Rebecca Means

Rebecca Means is a Wildlife Ecologist

and science educator with a local nonprofit, Coastal Plains Institute. She has a B.S. degree in both Wildlife Ecology and in Biology from Virginia Tech and an M.S. degree in Forestry from Texas A&M. Although she has worked with wildlife ranging from fire ants to the Florida panther, Rebecca's expertise is with the amphibians that inhabit temporary wetlands. Her recent work has focused on building an environmental education program around CPI's research project to repatriate a rare salamander species, the striped newt. But it is through her knowledge of GIS and her backpacking skills that she co-founded Remote Footprints and has spent the past 7 years mounting expeditions with her husband and young daughter to the remotest location of each state.

Remote Footprints

Remote Footprints is a nonprofit organization dedicated to utilizing experiential outdoor learning and scientific exploration as tools to inspire individuals and families to appreciate biodiversity and remote areas. Website »


Project Remote: One Family's Quest to Document Remoteness in America

In order to bring attention to the extent of roads in our country and the importance of remote and roadless areas to both humans and wildlife, Remote Footprints has created an endeavor called Project Remote. Project Remote is an investigation into what it means to be 'remote' on the surface of the Earth. We use GIS to calculate the most remote location of each state, as quantified by distance to road, then mount an expedition to that location. Once on site, we use videography and photography to document the ecological characteristics, as well as record the presence of human sound and a few other metrics, thereby generating new knowledge about ecological and physical conditions in these special, previously unknown, places. We do all this with our young (now 7) daughter in tow. This presentation will provide an adventurous look at applying GIS to conservation questions, with images of over 30 Remote Spot Expeditions from Florida to Maine and down through the Rocky Mountain states.