypoint coordinates, determining distance, and limitation of GPS.
The Sports Science and Physical Education Department’s Outdoor Education curriculum at Idaho State is based on a foundation of five national recognized standards. The following standards apply to this course: Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), Standard 3 (Safety and Minimal Impact), and Standard 5 (Experiential Skill and Field Experience).
DEFINITION, HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY
GPS Activity Definition: The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based global navigation satellite system (GNSS) that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible by anyone with a GPS receiver. We will use this system to navigate for the purpose of backcountry recreation.
GPS History Summary: The GPS project was developed in 1973 to overcome the limitations of previous navigation systems, integrating ideas from several predecessors, including a number of classified engineering design studies from the 1960s. GPS was created and realized by the U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD) and was originally run with 24 satellites. It became fully operational in 1994.
GPS Philosophy Summary: GPS is owned and operated by the United States Government as a national resource. Department of Defense (USDOD) is the steward of GPS. Interagency GPS Executive Board (IGEB) oversaw GPS policy matters from 1996 to 2004. After that the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee was established by presidential directive in 2004 to advise and coordinate federal departments and agencies on matters concerning the GPS and related systems. The executive committee is chaired jointly by the deputy secretaries of defense and transportation. Its membership includes equivalent-level officials from the departments of state, commerce, and homeland security, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and NASA. Components of the executive office of the president participate as observers to the executive committee, and the FCC chairman participates as a liaison.
COURSE STRUCTURE & STRATEGY
The course is taught for one night in a classroom to prepare the students with necessary skills to participate on the field session. The field session allows students to apply the skills they’ve learned in the classroom setting in a real environment. The course is designed to help students develop skills, form an appreciation for safety, and gain an understanding of GPS history and equipment. The following value statements help guide course strategy:
- The fundamentals of GPS will be taught in this course through a carefully selected sequence of skills, starting with the most basic:
- To assure maximum opportunity for learning, a pre-planned semester course schedule will be followed which takes students through a progressive series of steps. (The course schedule is reproduced below.) Note that the course schedule may be adapted to facilitate individual differences in learning abilities.
- New techniques will be introduced and demonstrated to help reduce the risk of injury.
- A safe and caring learning environment will be created.
- All interested students are welcomed in this course, no matter what their ability. Whenever possible, personal attention will be provided to enhance learning.
- GPS has inherent risks, and in the interest of safety, students are asked to follow class rules. Anyone not adhering to the rules will be asked to leave class.
- Proper assessment and evaluation will be provided
- Near the end of the course, an assessment of the skills learned in the course will be administered.
- Academic materials and lecture subject matter will be evaluated by the use of a written final exam.
- Course content will include suggestions and guidance for a physically active lifestyle
- The course is taught in a way which allows students to gain an appreciation of mountaineering, and physical activity in general, as a healthy and viable lifetime recreational activity.
- An required field trip is offered which introduces students to the mountain environment and opens the door for future satisfying recreational experiences in the outdoors.
Objective 1 (Academic Objective): To gain an understanding of the history of GPS, route finding
Objective 1 Learning Outcomes - By the end of the course, students will:
1a. Be able to explain the history of GPS and new trends in the activity.
1b. Demonstrate how to use a map and compass for route finding and navigation.
1c. Explain the map symbols and colors used on a topographical map.
1d. Explain the various grid coordinate systems commonly used.
Objective 2 (Motor Skill Objective): To develop an understanding of the use of a GPS and other supporting equipment.
Objective 2 Learning Outcomes – By the end of the course, students will:
2a. Be able to explain the various features used on recreational GPS.
2b. Demonstrate how to input and mark waypoints on a GPS.
2c. Demonstrate how to navigate to a waypoint.
2d. Demonstrate the proper method of building a route using waypoints.
2e. Explain the various types of error that can affect a GPS.
Objective 3 (Motor Skill Objective): To develop basic skills in navigating using a GPS.
Objective 3 Learning Outcomes – By the end of the course, students will:
3a. Demonstrate how to use a GPS to follow a bearing.
3b. Demonstrate how to place a cache.
3c. Explain and demonstrate activities that can be done using a GPS.
3d. Explain how to properly use mapping software with a GPS.
Grades for this course are determined by using a point system. The final grade is reached by adding points from three components:
- Attendance & Participation – 75% of grade: 75 pts (3 classes at 25 pts per class)
- Skill Assessment Test - 25 % of grade: 25 pts.
Total Number of Points Possible: 100 pts
As an example of how grades are determined, let’s say that a student in the course attends 2 out of the possible 3 total class sessions; and they receive 25 pts. on the skill assessment test. Here’s how the grade would be calculated:
- Attendance and Participation 2 x 25 = 50 pts.
- Skill Assessment 25 pts.
Total Points: 50 + 25 = 75
Percentage Grade: 75 / 100 = 75%
Letter Grade - Using the ISU grading scale (below): C
GRADING SCALE (ISU SCALE)
A 93-100 C+ 78-80.9 D- 63-65.9
A- 90-92.9 C 75-77.9 F 62.9-below
B+ 87-89.9 C- 72-74.9
B 84-86.9 D+ 69-71.9
B- 81-83.9 D 66-68.9
REASONABLE ACCOMODATION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
If you have a diagnosed disability or believe that you have a disability that might require “reasonable accommodation” on the part of the instructor, please call the Director, Center of Services for Students with Disabilities, 282-3599. As a part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is the responsibility of the student to disclose a disability prior to requesting reasonable accommodation.
GPS COURSE SCHEDULE (ALIGNED WITH COURSE OBJECTIVES)
Topic and/or Skills
Tuesday Evening 6 – 9 pm
GPS history, Map history, map symbols, contour line identification, colors,
Objective 1, 2 and Learning Outcomes 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 2e
Saturday 8 am – 5 pm
Introduction to GPS System Coordinate systems, datums, maps, Move to field location GPS course #1. The skills practiced on this course include, recognizing multipath, sources of error, using the map to travel around objects, using the map to more effectively travel around topographical features.
Objective 1, 2 and Learning Outcomes 1c, 1d, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e
Sunday Evening 8 am – 5 pm
Move to field location GPS Course #2. The skills practiced on this course include creating a waypoint, bearings, using the gps map, using the gps to follow a bearing to a waypoint.
Objective 2, 3 and Learning Outcomes 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d
Outdoor Education Links:
We have subsidiary sites for Idaho State Outdoor Education at the following: