Monday, April 09, 2007

Mid-Hudson GIS User's Group - Second Meeting

We had a second meeting of the Mid-Hudson GIS User's Group and what follows are the minutes of that meeting. The first one was held last October. This time we met at Bard College in the Henderson Lab, where Bard's terrific GIS lab is located. We were short about 5 or 8 people, but we were not deterred and stuck with the agenda.

Mark Becker, CIESIN and Bard College
Mitchell Bring, Graphic Intelligence
Craig Vogel, Winnakee Land Trust
Girk Cakmak, Bowne Management Systems, Inc.
Susan Winchell-Sweeney, Bard College
Christopher Lindner, Bard College
Mark Halsey, Bard College
Meg Stewart, Vassar College

The meeting opened with a presentation by Mark Becker. Mark is a faculty member for Bard's Center for Environmental Policy, where he has taught the GIS program for four years. He is also the Associate Director of Geospatial Applications at CIESIN (Center for International Earth Science Information Network). Mark talked about the GIS course in the graduate program and how he is able to bring real-world data from CIESIN into his teaching at BCEP. This semester the class has been opened up to 13 undergraduates, a new approach for Bard.
Christopher Lindner gave a presentation on his archaeological work in nearby Germantown and on the Bard campus. Using GIS, Lindner and his colleague Susan Winchell-Sweeney, georeferenced a 1740 map showing settlement in Germantown and discussed German immigration patterns in the Hudson Valley in the early 18th century, populating Rhinebeck, parts of Ulster County and then into Pennsylvania. Lindner also discussed work done by students in the Historical Archaeology class who have gathered both historical and pre-historic artifacts from the Bard campus (the Bard Lands Project). (The point shown above is NOT from Bard College land.) From these surface surveys and test pits, Lindner has helped identify sections of the campus worth further archaeological investigation and has advocated for modification of site plans. There's a rich historical record in the soil at Bard.

Susan Winchell-Sweeney, Bard GIS consultant, took us on a tour of the some of the areas discussed in Christopher's lecture. Bard College is located on a beautiful and large piece of property overlooking the Hudson River. Susan discussed her work as an archaeologist at Bard. She has coordinated the mapping efforts between Buildings and Grounds, the architects of new building projects, and the archaeologists by using GIS and AutoCAD for plotting accurate locations of underground conduits, building sites and historical and pre-historic findings. It's not easy to be able to speak all those languages plus be able to make a decent map!

We ate lunch and had some more informal discussion. We adjourned at about 1:00pm.

1 comment:

macunningham said...

thanks for keeping us posted!
nice site and links, by the way.
--Mary Ann