MES: Critical Areas Analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Winter 2003

The Washington State Growth Management Act (1998) designates Critical Areas as the following areas and ecosystems: (a) Wetlands; (b) areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water; (c) fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas; (d) frequently flooded areas; and (e) geologically hazardous areas. In this class we will examine how these areas are delineated and why they are considered "critical". The designation of critical areas restricts the development of private and public property. The consequences of this designation on development and growth will also be investigated. Students will be introduced to ArcView and ArcInfo Geographic Information Systems (GIS). These applications will provide the tools that students will use to develop applied projects that focus on one or more critical areas.


Faculty: Ken Tabbutt