"Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer-based information systems designed to work with data spatially referenced to the earth. GIS compares multiple layers of information and analyzes geographic patterns and relationships. Thus, GIS is unique in providing complex information in the familiar framework of a map.

In the context of the Three Rivers 2nd Nature project, GIS will permit the mapping and analysis of topographical elements such as vegetation, water quality, and man made features and their relationships. For example, using global positioning systems (GPS), GIS maps information such as plant species along a river's edge, analyzing trends occurring over time. By overlaying other information, GIS may provide insight into relationships that lead to environmental changes."

Kristen Kurland driving the boat on a river

Kristen Kurland

Senior Lecturer
Carnegie Mellon University
H. John Heinz III
School of Public Policy and Management
and the School of Architecture
3 Rivers 2nd Nature
GIS Research Consultant