Research Projects - Beginning with Habitat
Beginning with Habitat: An Evaluation of the Map Package for Land Use Planning Purposes in Maine
Authors: Raquel Ross
Beginning with Habitat is an environment-oriented nonprofit organization. This research project evaluates the Beginning with Habitat map package for its effectiveness in land use planning. The Beginning with Habitat map package provides towns with a wealth of information on rare plants, animals, water resources, valuable wetlands and conserved lands in their locality. The maps have been used by the Beginning with Habitat workgroup and towns for the past six years but have not been evaluated outside the workgroup. This project looks at the ways people interpret the maps and the ways in which the maps are used. Study participants include state agencies that work in land use planning, town comprehensive planning committees, town conservation commissions and students from a geographic information systems course. This project uses a focus group study approach and user surveys to analyze the map package. This research project may be useful for not only the Beginning with Habitat workgroup but also for people involved with land use planning tools and measures.