Meredith Houle

Learning about Urban Ecology Through the use of Visualization and Geospatial Technologies

During the past three years we have been designing and implementing a technology enhanced urban ecology program using geographic information systems (GIS) coupled with technology. Our initial work focused on professional development for in-service teachers and implementation in K-12 classrooms. However, upon reflection and analysis of the challenges that our in-service teachers faced while implementing our projects in their classrooms, we began to infuse our National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded ITEST work into our pre-service teacher preparation program.


The Urban Tree Project: Using Geographic Information Systems to Determine the Ecological Value of Neighborhood Trees

Geospatial technologies have emerged over the last 15 years as one of the key tools used by environmental scientists (NRC 2006). In fact, educators have recognized that coupling geospatial technologies with environmental science topics and scientific datasets opens the door to local and regional scientific investigations (McInerney 2006). Over the last three years, we have been working to provide tools, curriculum, and resources that allow students to learn science through authentic inquiries using their own scientific data.