Tamarac Refuge, MSU-Moorhead receive state grant funding for joint GIS project

Minnesota State University Moorhead faculty and Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge were recently awarded $19,561 (full funding) for their Minnesota Innovation Grant "Shark Tank" presentation, "Finding Refuge: Using GIS Technology to unite natural, historical, cultural, and creative experiences in the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge."

The Finding Refuge grant committee include: Professor Travis Dolence (distance learning/web librarian), Professor Alex Fogarty (graphic communications), Professor Tonya "TJ" Hanson (economics, law and politics), Dr. David Kramar (technical director, Center for Geospatial Studies, Anthropology and Earth Science), Professor Kevin Zepper (English), and Kelly Blackledge (visitor services manager, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge).

The goal of the grant project is to use GIS (geographic information system) technology to create a user-centered experience. This project will allow students and other refuge visitors to create works of art, such as photographs or poems, and geo-locate their creations to an online map, allowing others to share creative work as a contextual experience.

Top feedback points from the Shark Tank committee about the project included:

  • Multidisciplinary approach pulling in persons from multiple areas
  • Using technology to stimulate art; intriguing
  • Builds public/public and public/private partnerships.

The Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, which is northeast of Detroit Lakes, encompasses approximately 43,000 acres.

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