GSS & Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Due to the strong partnership between GSS and Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, collaboration between the two occurs in many different forms. Whether it’s working on campus in academic departments or off campus within the Winona community, GSS strives to continue building relationships and help improve the Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and Winona community.
M.S. Geographic information science
Along with the classroom experience students receive through the M.S. GIS program, GSS can provide graduate students with real-world project-based experiential learning as a student intern in the GIS field. Students have the opportunity to work on active client projects, while clients can benefit via access to future employees and emerging skills and technologies.
geographic information science minor (undergraduate)
Similar to the M.S. GIS program, the undergraduate GIS minor provides students with the spatial knowledge and skills that can be paired with many degrees. Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to be an intern at GSS, gaining that real-world project-based experiential learning.
University Science Departments
Since natural resources are one of the many focuses for GSS, strong ties have been made with the Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Science Departments. Not only do students from those departments come to work as student technicians, but GSS has assisted those campus departments with map production and educational opportunities.
CASCADE MEADOW WETLANDS & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE CENTER
Cascade Meadow is a wetlands and environmental learning center in Rochester, MN, owned and operated by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
The site features a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly building (LEED® platinum certified) for hosting classes, educational programs, and other events. Visitors can interact with various exhibits focusing on water, energy, and wetlands. The property also supports nearly 100 acres of restored wetland and prairie habitat, including an artificially-constructed lake, and approximately two miles of trails. These habitats support a variety of wildlife, from frogs and waterfowl to butterflies and muskrats. For more information on programs and hours of operation, visit the Cascade Meadow website
Since late 2015, GSS has been involved in a partnership with the University Biology department and Cascade Meadow to provide management and scientific monitoring recommendations for the site’s restorations. During the summer of 2016, two Saint Mary’s Biology students served as interns at Cascade Meadow, controlling invasive plant species in the restorations, establishing and sampling vegetation plots in the restored prairie area, collecting aquatic data from the site's lake, and even assisting with several educational programs on site. The interns were guided by Biology faculty, GSS staff, and Cascade Meadow staff.
In a unique collaboration, Winona’s largest public and private institutions have committed to partnering together to sustain Winona’s social, economic, and environmental resources. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is one of these institutions, with Andy Robertson (Director of GSS) as one of the team leaders. The goals of this partnership are “to commit to reducing greenhouse emissions through the promotion of energy conservation, low carbon energy technologies and pollution-prevention strategies,” and, “to share experiences, fund solutions, and educate our communities on the need for aggressive action to address climate change.”