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Problem-Based Service Learning Projects in GIS


While students in a course in GIS may learn a breadth of GIS skills and theory through tutorials and exercises, an in depth knowledge of GIS is, arguably, best gained through real-world, hands-on, applied projects. At the same time, many members of a college or university community may have questions they need answered or problems they need solved using GIS, but may not have a complete understanding of the capabilities of GIS or the skills necessary to use GIS. Furthermore, for small government agencies or not-for-profit organizations, funding may not be available to purchase expensive GIS software or hire experienced GIS personnel. Problem-Based Service Learning (PBSL) is a pedagogical tool that addresses both of these issues. In PBSL, students use skills they have learned in class to solve a problem or answer a question for a “community partner”.

Interested in becoming a "community partner"?

If you have a problem that needs solving or question that needs answering using mapping or geospatial analysis, submit your problem statement to Dr. Meierdiercks. A problem statement should include the following:
1. Background on your organization and/or project.
2. Statement of the problem you need solved or question you need answered using mapping and/or geospatial analysis.
3. Goals and/or objectives of the mapping/geospatial analysis.

Please email your problem statement to Dr. Meierdiercks who will work with you so that your goals and objectives align with the learning objectives of the course.

Current and past course projects

Fall 2013
Otter Pond Club and Association Property Mapping by Evan Francis Peter
Onteora Lake Mapping by Evan Leahy
Using GIS to Compare Population Density and Galaxies by Kori Swieter
Mapping out Strategic Expansion of Partnershipsby Ryan Gulliksen
Pediatrics Patient Mapping by Rebecca Devaney
Exhibition of Siena College's Youth Assets using a GIS Model by Kayla Every
Siena College Green Map by Jason Appleby

Spring 2013
Wild Turkey Habitat Mapping by Nick Mancuso
John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve GIS Project by Matthew Spargo
Sacred Places Mapping by Colin Murphy
Robert Ingalls Preserve Mapping by Madeline Santulli
Wood Frog Breeding Locations at Saratoga Battlefield GIS Map by Dana Tricarico
Places of Worship in the Capital Region by Lauren Griffith
ArcGis Online Tutorial by Natalie Topalian
Geiser Preserve Mapping by Matt Porter

Fall 2012
Boice Family Park ArcGIS Mapping by Jonathan Glueckert
Historical Gravesite Mapping in the Albany Rural Cemetery by Elizabeth Caprotti

Spring 2012

Fall 2011
The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy Mapping Project by Adam Davis

Spring 2011

Fall 2010
Colonie History Project - DeMelslaer Homestead by Rami S. AlyGad
GPS Tracking of woodfrogs by Nick Koss
Analysis of Red-backed Salamander Populations by Julian Carney
GIS Project for Feeder Canal Alliance by Jeni Casinelli
Pittstown Historical Society Farmstead Maps by Nick Iarola
Siena Hudson Greenway GIS Project by Nick DiRoma

For links to Spring 2010 course projects please click here.