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Students Take GIS Skills to USGS

An understanding of geographic information system (GIS) applications makes USFSP interns at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) especially valuable. Two Environmental Science, Policy & Geography students, Steven Douglas and Joseph Terrano, are working with USGS staff this summer on computer-aided mapping projects to identify coastal hazards.

USGS ecologist Kathryn Smith and USFSP interns Joseph Terrano (center) and Steven Douglas at the USGS building in St. Petersburg

USGS ecologist Kathryn Smith and USFSP interns Joseph Terrano (center) and Steven Douglas at the USGS building in St. Petersburg

“Steven and Joseph are working to collect and analyze data in our geodatabase, producing data sets our scientists can use to examine environmental change,” said Kathryn Smith, Ph.D., a USGS ecologist who oversees the internships. “GIS is prevalent in our field, and the skills around entering and manipulating data and metadata are essential to providing information and reports to decision-makers and the public.”

Douglas, a Masters student, and Terrano, a rising senior, are students of Barnali Dixon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of GIS and Remote Sensing and Chair, Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy and Geography. “As Founding Director of the Geo-Spatial Analytics Lab at USFSP, Dr. Dixon is to be commended for her tireless efforts to promote GIS/Remote Sensing through courses and workshops, a 16-credit minor in GIS, and for mentoring students with cutting-edge skill sets that industry leaders are seeking in our graduates,” said Frank Biafora, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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