In 2016, the CLUS entered an agreement with the National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River (UPDE) through the Chesapeake Watershed CESU. The purpose of this five year agreement is to “Facilitate Collaborative Learning Opportunities through Service Learning Partnership.” The goal of this agreement is to complete and launch an effective and efficient spatial decisions support tool for project review within the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River corridor.

The GIS tool will be used by the Upper Delaware Partners (local municipalities, counties, states, UDC, and NPS) to work together to review and manage projects and resource issues with the potential to impact the Outstandingly Remarkable Values for which Congress designated this unit of the Wild and Scenic Rivers system. Using GIS technology will also aid in promoting, facilitating and improving the public’s understanding of natural, cultural, historical, recreational and other aspects of UPDE; particularly through visual means enabled via GIS.


The Delaware River

The main stem Delaware River, which includes the 73.4-mile-long Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, is the only major river in the eastern United States that remains undammed, providing unimpeded flows and ecologic connectivity that support scenic, recreational, ecological, cultural, and geological values. Over 17 million people rely on the Delaware River Basin for water. Approximately 9 million of those 17 million people reside outside the basin, in New York City, Philadelphia, and Northern New Jersey.

Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River

The Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (UPDE) is within 100 miles of metropolitan New York City and 175 miles from metropolitan Philadelphia. Consequently, as development pressure overtakes the East Coast, land use management in this region becomes increasingly important for its contribution to water quality throughout the Delaware River valley.

In 1978 Congress passed the Upper Delaware Act establishing the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River as a unit of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and charged the Secretary of the Interior [NPS] in cooperation with the [Delaware River Basin] Commission [DRBC], the directly affected States [PA and NY]…and local governments to:

  • Administer an Upper Delaware River Management Plan (RMP) in accordance with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (P.L. 90-542) and the Upper Delaware Act(P.L. 95-625)
  • Establish a program of coordinated implementation and administration of the RMP with many partners, including Pennsylvania, New York State, Delaware River Basin Commission, eight New York State Townships and seven Pennsylvania Townships. (P.L. 95-625,Section 704 (c)(6)
  • Enable the directly affected States and their political subdivisions to develop and implement programs compatible with the management plan, the Secretary shall provide such technical assistance to the said States and their political subdivisions as he deems appropriate. PL 95-625 704 (c) (4)
  • Establish the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Land and Water Use Guidelines (Guidelines) as directed by P.L. 95-625: “In order to carry out the provisions of [the law], specifying standards for local zoning ordinances which are consistent with the purposes of [the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act]”.


Learn more about our partnership with UPDE in the documents below. You can also view the 1986 NPS River Management Plan or visit the National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River website for other guides, management documents, workbooks, brochures, and reports related to the river corridor.

2018 Presentation to UDC by Dr. Claire Jantz

UPDE and CLUS Partnership Overview

2016 Capstone report by Dr. Shannon Thol

Affiliate Scholars

    Kristin Thorpe

    Undergraduate Student Fellow

    Kristin is a Geography major with a concentration in GIS and a Technical/Professional Communications minor. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in May of 2019. While at the CLUS, Kristin continues work on the Upper Delaware Partnership project to develop an online decision support tool. She picked up the project where former Student Fellow, Jonathon Chester, left off upon his graduation. Kristin also assisted with a Shade Tree Inventory for the Shippensburg Borough, and aided in the Appalachian Trail Research project. After graduation, Kristin will either continue her education and obtain a master’s degree, or pursue a career as a GIS specialist.

    Projects: General CLUS Support (2018-2019), UPDE Project (2018-2019), Appalachian Trail NRCA (2019)

        Jonathon Chester

        Undergraduate Student Fellow

        Jonathon graduated from Shippensburg University in May 2018 with a B.S. in Geo-Environmental Studies and Certificate in GIS. He plans to attend graduate school in the fall and hopes to pursue a career which integrates GIS with land conservation and management. Outside of work with the CLUS, he was involved in an undergraduate research project using LiDAR-derived data sets to investigate the geomorphology of broad low-relief surfaces along the crest of South Mountain, PA. Jonathon has extensive local, regional, and national leadership experience within the Boy Scouts, earning his Eagle Scout in 2011. 

        Projects: Upper Delaware Partnership (2017-2018), Kittatinny Ridge GIS Project (2017), Delaware River Basin Project (2018)

          Claire Jantz, Ph.D. – Director

          Professor, Department of Geography-Earth Science

          B.A. in College Scholars from University of Tennessee
          M.A. in Geography from University of Maryland
          Ph.D. in Geography from University of Maryland

          Dr. Claire Jantz is the Director of the CLUS. She has extensive expertise in land use and land cover change analysis and modeling, and interdisciplinary research. Dr. Jantz has particular expertise within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the Delaware River Basin, and the Delmarva Peninsula. She has participated in several collaborative research efforts funded by NASA, Maryland SeaGrant, NPS, and the William Penn Foundation.

          Alfonso Yáñez Morillo

          Research Analyst, Department of Geography-Earth Science

          A.S. in forest engineering from the Universidad Politecnica of Madrid
          B.S. in biology from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid
          M.S. in environmental management and administration from the Fundación Biodiversidad

          Alfonso specializes in landscape ecology and connectivity and has over 10 years experience applying GIS to a wide range of environmental consultancy projects. Focus areas include environmental impact assessments, land use change, planning evaluation, forest fires, and ecological flows regimes. Alfonso is a certified Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) pilot.

          Antonia Price

          Project Manager, Department of Geography-Earth Science

          H.B.S. in Biology from University of Utah

          Antonia received an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Utah, with Undergraduate Research Scholar designation. As Project Manager for the Center for Land Use and Sustainability, she oversees various research initiatives and leads communication efforts. Antonia has a background in community outreach and science education, and enjoys communicating science to diverse audiences.