The role of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a public health tool continues to expand. Here are some places you can learn how GIS is used, and how to "do" GIS:
UC Berkeley Geospatial Innovation Facility, http://gif.berkeley.edu/, offers reasonably priced workshops. You need not be affiliated with UC Berkeley to enroll. Their site also has online instruction links, quick guides, and more.
Mapping Your Community: An Introduction to GIS and Community Analysis, http://www.urban-research.info/workshops/gisclassdescription.htm, is a class offered by New Urban Research. Although there are no California classes currently scheduled, they will likely offer the class again in the future. You can sign up for their email list to hear about California classes as they get scheduled.
GIS Summer School, UC Riverside, http://www.extension.ucr.edu/sciences/geo/summer.html, is being offered July 6 to August 27, 2009. This is not a beginner’s class. Enrollment and class description are on their web site.
GIS Community and Events, UC San Diego, http://libraries.ucsd.edu/locations/sshl/data-gov-info-gis/geographic-information-systems-gis/gis-community-events/, offers a Lunch Series and more. The web site also has links to past presentations at UCSD (http://libraries.ucsd.edu/locations/sshl/data-gov-info-gis/geographic-information-systems-gis/learn-gis/).
The UC Berkeley Public Health Library has a Public Health GIS Resources web page, http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/PUBL/gis.html, with links to programs, maps and tools, and more.
And, CDPH has a GIS User’s Group email list. You need not be an experienced GIS user to subscribe. CDPH also licenses GIS oftware for your use. For more information, or to subscribe to the list, contact Matthew Stone, Matthew.Stone@cdph.ca.gov