Monthly Archives: April 2013

RESEARCH BRIEF: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Wood Products Industry

by Melissa Brenes-Bastos, mbrenes@vt.edu

Demers (2009) defined Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as “a system designed to input, store, edit, retrieved, analyze, and output geographic data and information”. As all systems GIS is composed of integrated parts that allow it to perform correctly, these parts include: (1) computer hardware and software, (2) space and organization, (3) personnel and (4) data and information. (Demers, 2009)

www.headsonfire.org

www.headsonfire.org

Over 25 hundred years of geographic research and investigation, result on geographic information systems evolution, the first stages of GIS were focusing on exploration unknown lands, their inhabitants and phenomena’s, in other words the primary focus was discovering. (Demers, 2009) It was explain by Demers (2009) that the need of explain phenomena’s lead researcher to create an outcome of pattern explanations for different distributions, in the early 1960’s the Department of Forestry and Rural Development of Canada pursue a project to manage the territory of Canada, this was the first big scale project. With this project the first operational system ever built was created – Canada Geographic Information Systems-, this creation lead to more research and exploring which conduce to the actual GIS, as we know now a days. (Demers, 2009)

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Students and faculty from Virginia Tech and Purdue University travel to Costa Rica

Assistant professor Henry Quesada from Virginia Tech and associate professor Eva Haviarova from Purdue University joined efforts to organize a student field trip to Costa Rica and to collaborate with the Costa Rican Forestry Office in delivering educational activities during the Spring break.

Figure 1. Students listen to biologists Jose Rojas and Oliver Castro from Costa Rica Tech during their lecture on the importance of tropical forest.

Figure 1. Students listen to biologists Jose Rojas and Oliver Castro from Costa Rica Tech during their lecture on the importance of tropical forest.

Students from both institutions signed for the course Global Issues in Sustainability. This 3 credit-hour class has as a goal to study issues impacting the sustainability of natural resources such as the forest, water, and wild life in a global context. The course includes a one-week field trip to Costa Rica where students participate in a series of experiential learning activities to understand and gain knowledge on how private businesses, government institutions and local universities work together to promote and educate current and future generations in the sustainable use of natural resources.

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