Geographical information systems technology is expanding into many areas of human endeavor. However, for the most part GIS has not become a commonly used computer technology in primary and secondary schools. This project is designed to illustrate the power of GIS technology at a basic level by using a simulation of bird nesting success as the vehicle. All data were generated artifically except for the Tiger File base map of Nevada County, California that provided georeferenced data on rivers, roads and county boundaries. This simulation is designed to be presented to a full class or a smaller group. Basic ArcView functions will be shown as the simulation progresses from start to finish. These functions will be used following a series of prompting questions.
1. Students will be introduced to the ArcView graphical user interface.
2. Students will observe how a series of questions may be generated and addressed with ArcView.
opening screen-shot of simulation
Students are introduced to the simulation, symbols
are explained and the nesting Oregon junco data
table is viewed.
What does the
data table look like?
The types of data are explained.
We generate a first question (query) such as, "Does nesting success
appear to be greatest in a particular plant zone?"
What does a query dialog box look
This allows us to view selected information.
How do the selected
nesting sites appear in the attributes table?
We can generate a graph of our selected data now.
What does the graph look like?
What new questions might this
first query lead to?
It appears that a relationship exists between habitat type and nesting success.
What other physical features might be involved?
Does the absolute area of habitat control nest selection?
Are food resources more reliable and abundant in the herbaceous zone?
Is predation higher in the shrubby and forest zones?
Begin higher level queries.