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Participants from across Montana were selected for participation in the GTEC Project based on demonstrated leadership roles within their schools in the use of geospatial technologies.  These educators exemplify high-quality teaching by facilitating the use of geotechnologies in their science classrooms.

The 2006 and 2007summer institutes included teachers from a geographically diverse set of Montana schools.  The teachers participated in a week long institute and were responsible for developing a model curriculum to be implemented in their classroom during the 2006-2007 or 2007-2008 academic year.

Scroll down to find out more about each individual participant.  Click on an e-mail to contact a participant.

Click here to see a map of participating schools!

GTEC Participants    2007  [ 2006 ]   



Carl Benson
Plains High School

GIS Classroom Project Title: Watershed Analysis for Riparian Restoration

Project Abstract:Plains students, in collaboration with the GTEC project and the Montana Watercourse (a statewide water education program that supports water resource decision making and stewardship by providing unbiased information, resources, tools and education to all water use), are mapping and plotting study sites along the Clark Fork River and Lynch Creek. The state plans to restore Lynch Creeek to its original meandering condition (it was straightened for agricultural purposes in the 1950ís) and plans to use the baseline data sets being developed by Plains high school students for comparison of stream qualities before and after restoration efforts.


David Christensen
Lolo Middle School

GIS Classroom Project Title: GIS Mapping andMonitoring of Tansy Along the Bitterroot River.

Project Abstract: Lolo School students, in collaboration with the US Forest Service, Region One Botany and Research Natural Area, the GTEC Project, and Rocky Mountain Research Station, are developing an ongoing, long-term environmental education program in which students study processes that lead to the maintenance and restoration of native vegetation species in Research Natural Areas, and use geospatial technologies to map and monitor restoration efforts.

Paul Halfpop
Hardin High School

GIS Classroom Project Title: Exploring Pixel Resolution Using GIS

Project Abstract:Students will be using GPS and GIS software to predict and compare color/shading of images of varying pixel size. They will upload a point file into their GPS unit, use the GPS to locate the uploaded points, make a color representation of their plot, render the plot as a single color, obtain an appropriately scaled pixel image, import the point file into an ArcView project, compare their image to a satellite image of comparable resolution, create a new ArcView project theme or ArcMap layer, and overlay their theme or layer on an image of similar resolution. Students will perform the above tasks for four plot sizes.

Dean Herreid
Libby High School

GIS Classroom Project Title: Tracking Asbestosis: Mappying Libby, MT Vermiculite Exports

Project Abstract: Dean Herreid and his students are developing a geodatabase of over 200 American cities that received asbestos-containing vermiculite from Libby, Montana. It is estimated that the Libby, Montana, Zonolite mine was the source of over 70% of all vermiculite sold in the US from 1919 to 1990. The death rate from asbestosis in Libby and surrounding areas is 40-80 times higher than elsewhere in the state and the nation, suggesting that the export of asbestos-containing vermiculite from this area presents a serious health hazard.

David McDonald
Sidney High School

GIS Classroom Project Title: Integrating GIS into High School Physics

Project Abstract: Students will use ArcMap to measure the local difference in the acceleleration of gravity. Knowing the magnitude and direction of the gravitational force variation that depends on local features is useful in prospecting for oil. This has importance for the community as Sidney is located in an area rich in fossil fuels and has long depended economically on the fossil fuel extraction industry.

Tim Mosbacher
Hellgate Middle School

GIS Classroom Project Title: Presidential Elections of 2000 and 2004

Project Abstract: Using GIS, students closely analyze voting patterns of the 2000 and 2004 elections, county by county. Students discover how a state is declared a blue or red state, and whether this is an accurate statement. Students learn to critically interpret maps and understand the data layers behind the map.

Mike Plautz
Hellgate Middle School

GIS Classroom Project Title: Exploring Plate Boundaries and Sands

Project Abstract: Students use GIS to work with data on volcanoes, earthquakes, earth topography, and ocean crust ages. By classifying the plate boundaries and looking for relationships between the data sets, students determine what is happening at these plate boundaries. Examination of sand samples from around the world extends student experiences in authentic geology research as they categorize the sand's components and predict sample origin in relation to plate boundary types.

Mariann Prewett
Opheim School

GIS Classroom Project Title: Are We in Danger? A GIS Analysis of Cancer in Montana

Project Abstract: In recent years, several Opheim students have been lost to cancer. This project uses GIS to explore cancer occurrences in Valley County vs. Montana. Students are creating a geodatabase of cancer occurrences by county and year in the state of Montana. They analyze the occurrences of cancer in Valley County over a ten year period and compare cancer trends in Valley County to cancer rates for the entire state of Montana. GIS skills used include: creating a cancer geodatabase, adding layers to a data frame, database calculations, map projections, map properties, joining databases to shapefiles, exporting a join as a shapefile, creating shapefiles and graphs.


Jennifer Schlepp
Utterback Middle School (Conrad)

GIS Classroom Project Title: Using GIS for Ranchland Planning and Sustainability

Project Abstract: Conrad is situated in the golden triangle, an area of Montana that is often referred to as the bread basket of America. Students will be working with local ranchers to plot local ranchland acreage using GPS, identify and plot locations of chemical applications, examine satellite imagery of local ranchland for productivity rates, and compare rates of productivity with chemical application information to aid ranchers in determining specific locations and amounts of chemicals needed to maximize yield while reducing the need for widespread chemical applications.