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Woods Hole Field Center Invited to Participate in Massachusetts Marine Educators' Weekend Events

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Geographic-information-system (GIS) software is an up-and-coming tool for public-school teachers. Many have heard of GIS but have not used it in the classroom.

On May 3, as part of an activity for the Massachusetts Marine Educators' weekend special workshops, Chris Polloni, computer specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s Woods Hole Field Center, and Amy Holt Cline, environmental-science teacher at Essex Agricultural and Technical High School, teamed up to present an afternoon activity titled "Data Integration in the Gulf of Maine: Using GIS as a Tool to Teach Marine Biology in the Classroom."

Massachusetts is an ideal place to use GIS to study the marine environment because it is in the heart of the Gulf of Maine watershed. This workshop explained how GIS has been used in a public-school setting to study terrestrial and marine topics in the Gulf of Maine bioregion.

Environmental educators are responsible for keeping students up to date with the current technology being used in the marine and environmental fields. The Massachusetts Curriculum Framework (Massachusetts Department of Education guidelines for developing curricula) has recently included GIS as a skill to be taught. This workshop showed teachers how to get started using free GIS software, USGS data disks, and take-home hands-on activities already used in the classroom.

The USGS activity, held in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's computer lab, provided an overview of mapping technology used to study and map the sea floor. Each participant worked with a copy of the CD-ROM "A Marine GIS Library for Massachusetts Bay" (USGS Open-File Report 99-439) and a computer with the free ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) GIS browser program called ArcExplorer. This activity provided the participants with hands-on GIS experience, as well as data (including three additional CD-ROMs) that can be used for making maps and performing data analysis in the classroom. All the participants were also provided with relevant World Wide Web links so that they can stay current with this evolving technology and view cutting-edge three-dimensional programs used to study the ocean and the sea floor.

Related Web Sites
Woods Hole Field Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Woods Hole, MA
A Marine GIS Library for Massachusetts Bay - USGS Open-File Report 99-439
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
Massachusetts Department of Education
ArcExplorer - Free GIS Data Viewer
Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)

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North Carolina's Outer Banks

Research Gulf of Mexico Contaminants

Nutrient Enrichment in Florida Springs

Outreach Gulf Region: Subsidence, Fault Activation, and Wetland Loss

Future of Natural Gas

Icelandic Language Lecture

Massachusetts Marine Educators Weekend

University of New Hampshire Lectures

Earth Day Celebration

Florida Oceans Day

Museum Exhibit on Natural Disasters

Meetings Phytotechnologies Workshop

West-Central Florida Evapotranspiration

Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration

Web-Site Data Base Demonstration

Staff & Center News St. Petersburg Bloodmobile

Patent Plaque Presentation

Publications El Niño Article

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