The GPS Units were distributed. The device we recieved is a Garmin eTrex20. I hoped to use it outside more today. I am assured that we will be doing some more hands-on exploration with the GPS unit. I look forward to being able to work with this technology. We learned about the ESRI website and saw some ways to work with maps and mark them online. I really see this will be a great tool for students. There are curriculum standards that tie to mapping and orienting themselves using technology and traditional maps.
Ross also showed us how to look up local geocaches that are listed online. He directed us to www.geocaching.com. I look forward to finding some of these objects and playing with my GPS unit.
Day 2: Tracks
This is a map of my tracks that resemble my initials. They appear upside-down because I walked south instead of north. This is an interesting commentary of how we see maps (north being "up" on a map but when encountered in real life, there's no reason to consider it being "up" or "down"). Might be an interesting conversation to have about spatial awareness and orienteering using a map.
Visitor Nick Kryger from the Salt Lake County Public Utilities:
Nick showed us that he works with the city and county to maintain the watershed and streetlights. He uses GIS to gather information on draining water from flooding and getting potable water to people. GIS also helps him know what kind of infrastructure is needed in more densely populated areas and less densely populated areas. They need a certain amount of water pressure for the fire hydrants, and would need to have larger and newer pipes. GIS also traces where water comes from and can help track potential terrorism attacks. Apparently, we are high on the FBI terrorism watch-list for a water-based attack.
Visitor Kevin Sato from Cottonwood Heights Public Works:
They use GIS to map storm drains and to communicate needs during a disaster. They have a GIS day for students in the county- this brings professionals and students together to learn about GIS mapping. He directed us to a website for the Utah Geographic Information Council. He'd like to do more with teachers, but has had some trouble getting the momentum going with K-12 education. He has used his position in the UGIC to help mentor educators to bring GIS to the classroom. He uses Story Maps in an engaging way to tell a story about Cottonwood Heights.
Visitor James Wingate Blue Stakes:
Brings some fiber optic cables and a piece of a gas line to show us how these utilities come to us. They use GIS to help people know where the cables and utility pipes are located. They use the GIS maps to be able to inform people of buried lines from various utility companies. The company is funded by the utility companies and provide info freely to excavators.
Utah Geographic Alliance
This is the group that paid for our lunch today. They operate through the National Geographic Society.
GPS Wild Walk
We went on a GeoCache hunt that, according to my GPS unit was a total of 1.1 miles. I was able to upload it to Garmin, enjoy the exciting journey across the campus of Alta High School. You can watch it in Garmin BaseCamp on your Mac.
Answers to the questions found in the boxes we found from coordinates:
How many sides does a stop sign have? 8
When is the 1st Day of School? 08/19
How many outs are there in each inning? 6, sometimes 3
What is the penalty for texting and driving under 18? Likely death
Who donated the A to Alta High?
Class of 2003.
Day 3: Trees and Trees and Trees
We participated in an activity today that showed us how to map trees on the Alta property. We took notes, pictures, and GPS data. We then compiled the data into a spreadsheet found here. Then we made in the ArcGIS map with this information. This was interesting to do and was fun to do together.
Guest Speaker: Tiffany Kinder- USU Water Quality Extension
We used our hands to model the nature of a Watershed. Geography (size, latitude, longitude, elevation, aspect), Climate (precipitation, precipitation patterns), Geology (soil, rocks, formations, erosion potential), Vegetation/Animals (type of plants and animals, native/non-native, riparian area- land next to a lake for grasslands and extra soil, uplands- hill tops above the stream, patters of use and migration), and Human Uses (development and land use patterns) all effect the nature of a watershed. Functions of watersheds- collection, process & store, and transports to the next watershed (water, sediments, soils, dissolved minerals, metals, nutrients, and biological stuff).
For tomorrow's activity in the forest we will be testing for the following:
This is a video of our tree data collecting journey- edited by Danae Reff and Nic Heinz.
Tree Map Layer Screen Shots- Link to Map
Field Trip Water Testing Project
We visited several points in the watershed today. We collected data in several different areas. We basically traveled from Alta Ski Resort to an Abandoned building in South Salt Lake. I wonder if some of the water we touched in Alta met us again at the end of our journey later in the day? Our map will show 5 pieces of data that were found at each location. You can find our interactive map here. This week has been quite interesting. Mapping is a skill I have not really developed until now. I'm happy to have had the opportunity to explore these ideas for this class. I will probably do some more research into inputting data into maps using the ArcGIS website. It is a little laborious for young children, but once I completed my work the first time, I was able to create a new map fairly easily. I'm really happy to get started on my summer. I'll use this time to think about how to incorporate GIS information gathering with students.