GIS mapping to understand tick distribution in Jenny Rahn’s Biology 226 lab


In the Introduction to Molecules, Cells, and Development Discussion and Laboratory, coordinated by Dr. Jenny Rahn, students explore molecular, cell, and developmental biology in a more hands-on way than a lecture course. They also gain experience in experimental design and data analysis in this BIOL 226 course. In this DIY, Dr. Rahn shows how one module teaches students to use geographic information system (GIS) mapping to relate tick distribution, the presence of white-tailed deer, and human land use. GIS has increasingly become an important tool in ecology, and students’ final result displayed the presence of ticks around William & Mary and the surrounding region using Microsoft Excel and Google Earth.