Summer 2021 Sustainability Fellow: Crystal Posey

Laurelin Haas
Crystal's Introduction Slide

Partner: FSU Planning & Space Management

Project: Visualizing Green and Open Spaces 

Student: Crystal Posey, Second Year Graduate Student in Geographic Information Systems

In Summer, 2021, Crystal worked with FSU Planning & Space Management to locate and map green and open spaces on the FSU campus. She also analyzed pedestrian accessibility to the open spaces. Crystal was interested in the Fellows program because it provided an effective approach to combating the challenges our society and environment face.

Crystal worked with Morgan Runion, GIS Manager, and Melanie Jenkins, GIS Analyst, to map and visualize green spaces and pedestrian routes. In her research, Crystal learned that green spaces within an accessible distance of 1.6 km have a positive impact on mental health. 

Using ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Story Maps, Crystal gained experience in data structure and data management. She defined open and green spaces, categorizing them as shrubs, flower beds, turf, and plazas. Crystal also converted and georeferenced AutoCAD DWG files to a GIS-compatible file geodatabase, generating an inventory geodatabase of the green spaces’ conditions and locations. 

Additionally, Crystal created and edited features using aerial imagery and the ArcGIS Pro Create Feature tool. Finally, she conducted a Network Analysis utilizing the service area tool to measure pedestrian accessibility to open spaces from parking spaces. Overall, Crystal found that the majority of campus open spaces are pedestrian friendly. 

“I’d never actually created features from scratch,” said Crystal. “I’d always just imported the data that other people created. But creating features from scratch is something a lot of people ask for in job interviews. I’d also never used the network tool, and I found that YouTube has a lot of good tutorials.” 

The FSU GIS team is excited to use many of the map layers Crystal created, particularly  the turf polygon where Crystal drew the green spaces on campus. They also believe Crystal’s analysis was very insightful. 

“We have a lot of amenities within a 10 minute walk of a picnic table,” said Morgan. “Overall, I think this is great information that shows everyone has plentiful access to green space and other outdoor features.” 

In the future, the GIS team believes Crystal’s data will help them visualize green and open spaces on future maps and tailor analysis to specific target groups, such as students. Crystal plans to explore some of the campus areas she discovered in her mapping. 

“There’s definitely a lot of walkways here that I wasn’t aware of,” said Crystal. “I’ve been going to school here since 2015, and I want to go to areas I’ve never been to before.” 

To view Crystal's full report, visit

To learn more about FSU Planning & Space Management, visit

To learn more about the Sustainability Fellows program, visit