Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GPS Units Coming to Ashley Ridge High School

Ashley Ridge High School has received a grant from Lowcountry Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) to purchase six or more global positioning system (GPS) units.  Students will be able to use the GPS units to capture latitude/longitude coordinates for points of interest along the nature trail, including the abundant wildlife they encounter, or habitat enhancement sites they create.  Bill Salisbury, representing Dorchester County, presented the check to the grant writers Amy Litz,  Jerry Kociuruba, and Natalie Tarpein after taking a quick tour of the nature trail to see the many possibilities for integrating the GPS technology into the biology and environmental sciences classes.

(l to r) Natalie Tarpein, Bill Salisbury, Jerry Kociuruba, Amy Litz on nature trail
Over the last two years, students in the environmental science and AP biology classes have received GPS training (see Summerville Journal Scene article) as well as geographic information systems (GIS) training, which they used to create maps with the GPS data they had collected.  The training and GPS units used were provided by the education department at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest and had been purchased with a grant from the South Carolina Geographic Alliance.

As an organization, Lowcountry RC&D sells year-old seed to individuals who wish to plant feed plots for wildlife.  Any profits are distributed to projects aimed at teaching students about the environment.   Previous Lowcountry RC&D grants to the education department at Francis Beidler Forest have gone toward the purchase of iPod Touches and binoculars (see below), which also have been used with ARHS students during various on-campus visits.

Ms. Tarpein and class learning birding basics
Geography is everywhere!  Thanks to Lowcountry RC&D, students at Ashley Ridge High School have some new tools to help them explore, map, and understand their environment.

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