• Congratulations to AAST GIS students for sweeping the state ArcGIS Online competition!  Our students took the first 4 positions in the statewide competition!   The 2022 South Carolina ArcGIS Online map contest is part of the Esri national student ArcGIS Online Competition. It is open to all South Carolina students (solo or pairs) in public, private, charter, and home middle schools (grades 4-8) and high schools (grades 9-12). Students research a topic within the state, create a  Story Map, and submit it. The top 5 middle/high school entries will receive a $100 prize.  

    What is GIS? A geographic information system (GIS) is a system that creates, manages, analyzes, and maps all types of data. GIS connects data to a map, integrating location data (where things are) with all types of descriptive information (what things are like there). This provides a foundation for mapping and analysis that is used in science and almost every industry. GIS helps users understand patterns, relationships, and geographic context. The benefits include improved communication and efficiency as well as better management and decision-making. Hundreds of thousands of organizations in virtually every field are using GIS to make maps that communicate, perform analysis, share information, and solve complex problems around the world. This is changing the way the world works. Everything happens somewhere and AAST GIS students are learning how to harness the power of geospatial analysis.  Below are the winners and their projects:  

Trinity Lu and David Nesbitt


Joeylee Vazqueztell and Zachary Crowe


Connor Greve and Azizbek Nurmatov



Joey Fanizzi and Ben Chanaca
  • 1st Place and the State of South Carolina’s High School Level Representative in the 2022 National ArcGIS Competition: Trinity Lu and David Nesbitt

    “Where are the First Americans?”



    Centuries before the European explorers set foot on the North American continent and deemed it the "New World," millions of people were already well amidst the landscape. These were the Native Americans.

    The estimated 4 million natives were found throughout the continent and relied on resources from nature to construct homes, tools, gather food, etc. But because many tribes did not have a written language, there are few records of the exact territories, population numbers, practices, or beliefs of these people. In the state of South Carolina, in which one of the earliest English colonies was settled and the first tribes to have been encountered, there are enough found records to estimate the settlement ranges for each known tribe. We have depicted them below to the left. But on the right side are the results of European explorers settling into North America and bringing their disease, greed, and weapons and contacting the natives.


  • 2nd Place: Joeylee Vazqueztell and Zachary Crowe

    “Homelessness of SC”


    Project Goal:

    Our goal in this project was to analyze the number of homeless shelters and food pantries in the state of South Carolina in comparison to the number and location of homeless in SC.  In this StoryMap, we identify the locations of homeless shelters and food pantries, the population of Homeless in SC, and the distance it takes to reach homeless shelters and food pantries from points of high concentration.







  • 3rd Place: Connor Greve and Azizbek Nurmatov

    “Loggerhead Sea Turtle Conservation in South Carolina” https://arcg.is/1r90eS0 


    The project we have created focuses on the dangers that the Loggerhead Sea Turtle faces in the South Carolina waters and coastline. We developed this project because we have seen firsthand the harmful effects that man-made factors have imposed on the sea turtle population. 

    Aptly named for its large heads, the loggerhead turtle has powerful jaw muscles that enable it to feed on hard-shelled prey in the ocean. Most of the young and adult loggerhead populations live off of U.S. coastal waters, with a greater population of adults migrating from neighboring nations onto our coasts.

    Currently, due to many reasons, these sea-faring animals have been dwindling in population. If not for our direct destruction of their nesting sites and habitats, sea turtles have been forced to leave their nesting sites because of indirect human activity. Whether it be because of climate change, getting killed as bycatch, or falling victim to poachers for their illustrious shells, sea turtles populations are in a slow decline. In our research, we have attempted to extrapolate the factors that need the most attention in saving this beautiful species. 


  • 4th Place: Joey Fanizzi and Ben Chanaca 

    “Flounder overfishing has been a problem for the last decade” https://arcg.is/ODrz 


    On the border of Georgetown and Horry Counties, Murrells Inlet is a marsh area known  for the many fresh seafood restaurants as well as the scenic sites. Due to its close proximity to many campgrounds and Myrtle Beach itself, the area gets a lot of tourist foot traffic for activities like boating, kayaking, and fishing. Many fishers try to catch a plethora of different species in the marsh, including Summer Flounder. The species has been fished in the inlet for many years, and due to this, the population has been on a steady decline. This story map explains how much the population has decreased, and the steps that have taken place to rebuild the population.