My project goal is to develop a working competency with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software through the creation of a foundational GIS database that incorporates new and existing water quality, geomorphology, and mapping research on the Upper Kalamazoo River watershed. The goal will be achieved by completing an online curriculum and working closely with a GIS specialist. The database will be compiled from four datasets: a series of base maps, records of human disturbance in the watershed, and records of both spatial and temporal variations of water quality conditions in the watershed. Once created, the datasets can be compared visually in both qualitative and quantitative ways using GIS software applications. Learning GIS and building a foundational GIS watershed database will help facilitate transitioning my secondary student-centered research into a primary research focus for me. Becoming proficient in GIS will completely change my perspective and approach to research. As a database, it will allow me to compile and organize complex and seemingly unrelated data into a connected system. As an analytical tool or mode of inquiry, it has the potential to allow me to address a wider variety of questions, and thus will help facilitate opportunities for collaboration across disciplines.