Special Topics: Advanced Projects in Land Conservation (GIS 301/ CMY315) Jonesboro Habitat Map Detail


This course was last offered in the fall of 2007

Tora Johnson, Instructor [tjohnson@maine.edu or 255-1446] Drop me a line if you have any questions about the course!

Course description: The Washington County Council of Governments (WCCOG) has been given a grant from Maine Coast Heritage Trust to work with three Washington County land trusts and UMM to develop a regional strategic land conservation plan. The UMM GIS Service Center will help the participating land trusts identify their priorities, gather GIS data, and model and map the land trusts' priorities. To accomplish these tasks, we are offering a three credit course in the fall, cross listed as GIS 301: Special Topics in GIS: Advanced Projects in Land Conservation/ CMY 315: Special Topics in Community Studies: Advanced Projects in Land Conservation.

This is a workshop style course open to both students with GIS skills and students new to GIS but able to take on project work in community studies. We will pair those with GIS skills with non-GIS students to create topical teams that will take on areas of focus within the project.

Early in the semester, students will meet with WCCOG and land trust staff to narrow down study areas each team will address. Topic areas have yet to be finalized, but they will span disciplines and may include areas such as habitat, hydrology, geology, scenic resources, recreational resources, demography and economics, topography, land use and land cover, and working landscapes and waterfronts. Students will gather, analyze, and to the extent possible, ground truth existing GIS data (much of which is already in hand from earlier service center work). They will learn group leadership and problem solving skills. They will also participate in original research on publicly shared values of landscape, scenic resources, and other topics. Students will use these information gathered to create a model for identifying high-priority conservation lands in Washington County based upon conservation goals specified by the collaborating land trusts.

Students will meet with land trust staff and members early in the semester to discuss their goals and priorities. About two-thirds of the way through the semester, students will present their preliminary findings and a set of draft maps to WCCOG and land trust staff, receive comments and suggestions, and return to the lab to revise their work in response to feedback. The semester will culminate in a presentation to land trust staff, board members, and interested parties. Students will write papers on their portion of the project to be incorporated into a final draft of the strategic plan due to be completed in early 2008. 3 Credits.

Use the menu on the right to access course materials and related links as they become available.

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