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Geographic Information Systems

The Choptank Project

The Choptank Project is funded by Chesapeake Conservancy and is made up of a team of interns working with Curtis Hammer to provide a detailed map of the land use and watershed around the Choptank River.

This project mostly takes advantage of ArcMap to digitize the land around the Choptank River, ranging from residential to urban to farmland.  There are hundreds of different land use classifications. We are separating the land in the Choptank watershed into categories based on how the land is being used,  which will give the Chesapeake Conservancy a better idea of what is going on in the river.  The students are using high resolution aerial imagery, and interpreting this imagery to make the most accurate land use and land cover map ever created of agricultural lands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to assist the Chesapeake Conservancy and NOAA with oyster restoration by helping them target high-runoff areas. Nutrient runoff has a detrimental effect on oyster health, and is primarily sourced from agricultural and residential lands. A high quality land use map will help the Chesapeake Conservancy better target its efforts. 

Here is a sample map, showing different ways land can be classified by usage.Here is a sample map, showing different ways land can be classified by usage.

Check out our Choptank blog posts as well as articles on the students involved in the project!

Chickens in the Choptank

Choptank Digitizing Project

Erika Koontz