facilities & resources

Student GIS Projects


Canadian Lynx Habitat…

Land cover data was used to identify potential lynx habitat in the White Mountains National Forest.

Environmental Justice…

Census tract data and land use data were used to identify Environmental Justice areas in Holyoke, Mass.

Littleton Buildout Analysis…

Zoning and hydric soil maps were used to identify land suitable for development in Littleton, N.H.

Curtis L. Ivey Science Center

The Curtis L. Ivey Science Center is a two-story, 32,000-square-foot building opened in 2004 that houses the Environmental Studies and Natural Sciences Departments. As the center for science education, the facility accommodates eight laboratories and six classrooms, with faculty offices and student spaces on both floors. A 180-seat auditorium is located on the first floor.

Geographic Information Systems

Geographic Information Systems(GIS) is a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating and displaying geographically referenced information, i.e. data identified according to their locations. For environmental issues, this technology has a wide and important application, and Colby-Sawyer has a competitive advantage over many other institutions in that we offer more GIS stations per student than any other institution in the Northeast.

The Environmental Studies Department at Colby-Sawyer College is committed to providing students with training and experience with this technology and related applications such as Global Positioning Systems.

The department was recognized with substantial support awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand student learning and research opportunities with geographic mapping and positioning technologies. Through the NSF grant, the college has created a spatial ecology laboratory in the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center and purchased additional Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) equipment.

You can learn more about GIS as a career in this feature story about Environmental Studies alum Jon Evans.

The Lake Sunapee Protective Association Water Lab

In 1998, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), the Lake Sunapee Protective Association and Colby-Sawyer College formed a partnership to create a satellite water-quality laboratory.

The lab, on the first floor of the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center, operates under strict quality standards and processes water samples from as many as 25 area lakes.

Other campus resources

Other campus resources include a weather monitoring station, field labs (Susan's Wetland and the 80-acre college forest), and a spatial ecology lab for working with Geographic Information Systems (mapping software) and GPS equipment. Additionally, the department hosts an on-line herbarium and a greenhouse. Applied science projects on campus include a maple sugaring operation in Sue's Sugar House, and the Anne Baynes Hall Seedling Lot and Organic Garden.