Northeastern Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (12–14 March 2007)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-4:45 PM


FROST, Olivia S. and DOMACK, Cynthia R., Geoscience Department, Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323,

An exercise was created incorporating the Geographical Information System (GIS) into a case study of the Chatham Break in Chatham, Massachusetts. The exercise uses GIS to explore the area of the break and understand the processes behind it. The exercise begins by introducing the students to GIS and instructing them on the basic features of the program. It then goes on to allow the students to investigate the break area, looking at the elevation, geology, and land use. The exercise concludes with the students creating maps that show the changes over time at this site.

GIS is becoming increasingly important in the geosciences and this exercise provides a practical introduction to the discipline. Although the exercise was developed for an undergraduate coastal geology class, it can be modified for geomorphology, oceanography, and environmental sections of earth science courses at the college and pre-college level.