ENGAGING UNDERGRADUATES IN GEOLOGIC MAPPING USING GIS: RECOMPILATION OF NEW AND EXISTING GEOSPATIAL DATA FROM CLINTON COUNTY, NEW YORK
Original sources of geospatial geological information for Clinton County include state and federal maps and reports, published literature and unpublished maps and reports in state and federal geological survey open-files. The statewide maps, however, do not include results from recent mapping, stratigraphic revisions or discoveries since their publication. Our first-year efforts focused on 7.5-minute quadrangles in the northern tier of the county along the Canadian border. Geologic data from original sources and new field mapping to resolve conflicting or suspect interpretations form the basis for the new geologic compilation. Database tables cross-reference each map unit to its source. Original and derived geospatial data accompany the new maps as separate raster and vector files.
The project simultaneously addresses the need for an updated regional geologic map and provides opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in field geologic and GIS-based mapping projects. Components of the larger mapping effort can be defined and tailored to fit the interests and academic backgrounds of individual students and thus is well suited for undergraduate research. Cooperation with the state geological survey provides quality control and makes effective use of available resources. Plans include field checking, associated analytical studies, and extension of the project countywide.