GPS Mapping and Community Development
During the Fall 2012 semester, students at UPB used interactive trail mapping software to promote the natural and historic tourism assets of McKean County, Pennsylvania, encourage public health locally, and integrate trail usage into the curriculum of area schools. This work was essential to supporting the tourism industries of McKean County in anticipation of potentially widespread environmental change through Marcellus Shale development; crucially, it also exposed students to community development strategies that balanced industrial and natural tourism economies of northwestern Pennsylvania. This project was developed in partnership with the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, the school board and local government of Smethport, Pitt-Bradford's Center for Rural Health Practice, and the Potato Creek Trail Association of Smethport.
Students in Applied Anthropology physically mapped and digitally photographed trails to identify ideal points for natural and/or historic data entry as well as compiled natural scientific and historic data on Smethport, Pennsylvania to upload onto the trail application maps so users can access this information via handheld devices such as smart phones. Students in a second class, Family and Community Relationships, designed GPS-based lesson plans for different age groups in the Smethport Area School District on trails adjacent and accessible to area schools.
Dr. William Schumann
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
300 Campus Drive
Bradford, PA 16701