Wednesday, March 5, 2014

 My name is Janeen. I have been working on an AmericaView project at the University on Idaho which incorporates Landsat data into curriculum designed for kids ages 10-18. As part of my creation of this curriculum I am traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest this week with a small group of my peers. We are all working on ways to bring remote sensing topics to younger audiences. During our travels we have been meeting with specialists in a variety of fields in an effort to better understand the full scope of our topics. You can follow our adventures over the next few days.

As a graduate student at the McCall Outdoor Science School, I regularly teach week long courses for this age group. I have been working on a lesson plan that will use Landsat images to reference a local state park. The kids will then create habitat maps of the area. After that the kids get outside and explore the area, adding information to their maps about vegetation and signs of animal life. Finally, the kids will use their increased understanding to defend decisions they make in how they would manage the park.

My group started our travels on Monday. Our first stop was to meet with Laurie Ames, who works in the GIS department for the Nez Perce Tribe, in Lapwei, ID. From Laurie, I learned a great deal about how agencies use Landsat and other remotely sensed data. Laurie was particularly interested in our plans to help young people to have a sense of how all the pieces of understanding we get from our data fit together to make a picture of how the whole world works.

Our next meeting was with Mark Corrao, a fellow graduate student at the U of Idaho. Mark is working on advanced degrees in natural resources and law, and also works full time at an environmental consulting firm. Mark helped us to better understand the process of turning information about a piece of land into a good plan that benefits the land owner, the ecosystem, the community. Mark hoped our lessons would help kids to increase their critical thinking skills and appreciation for the interdisciplinary nature of decision making about the land.

Next up, my compatriot Ross Parsons will be explaining a bit about his research.


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