Spatial analysis has become a central practice in the field of conservation, allowing scientists to model and explore geographic questions on biodiversity and ecological systems. GIS (Geographic Information System) is an important integrative tool for mapping, analyzing, and creating data for spatial analyses. In this exercise, students use QGIS, an open-source GIS program, to model suitable habitat for a cryptic mammal species. The exercise guides students through the process of: 1) organizing, cleaning, and clipping vector and raster data within QGIS; 2) analyzing climate, habitat, and additional geographic data along with species occurrence data; and 3) developing a map of suitable projected habitat for the species of interest. Students then apply their analyses to critically consider the implications for surveying and conservation action.