Students who develop a strong interest in GIS may choose to apply their knowledge and skills within their senior project or gain hands-on experience through internship projects. Over the last nine years, more than 45 students have incorporated GIS into their senior thesis and over 20 have completed GIS-related internships. Examples of projects include constructing a series of driving tour maps to promote ecotourism, determining the effect of land use on phosphorus export within watersheds, constructing a historical map of the city of Meadville, and developing a crop suitability model and database for a local organic farm.
Over the years, faculty have used GIS as a problem-solving or decision-making tool in a variety of research projects. Examples of GIS in faculty research projects include generating a series of driving tour maps to promote ecotourism in northwest Pennsylvania, using satellite imagery to model the risk to Lyme disease in northern California, and developing spatial databases of the location and distribution of state and federal managed land, LEED certified buildings, and timber buyers within Pennsylvania as part of forest certification research.