June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.642.1 - 23.642.15
GIS and Introductory Environmental Engineering: A Way to Fold GIS into Already-Existing Assignments and ProjectsThe use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) was implemented in the upper-divisionundergraduate technical elective Introduction to Environmental Engineering. Students integratedtechnical engineering skills, newly-learned geographical information system (GIS) skills, and theengineering design process, all in the context of the design of a debris flow barrier for awilderness land parcel acquired by a local conservancy group.Junior and senior engineering students, the majority of whom had no experience with GIS, weretaught ArcGIS (a GIS mapping program) in the context of an Introductory EnvironmentalEngineering course. Students learned how to map locations, find and download geoencoded data,and join data layers, in order to graphically present toxic release hazards near their home towns.ArcGIS skills and knowledge were assessed through completion of homework problems, andthrough the students’ use of GIS data, software, and mapping during the design of a debris flowbarrier for a local wilderness land parcel.Assignment #1 consisted of students learning how to map and characterize toxic releases neartheir hometowns; these data were downloaded into a spreadsheet for later use in the ArcGISsoftware package. In Assignment #2, the students used ArcGIS to analyze these data for thepotential of water, soil, and atmospheric transport. In addition to the homework assignments, thestudent team completed a team-based design project involving the characterization of thewilderness site; acquiring relevant GIS data; and studying the physics of debris flow. The teamproduced alternative designs for the barrier and chose the best design by applying design metrics.The alternative designs and rationale for the chosen design were presented to the board ofdirectors of the local conservancy group.Pre- and post-assessment data were gathered to analyze the success of the learning objectives.The design project in particular was useful in evaluating the students’ skill, knowledge and easein using the GIS tools for analysis of the wilderness land parcel.
Cardenas, M., & Kelley, D. W., & Roberts, W. (2013, June), GIS and Introductory Environmental Engineering: A Way to Fold GIS into an Already-existing Course Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19656
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