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Education | Environmental Education | Environmental Sciences | Health and Physical Education | Higher Education | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Jean Lavigne, Environmental Studies


Abstract. Many universities encourage students to get outside as much as possible. Getting outside and participating in outdoor orientation programs has shown to be beneficial for student’s physical and mental health as well as allowing students to participate outdoors to better understand the natural world. This project documents the locations of 4-year universities and their proximity to U.S. public and federal lands. By using a research study that has taken a "census" of various orientation programs at 4-year universities, I can document not only the universities that provide these programs, but also show their distances to lands in which the programs can utilize for outdoor recreation.

Methods. For this map, my client wanted a map showing the distances from universities to U.S. public land that could be used for outdoor orientation programs. I began by differentiating public vs. private universities from the data gathered by my client. Then I manipulated data from the ArcGIS online database to portray U.S. federal lands. Both maps use the same data gathered from my client and the various universities that have outdoor orientation programs. The data for U.S. federal lands and recreational parks were gathered from the ArcGIS online database and the ESRI database.