Monday, September 21, 2015

A New GIS River Basin Map Available to Educators

The Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs now provides an online GIS River Basin map for educators. The new interactive map allows you to explore your river basin or learn more about any of the 17 river basins in North Carolina. You can click on each basin to learn about the diversity of plants and animals found in our beautiful state.

A version of the map that focused on the Tar-Pamlico River Basin was used by teachers during UNC’s Institute for the Environment’s EGRET (Exploring the Geographical Region and Ecosystems of the Tar-Pamlico Watershed) Fellows Program this summer. The summer institute was held for 5th grade teachers at Goose Creek State Park in Washington and A Time for Science in Greenville.

“The interactive GIS river basin map is an excellent tool for educators to use with students or anyone who wants to better understand the ecological features and important resources in their river basin,” said Sarah Yelton, Environmental Education Coordinator with the institute’s Environmental Resource Program. “We used it specifically with 5th grade teachers in our EGRET Fellows Program who are exploring the natural and cultural resources of the Tar-Pamlico River Basin. The teachers liked having the ability to turn on and off layers of information and target in on a specific basin. We created a web scavenger hunt, or web quest, for the Tar-Pamlico River Basin to go along with the GIS based map and the teachers loved it,” she said.

The map is now available online at The online map has many potential uses for schools that utilize electronic tablets and other multi-media tools in the classroom. The office hopes that more educators will use the map in the classroom to help students make connections to the rivers and streams in their own communities.
There are more North Carolina River Basin resources at, including river basin lesson plans developed by North Carolina classroom teachers, nonformal educators and office staff. The Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs welcomes new lesson plan or activity ideas based on the new GIS map or existing river basin materials. Please share your ideas with us on Twitter, Facebook or email Tracy Weidert, River Basin Education Program Manager at 

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