GIS for Sustainability

The Problem

My project, slated to get off the ground in January, is the development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the non-profit sustainability research and education center, Aprovecho in Cottage Grove, Oregon. This project entails the creation of a GIS program for mapping local watershed and trails along with existing structures and the various land management strategies which are ongoing within Aprovecho’s 40 acre land trust property. These land management schemes include organic agriculture, sustainable forestry and research and development in alternative and appropriate technologies such as biofuels, passive and active solar power and efficiency in wood combustion cook stoves. By providing valuable reference resources for the organization this project will facilitate the function of both short-term and long-term planning and management schemes and provide a sound foundation for all future on-site endeavors. For example, with a better understanding of the local watershed provided by GIS, Aprovecho will be able to map a strategy for water retention and catchment in order to reduce soil erosion, ensure crop security and create micro niches in the environment. GIS could also be implemented to map a visual time line of on site land management practices enabling current land use decision making to reflect a historical ecology. The possibilities of an applied GIS are nearly limitless.

Plan of Action

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