GeoSpatial Services staff are working with students to inventory Minnesota wetlands.

GeoSpatial Services staff are working with students to inventory Minnesota wetlands.

Undergraduate and graduate student interns are working with professional staff on the largest task undertaken by our GeoSpatial Services (GSS) natural resources management project center. Saint Mary’s has an $880,000 agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to survey wetlands in the state’s Northwest region, part of a larger updating of the National Wetland Inventory (NWI). This information can be used for wetland regulation and management decisions, land use and conservation planning, environmental impact assessments, and natural resource inventories.

GeoSpatial Services integrates professional services and academic apprenticeships in the areas of natural resource assessment, geographic analysis, and digital mapping. The two-year NWI project, which began in October, involves professional GSS staff working with up to 15 paid undergraduate and graduate interns interested in geographic information science and environmental science. Students will gain hands-on learning outside of the classroom, benefit from the wetland ecology expertise of our environmental scientists, and utilize state of the art geographic information system (GIS) technology.