Claremore Daily Progress

Community News

June 12, 2013

Students assist with GIS mapping of RSU Nature Reserve

CLAREMORE —

Students from the Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) program at Northeast Technology Center’s Claremore Campus are improving the landscape of the RSU Nature Reserve in more ways than one.
The EAST Initiative focuses on student-driven service projects through the use of the latest in technology.  EAST classrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art workstations, servers, software and accessories, including GPS/GIS mapping tools, architectural and CAD design software, 3D animation suites and much more.  
Students find problems in their local communities and then use these tools to solve them.
Homeschooled students Matthew Shann and Levi Keely are both second-year EAST students under the direction of instructor Brook Easton.  Shann and Keely are both interested in GIS mapping and selected as their student project this year to work with staff from RSU’s Nature Reserve to complete GIS mapping of the area.
“We went to GIS day last year where we met Philip Hanley who knew quite a bit about GIS mapping,” said Keely.  
“He also knew the people at the nature reserve and had done field work there.  He got us connected to this project and helped us out a lot through the entire process.”
In addition to Hanley, the students worked with Robert Gibbs and Kipp Love from the nature reserve to do hands-on field work to complete their project.   
“It was really neat being able to go out and walk around the reserve using the GIS units,” said Shann.  “We were lucky to have access to the equipment and the hands-on work was my favorite part of doing this.”
With the help of everyone involved, Shann and Keely were able to surpass their own goals and provide RSU with a very nice and useful final product.
“Our goals in the beginning were to map out the trails, creeks, boundaries and bird boxes throughout the reserve and supply them to the guys at the reserve,” said Shann.  “This year we also actually ended up publishing the maps online and making replacement maps for the reserve.”

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