A Proposal for Development of a Coral Reef Mapping Tool for the Simpson Bay Lagoon of St. Maarten

This student proposal contained herein has been submitted to University of Redlands MS GIS program as a component of the GIS 691 course, in consideration of the program’s degree requirement for a Major Individual Project (MIP).

This proposal has been reviewed by the undersigned MS GIS Program faculty, and has been found to be acceptable for continued project development in accordance with the MS GIS program’s guidelines for completion of a “professional-style” GIS consulting project. 

Coral reefs contribute significantly to the socio-economic well-being of the people of St. Maarten. These coral reefs are rapidly declining due to various environmental and social factors. This project develops a prototype citizen science mapping tool, comprising of an Android mobile application built from a customized version of an Open Source software called Open Data Toolkit (ODK), and an ArcGIS Online web mapping application built using a standard template of Esri's Web AppBuilder. This tool is designed to assist recreational divers and other local stakeholders of St. Maarten to easily and conveniently report their observations on the status of coral reefs in their locality. Users will publish these observations directly from their smartphones to a publicly-accessible web mapping application. Such observations will contribute towards the development of a Coastal Protection Master Plan for St. Maarten. The tool has a potential of providing vital information for coral reef conservation and repopulation, while at the same time creating awareness on the subject in St. Maarten. 

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