Typically, Dr. Brad Baldwin’s Lake & River Ecology class would take out a map, plot their intended route(s), and make the 1 hour trip to Cranberry Lake to explore the ecology of the lake and collect samples. With so much travel time involved (2 hours round-trip) in a 3 hour lab period, Brad decided to work with the GIS department to provide students with a better use of their time through researching the area with St. Lawrence University’s Internet Map Server (IMS) before the trip.
Students have a greater enthusiasm for their work in the course and now make the most of the time spent in the field. The background information gained from Dr. Baldwin’s IMS homework assignment fosters informed discussion driving to and from the lake.
In addition to a positive student reaction, field work in this course has become largely student driven as they now have a greater sense for their surroundings at the lake and the objectives of the trip.