Mapping for Water Knowledge Webinar and National Challenge

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Jan. 19, 2016

The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute and Minnesota Sea Grant are pairing up to get 9th- through 12th-graders in the Great Lakes region to think about and then document the condition of their drinking water and the waters in which they and their families recreate. A free webinar with full details on a national challenge called Visualize Your Water will be offered 3:30 – 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26. Register here.

David Hart is a WRI geographic information systems specialist. He’ll be a co-leader during the Jan. 26 webinar.
Credit: WRI

The challenge uses geographic information system (GIS) software in conjunction with water-quality data collected through federal, state and local efforts. Through this challenge, students will build both career-oriented skills and environmental stewardship.

The webinar will highlight ArcGIS tools that can create the type of interactive story maps that just might win the challenge’s grand prize. Specifically, participants will come away with helpful tips on geography, data analysis and visualization, language, water quality and more.

The challenge grand prize is $2,500; an opportunity to attend the Esri Education Conference in San Diego, Calif.; publication in the Mapping the Nation book series; and promotion on the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Esri websites. An additional $2,500 cash prize will also be awarded.

The webinar will be recorded and available through March 1, the last day of the challenge, on the Minnesota Sea Grant website.

Recognizing that nutrient pollution is one of the nation’s most difficult environmental challenges, this challenge is sponsored by the EPA, USGS and U.S. Department of Education, along with the Great Lakes Observing System, Esri and others seeking to engage the innovative spirit of high school students to create compelling visualizations about nutrient pollution using GIS software in conjunction with water quality data collected through federal, state and local efforts.

High school students enrolled in grades 9-12 in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York are eligible to participate in the challenge. This applies to public, private, magnet, charter and home-schooled students.