Author Information

Christopher St. Andre


As the global climate changes many species are forced to adapt, but if the climate changes beyond their tolerance levels they can face extinction1. Scientists need to work fast in order to mitigate these extinctions. Using field observations of species’ habitats coupled with the use of geographic information systems (GIS), researchers can model the locations of ideal habitats. Using these models, scientists can work to improve conservation efforts by raising the populations of dwindling species or predicting locations to place new subpopulations. Data used in GIS are spatially explicit, so stored within individual data sets and information systems are locational references. GIS data are widely available and can be applied at large spatial scales. In a study on songbirds in southern Ohio, researchers were able to predict habitat areas, as well as the number of individual territories in the area using GIS. The information determined with the aid of GIS was analyzed to accurately measure population size for the habitats.

Note on the Author

Chris St. Andre is a senior majoring in Environmental Biology. His research was made possible through the Adrian Tinsley Program summer grant, and the guidance of his mentor Dr. Darcy Boellstorff. Mr. St. Andre has presented his research at the 2008 Adrian Tinsley Summer Research Symposium, and at the Association of American Geographers 2009 Annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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