Great apes & GIS: Prof. Cheryl Joyce speaking 4/28 - 2010-04-13
Great apes and GIS: Professor helps conservation using technology
Paul Smith’s prof Cheryl Joyce to discuss her work in Africa at April 28 presentation
Contact: Kenneth Aaron, Director of Communications
(518) 327-6297 / firstname.lastname@example.org
PAUL SMITHS – When Paul Smith’s College professor Cheryl Joyce went to Cameroon to assist with efforts to track the endangered Cross River gorilla, she didn’t bring binoculars.
She brought laptops.
In 2009, Joyce spent nine weeks in the seaside town of Limbe teaching representatives of the Wildlife Conservation Society how to use professional mapping software. The program, ArcMap, is a leading geographic information systems application helping field workers keep tabs on the gorilla, of which just 300 remain – making it the most endangered African ape of all.
Joyce will discuss her work in Africa on Wednesday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in the Joan Weill Adirondack Library. Her talk, “Using GIS to Save the Cross River Gorilla,” is free and open to the public.
She taught WCS researchers to use ArcMap to store data relating to ape sightings, and predict their movement, population sizes and other information. Ultimately, the researchers hope to use that information to convince the government to protect the remote areas inhabited by the apes.
“The best part was just sitting down with these guys and teaching them this stuff,” says Joyce, who led training sessions on the latest version of the software (the one they were familiar with was a decade out of date) and left behind a pair of donated laptops. “And they were really happy to learn it – they were really excited to have somebody that was interested, and cared.”
Joyce’s talk is offered by the college’s Faculty Research & Development Committee, which helped sponsor a portion of Joyce’s trip.
About Paul Smith’s College
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. The college, whose campus is on the shores of Lower St. Regis Lake, is the only four-year institution of higher education in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park of New York State. Our programs, in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship, the sciences, and many others, draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere.