Initially, Diane Styers merely envisioned giving Western Carolina University its first campus tree map to be used as an educational and community awareness tool.
Little did the natural resource conservation and management assistant professor realize that it would grow into a multidisciplinary project that included students from NRCM, environmental science, computer information systems, graphic design and possibly photography.
“We’re calling it a STEAM project – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math,” joked Styers, who also teaches geography courses. “It’s been a great opportunity, not just for me, but for the students.”
In the spring of 2016, Styers submitted a proposal to the Sustainable Energy Initiative to fund a three-phased project that would provide WCU with a campus tree map on which every tree on the main campus would be located, identified with a number, and then shown with detailed information.