In Miami, FL, Santa Barbara, CA, and other locations across the U.S., 90 middle and high school teachers and their students use geospatial technologies to study three coastal ecosystems in NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network.
CoastLines is a Comprehensive Project for Students and Teachers that is introducing fundamental concepts about information technologies (IT) to grade 7-12 schools. It is accomplishing this goal by involving teachers and students in using geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) to conduct scientific studies of coastal ecosystems in the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network. To facilitate rapid deployment of GIS in schools, reach diverse populations that are underrepresented in the IT industries, and lay the foundation for sustained implementation of project strategies, CoastLines will leverage educational outreach programs conducted at three sites in the LTER network, including the Florida Coastal Everglades, Baltimore Ecosystem Study, and Santa Barbara Coastal sites. These sites will afford attractive coastal settings and exciting research scenarios to engage the hearts and minds of participants and provide concrete examples of how IT is used in professional practice.