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GIS Workshop on Gulf of Maine for Teachers

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Erin Gordon, Barbara Belanger, Chris Polloni, Howard Dimmick, Amy Holt Cline, Charles Saulnier, and Brandy Moran
Chris Polloni holds a starfish presented as a gift by participants in the Massachusetts Marine Educators' workshop at the USGS Woods Hole Field Center. From left to right, Erin Gordon, Barbara Belanger, Chris Polloni, Howard Dimmick, Amy Holt Cline, Charles Saulnier, and Brandy Moran.
Staff from the USGS' Woods Hole Field Center (WHFC) led a workshop entitled "Data Integration of the Gulf of Maine: A GIS study of Land and Sea" as part of the Massachusetts Marine Educators annual weekend meeting at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on April 27.

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is a relatively new topic for public-school teachers. While many have heard of marine GIS, most teachers have not used it in the classroom. Because of its location, Massachusetts provides an ideal landscape for using marine GIS in environmental studies.

The USGS workshop explained how GIS has been used in public schools to study terrestrial and marine topics, with emphasis on the Gulf of Maine watershed. The Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (Massachusetts Department of Education guidelines for developing curricula) have recently included GIS as a skill to be taught in schools across the State. This workshop acquainted teachers with ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) ArcView software. WHFC also provided USGS data disks and take-home, hands-on activities that have already been used in local classrooms.

Each participant worked with a copy of the USGS quadrangle map of Woods Hole and a detailed contour map of WHOI's Quissett Campus. Charles Saulnier, an environmental-science teacher at the Essex Agricultural School, led the first session of the workshop by providing an extensive overview on how to work with a topographic map. He introduced the group to roamers (measuring devices that combine features of a protractor and a ruler to assist more accurate map reading and plotting) and the use of meter sticks with mapping.

Chris Polloni led the second session with an overview of the Massachusetts Bay GIS CD-ROM (USGS Open-File Report 99-439) and the USGS East Coast Sediment Analysis (USGS Open-File Report 00-358), both of which were provided as part of the teachers' handouts. Amy Holt Cline, an environmental-science teacher and GIS specialist at the Essex Agricultural School, led the third session. Amy gave examples of the successful use of GIS in the classroom using maps that her students had created as part of her mapping curriculum based on the Massachusetts Bay CD-ROM. Erika Hammar-Klose and Glynn Williams (WHFC) assisted with the workshop.

Related Web Sites
Woods Hole Field Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Mapping Lake Mohave

Research Delmarva Coastal Bays

Glen Canyon Dam

Outreach Career Options for Jr. High School Girls

Coastal Hazards Lecture

Earth Day at Lowry Park Zoo

Practical Applications of GIS

Gulf of Maine GIS Workshop for Teachers

MarineQuest 2002

Florida Caribbean Science Center Open House

Meetings CMGP Knowledge Bank

Communicating Science in a Virtual World

Continental-Shelf Territory Rights

Awards Kvenvolden Honored

Staff & Center News Student Employees

New Woods Hole Chief Scientist

Two New Employees at WHFC

University of Minnesota Visitor

Publications Special Issue of Marine Geology on USGS Monterey Bay Research

Timely Publication for Gulf of Mexico Mercury Concerns

June Publications List

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