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Geographic Information Systems

Chino Farms Project

In Spring 2013, Washington College student and GIS intern Jeffery Sullivan conducted a research project that combined both his academics and his job at GIS. The previous GIS Lab Director, Stew Bruce taught a course called Intermediate GIS with Lab, which involved a semester long project in which the students pursued the topic of their choice. After working as an intern at Chino Farms that summer, Jeffrey decided to compile all of the research previously done at the farm, current research, and potential research focuses into one portfolio.

Chino Farms is located just a few minutes from the Washington College campus and has been working with the Center for Environment and Society in order to have interns spend time on the farm conducting research during the academic school year and over the summer.

This extensive project, titled “Grass and Grain: A study of Chino Farms”, involves giving the history of the farm, collecting all of the past research from the farm, consolidating current research, and addressing potential research opportunities for the future. Because of the large amount of work that is involved in this project Stew assigned fellow GIS employee Amanda Kloetzli to work with Jeffery in the GIS lab in order to have it completed by the end of the semester.  Amanda digitized the field and stream buffers for the final report. Jeffery’s job was to make all of the maps that go along with the research of the farm, and collecting all of the other components for the project. In addition to working on the project as part of his course work, Jeffery was also able to work on it during his assigned work shifts at the lab.

In the beginning of the semester Jeffery was promoted to a Student Project Manager position at the GIS lab. His role would be to oversee all of the projects worked on in the office that involved Chino Farms.  This promotion, in addition to having worked at the farm over the summer, is what led him to choose his class project.

At the end of the semester the final draft of the research project will be printed, bound, and presented to the landowner.  When asked about the overall goal of the project, Jeff stated, “This will give a nice report for the landowner, potential donors, and potential researchers to see what has been done, what can be done, and the areas of interest to them on the farm.”