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Venture and International Education grants lead to creation of interactive Australian maps (pics)

July 28, 2014

There are many ways to document a summer project or a fantastic travel experience, but Sarah Pipal’16 and Allison Vance’16 are creating maps. Interactive maps.

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The geology majors received International Education Grants and Venture Grants to hike through national parks and trails near Melbourne, Australia, for three weeks and are using ArcGIS (geographic information systems) to present their findings.

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“Our projects are a bit different, but there's a lot of overlap as we will both be making interactive maps with ArcGIS at the end,” Vance says. “Sarah's focuses on the effects of bushfire and drought on visitation to geologic sites of interest as well as damage to the parks' land and bushfire management techniques. My project looks at the same geologic sites of interest as examples of specific past geologic activity.”

In laymen’s terms? “Basically I'm creating a geologic map that organizes the surface rocks of the parks and trails we visit into chronological order,” Vance says.

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As of last week, the Beloiters had made it to half the parks they planned to visit, including Hanging Rock, Trentham Falls, and Organ Pipes.

Want to see more? “We've be photographing the rocks and surrounding forests and we've been constantly updating our prototype maps which can be found on,“ Vance adds.

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