Pensacola, Fla. – March 28, 2019 – The University of West Florida GeoData Center was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from Gulf Power Foundation, which will help modernize a water quality research project at Booker T. Washington High School.
Since 2013, Booker T. Washington High School Marine Science Academy students have been collecting water quality data at Bayou Texar in Pensacola. The Amplify! grant from the Gulf Power Foundation will allow the GeoData Center to help the academy integrate information students have collected into an online mapping Geographic Information Systems platform which will make the data easier to study and evaluate. Funds will also go toward training students on new tools for real-time data collection.
Students at the Marine Science Academy will receive new tablet computers for entering and cataloging the data they collect. GIS research scientists from UWF will teach students how to use the devices.
“The students are doing great work on their own already, but this is going to allow them to have a more interactive platform,” said Leigh Jeudevine, a GIS research scientist at UWF who helped coordinate the grant application. “It’s good for the students and for the program because it’s going to streamline things for them.”
The students will also learn about using story mapping techniques to present their research using photographs and other interactive features.
“It’s going to help them have a better format for presenting their scientific results as well as their goals for the project,” Jeudevine said.
The GeoData Center hopes the project will be used as a model to apply for other grants that could fund efforts to modernize science programs at other schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, Jeudevine said.