The Google Earth Pro Pilot

Google Earth Pro Pi lot History

We use maps every day. We use them to get directions, visualize predicted rainfall, and even follow temperature gradients across a region to anticipate a spike or drop in temperature. Ultimately, maps equip us to make efficient and important decisions. The public has access to a wealth of freely available information and online platforms, such as GEP (an online GIS software), that enable them to create aesthetically appealing and useful maps.

In 2016, Oregon State University began developing a F2F and an online-F2F hybrid course to teach land managers how to use GEP to map land. The need for this course came — as traditional Extension programming typically does — began with a critical problem from a concerned group. In 2015, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) consideration to list the greater sage-grouse as a threatened or endangered

The greater sage-grouse

species, created a challenge for land managers in Oregon, Idaho, and other western states. Since the mid-20th century, the habitat for greater sage-grouse has decreased by nearly 50%, due to increased surface disturbance and landscape fragmentation (Crawford et al. 2004). Public and private rangeland managers in the region began inquiring if lands they managed were considered greater sage-grouse habitat, which could have potential regulatory implications. In response to a need for maps and land management planning, two Oregon State University Extension Service personnel conceived the idea of developing a F2F and a hybrid GEP course incorporating synchronous and asynchronous learning. The initial endeavor received $20,000 of funding for curriculum development and hardware for rangeland monitoring kits. From 2016 through 2019, our team strategically expanded to include personnel from Oregon State University and the University of Idaho Extension services. During that GEP pilot, our team consisted of four county-based faculty and one Extension specialist. Pilot impacts included the following:

one Extension course consisting of eight modules with supporting handouts, videos, and presentations

11 hybrid Extension courses

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