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Student Projects

Got Maps?

Authors: Courtney King, Teodora Nikolova

Grade: 11th

Subjects: Biology, Humanities

Got Maps - project photo
Got Maps - project photo
Got Maps - project photo
Got Maps - project photo

Project Details

Essential Questions: 
  • What are Earth’s biggest biological issues and how do they affect our local community?

  • How can maps be used to visually exhibit information?

  • What are actions we can take to mitigate issues our community is facing?

Project Description:
The Earth is in a state of crisis; irresponsible and selfish actions are affecting biodiversity hotspots like California, perhaps permanently changing habitats essential for the existence of keystone species. In small groups, our students chose issues facing our communities–like droughts, fires, and pollution–to research and map out, using the interactive ArcGIS Storymapper. Initially, they surveyed the populations of North County communities to find out the public’s opinions and education regarding issues relevant to their daily lives. They asked Oceanside beachgoers about overfishing, and Vista homeowners about their experiences with coyotes. They read peer-reviewed scientific papers and reached out to professionals currently working in fields connected to the issues at hand. They researched ways to keep themselves and the public informed and participating in bettering the community, through phone apps or volunteer services. The information they gathered was presented on their ArcGIS maps, compiled in a student-created website, accessible here. Each group also designed and had the public vote on sculptures related to their research topic, to be made of recycled materials and proposed as installations in Vista. These proposals will be written and submitted to the city of Vista in the Spring of 2020. 
  • chose and researched an environmental issue relevant to California, and the San Diego area specifically (recycling, coyotes, overfishing)
  • reached out to professionals involved with the issue and conducted in-person or over-the-phone interviews about their work and projects
  • surveyed community members about opinions and experiences connected to the issues
  • learned how to create ArcGIS maps using the interactive platform
  • researched historically relevant information to explain and contextualize the issues of focus
  • designed an art piece out of recycled materials, to be proposed as a permanent installation in the city of Vista
  • presented their ArcGIS maps and art piece proposals to the community during exhibition