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Environmental Studies Tools and Technology
The Environmental Studies Program at Lewis and Clark College is developing a suite of cutting-edge, web-based tools and resources.
Our goal is to harness interactive, web-based technologies to support our field-based situated research emphasis. We believe that good situated research requires far more than just getting outside, and we strive to equip our students with the means to effectively utilize the latest research tools available online; you may read more about how web-based technologies can play an important role in a modern liberal arts education here. We also believe that tomorrow’s environmental leaders will be effective facilitators and communicators, using a variety of media including the web. Below is a summary of selected web-based technologies our students master: students, here is a summary of the basics to learn.
Cmap Tools is an open-source program used by ENVS students to create a concept map: a visual representation of an environmental problem by hierarchically organizing relationships and processes.
ENVS uses the Diigo social bookmarking website to create a “virtual database” of our web-based resources: links to research articles, GIS data, environmental organizations, image repositories, student research projects, and concept maps.
Click here to see our most recent Diigo posts.
The Environmental Studies Program regularly publishes a blog featuring posts from students, staff, faculty, and alumni associated with the Program.
Using a comprehensive system of hardware, software, and data, ENVS students can create a map, analyze geographically referenced information, then share it publically using Google Earth, a free application which allows anyone to share and view high-resolution maps.
Students have opportunities to practice practical GPS application during mapping exercises in ENVS classes. A GPS (global positioning system) device can be used both to collect georeferenced data (GPS to GIS), and to locate or ground-truth existing GIS data (GIS to GPS).
ENVS has created a one-stop repository of all information and procedures related to the Program. Have a question about how to approach research? Need to know what goes on a research poster? Want to learn how to browse for GIS metadata? You’ll find the answers here.
Situated research is the method used by ENVS to focus student research into tangible, relevant inquiry by means of specific research areas. Instead of simply focusing on a topic (e.g. water) or a process (e.g. desertification), situated research examines a range of phenomena/practices/perspectives as they act on a particular location. ENVS has identified a number of local/regional and international locations as sites in which to undertake situated research.
Zotero is a free application used to manage scholarly references and other electronic resources; for background, see the Zotero page. The ENVS Program at Lewis & Clark now manages its references via Zotero; see here for our LCENVS group library (with minimal web functionality relative to the Firefox plugin).