Interpretive Maps Illustrating History of Landscape Change in Minnesota

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Regents of the University of Minnesota (Bell Museum of Natural History)
Recipient Type
Public College/University
In Progress
Start Date
January 2013
End Date
January 2014
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview
Digital maps were created depicting landscape change in Minnesota from the 1850s to today as well as maps that show predicted change in forest tree composition in northern Minnesota due to climate change. A prototype app was developed for a touchscreen computer that allows the museum visitor to explore this new content in an interactive environment as a new interpretive feature of the Bell Museum's historic Francis Lee Jaques moose habitat diorama.
The Bell Museum is in the process of developing a comprehensive plan for the interpretation of the habitat dioramas that includes a multi-sensory interactive experience in-situ at the diorama and museum-wide through an interactive digital tour. The creation of base maps and overlay data sets are important building blocks for use in multiple interpretive platforms (e.g. hand-held mobile device, interactive video screens, and interpretive flat art). By producing maps in digital format, the products of this grant are available and flexible in format for the long-term needs of the museum’s public programs.
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Minnesota Historical Society Governing Board: William R. Stoeri, President Missy S. Thompson, Vice President Ruth Huss, Vice President D. Stephen Elliott, Secretary Dean M. Nelson, Treasurer Suzanne Blue Brenda J. Child Robert Bruininks Judith S. Corson D. Stephen Elliott Phyllis Rawls Goff William D. Green David R. Hakensen Ruth S. Huss Martha Kaemmer Dennis L. Lamkin David M. Larson Charles Mahar Dean M. Nelson Elizabeth M. Nordlie Dennis Nguyen Peter R. Reis Hussein Samatar Simon Stevens Susan Kenny Stevens William R. Stoeri Karen Wilson Thissen Missy Staples Thompson Eleanor Winston Ex-Officio: Mark Dayton, Governor Yvonne Prattner Solon Lieutenant Governor Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State Lori Swanson, Attorney General Rebecca Otto, State Auditor
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Historic Resources Advisory Committee Mark Peterson, Winona (Chair) - Executive Director, Winona County Historical Society - Governor's appointee to Minnesota Sesquicentennial and Minnesota Humanities Commissions - Qualified in history, historic preservation and history museum administration Leanne Brown, Eden Prairie - Director of Development, Carver County Library/Library Foundation - Formerly, Executive Director, Carver County Historical Society - Qualified in history, project management and museum studies Jack Byers, Minneapolis - Manager, Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) - Manages CPED's Preservation and Design Section - Qualified in historic preservation, architecture, urban geography and planning Tamara Edevold, Bagley - Executive Director, Clearwater County Historical Society - Active in Minnesota's Historic Northwest, regional historical organization - Qualified in history, archaeology, anthropology and history museum administration Ram Gada, Eden Prairie - Engineer - Active in the documentation of Minnesota's East Indian community - State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), former member - Qualified in engineering, energy consulting and grants administration William Latady, Tower - Bois Forte Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer - Curator, Bois Forte Heritage Museum - Qualified in archaeology, anthropology, historic preservation and history museum administration Benjamin Vander Kooi, Luverne - Attorney practicing as Vander Kooi Law Offices, P.A., in Luverne, MN - Active in Vote Yes! Campaign - Past chair, MN State Arts Board - Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation - Qualified in historic preservation, nonprofit and grants administration Brenda Child, Minneapolis - Chair, Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota - Enrolled member, Red Lake Nation - Qualified in history, American Studies and American Indian Studies Nicole Foss, Bemidji - Executive Director, Beltrami County Historical Society, Bemidji, MN - Qualified in anthropology, historical archaeology, library and museum fields Kris Kiesling, Roseville - Director of Archives and Special Collections at University of MN Libraries - State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) member - Qualified in library and archives, digital services and history Jan Louwagie, Marshall - Coordinator, Southwest Minnesota Regional Research Center, Southwest Minnesota State University - Founding member of Society for the Study of Local and Regional History - Former member of State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) - Qualified in history and archival administration Ann Meline, Saint Cloud - Deputy Director, Stearns History Museum, St. Cloud - Formerly Assistant Director/Public Programs managing Exhibits, Collections and Education Departments - Former grant reviewer for Institute of Museum and Library Services - Qualified in history, nonprofit and museum administration Peter Reis, White Bear Lake - President, White Bear Lake Area Historical Society - Chair, Minnesota Historical Society's Grants Review Committee - Qualified in history and nonprofit and grants administration William Stoeri, Minneapolis - Ex-officio member (president of the MHS Board) Missy Staples Thompson, Saint Paul - Ex-officio member (treasurer of the MHS Board)
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2011 Chapter 6, Article 4, Subdivision 5, Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants.
Appropriation Language

Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. $5,250,000 the first year and $5,250,000 the second year are for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional, or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Direct expenses
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Digital files for maps were created showing 1.) land cover of Minnesota in 1850 (based on data collected by F.J. Marschner, in the 1930s, from the Public Land Survey of the 1850s); 2.) land cover of Minnesota today (based on the National Land Cover Database 2006 Land Cover); and 3.) projections of forest tree composition change in the forests of northern Minnesota (based on data from the US Forest Service).

A touchscreen interactive was designed to prototype the use of maps in an interactive format for museum visitors.

The targets of the grant were achieved. Digital files of maps illustrating landscape change from the past and projected landscape change of the future are now available for use with touchscreen technology.

Recipient Board Members
Linda Cohen, David Larson, Clyde Allen, Richard Beeson, Laura Brod, Thomas Devine, John Frobenius, Venora Hung, Dean Johnson, David McMillan, Maureen Ramirez, Patricia Simmons
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Regents of the University of Minnesota (Bell Museum of Natural History)
Street Address
450 McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street Southeast
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155