Paper No. 71-9
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM
MODEL MY WATERSHED: AN ONLINE PLACE-BASED HYDROLOGIC MODEL FOR SECONDARY AND COLLEGE CLASSROOMS
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) has revolutionized the way that many professionals analyze big data to understand geospatial phenomena such as disease, crime and environmental conditions. Interdisciplinary geospatial analysis represents a set of systems-thinking skills facing a critical shortage in the workforce that will soon constrain our ability to address issues of “big data, complex intelligence problems and environmental monitoring,” as stated by the Committee on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence (NRC, 2013, p. 5). According to Joseph Kerski (2007), despite the transformative impact that GIS has had on decision-making, by 2007, less than 2% of U.S. high schools had integrated GIS into the curriculum. This is, in large part, because of the high costs associated with hardware and software as well as the lack of expertise among teachers. The online Model My Watershed application (MMW) was developed for the southern Delaware River Basin (NSF DRL # 0929763) and allows students to model runoff based on land cover, soil texture and slope (http://wikiwatershed.org/model.html
). Once users have identified runoff from current conditions, they can implement best-management practices such as porous pavement or green roofs to reduce the impacts of current landuse.
The project team includes staff from the Stroud Water Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, Utah State University and Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Geospatial web design was done by Azavea, Inc., a B-Corporation, with expertise in geospatial web development. The Summative Evaluation of MMW indicates that it is an effective learning tool and equally effective for middle school through college students. Because it is a free, online application, the costs usually associated with geospatial analysis are not a hindrance.