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Science Café to cover Art and Science of Mapping

Thomas University’s popular Science Café series will kick off its fall season at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, featuring Dr. Christine Ambrose presenting “The Art and Science of Mapping” in the Campus Center on TU’s Forbes Campus.

For the past five years Ambrose, an assistant professor of conservation biology, has served as the director of the Geospatial Analysis Planning and Preservation (GAPP) Center at TU. Here students and faculty use cutting-edge geographic information system (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS) technology in classes, internships, research and work experience from grant and contract opportunities.

“The GAPP Center provides opportunities for students to learn and participate in the application of geospatial information-gathering, mapping, planning and problem solving,” Ambrose explained. “The GAPP Center partners with local and regional entities that need expertise in these areas.”

In the GAPP Center, TU students learn to plan and conduct a GIS project from start to finish in partnership with a local or regional community organization. Examples of projects include mapping natural and cultural resources in Providence Canyon State Conservation Park for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; mapping significant habitat features and infrastructure in Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve in Grady County, Georgia; partnering with the Nature Conservancy to map imbedded wetlands within crop center pivot circles for the installation of Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) Systems to help conserve water consumption in the Lower Flint River Basin. Other projects include delineating conservation hotspots and creating a current land use/land cover map for conservation efforts in the Flint River Basin, documenting the Pebble Hill Historic Cemetery, an interpretive trail map for Lost Creek Forest, helping to establish and mapping access locations for the Ochlocknee River Water Trail in Georgia, and mapping recreational back road bicycle routes in the Red Hills region.

Before the presentation, guests can attend a reception for the speaker from 6 to 6:30 p.m. There is no admission charge.

For more information about the Science Café series, contact April Penton at apenton@thomasu.edu.

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