Mapping your Neighborhood
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Mar 20, 2013
Many students don't know much about the environmental resources and locations of designated hazardous sites in and around their own neighborhood. This exercise challenges the students to learn more about their places where they live and explore the environment beyond the surrounding parks and trees. In this exercise student will explore geospatial data to locate and map the college campus, sources of water supply, destination of campus waste, and EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites. Simple analysis in a GIS will be conducted to determine the proximity of the TRI sites to water resources and the college. A follow up activity will analyze the geographic proximity between demographic groups and pollution sources within the county where the college is located.
1. Explore the information about polluters from on line resources
2. Visualize and analyze the spatial distribution of hazardous sites in relation to other environmental and physical resources.
3. Find spatial association, if any, between critical environmental resources and pollution sites.
4. Identify any environmental injustice in the community
Context for Use
The lecture will be followed by one or two hands on exercises in data downloading, manipulation, analysis, and creating output in a map format using ArcGIS from ESRI. This exercise is designed for students with introductory skills in using GIS. Lab time should be at least 3 hours divided into two separate sessions in a week.
Description and Teaching Materials
Teaching Notes and Tips
An outline of college campus along with the following on your map template:
- County boundary with an inset map of NY state
- Major road network
- Location of drinking water source & waste sites
- TRI sites in the county with a one mile buffer around each
References and Resources