Leveraging open-source tools, data, and student power to teach spatial analysis for sustainability

TitleLeveraging open-source tools, data, and student power to teach spatial analysis for sustainability
Faculty/College/UnitForestry
StatusActive
Duration1 Year
Initiation04/01/2019
Project Summary

Conservation issues by their very nature are interdisciplinary, multi-faceted, and messy. With the growing access to online global datasets and powerful open-source software, our students have the power to address real conservation concerns using real data. In the senior capstone course CONS452, we have traditionally mentored student teams to design and undertake their own conservation projects using data that we have curated. Here, we propose to create a new learning approach and materials to teach students to 1) take advantage of publically available, messy, real data; 2) use free open-source software that they can continue to use after university (instead of expensive proprietary software we currently use); 3) analyze and share new conservation datasets. Our new approach will equip students to enter the workforce with the skills needed to analyse conservation issues using publicly available resources. It will also ensure a more sustainable model for the course, empowering students to find and curate current datasets, and share them with a broader audience.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2019/2020
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorJeanine Rhemtulla
Year 1: Funded Amount28,959
Year 1: Team Members

Jeanine Rhemtulla, Associate Professor, Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry
Sarah Gergel, Professor, Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry
Hisham Zerriffi, Associate Professor, Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry
Susan Hunt, Geospatial Systems Analyst, Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry