Trail Science Institute

The TSI focuses on promotion of recreational trail, primarily in the State of Alabama, by providing educations experiences and providing services such as assessment, monitoring, management, planning, and construction.

The TSI defines trails as any form of route, path, or set of navigational aids that directs it users across the landscape, including but not limited to: hiking and biking trails, paddling trails, birding trails, cultural and historical trails, etc.

Purpose Statement

The TSI will promote recreational trails in Alabama by partnering with trail groups and agencies. The TSI will provide educational opportunities for students to complete high quality and high value research to improve and transform trails. Using the latest scientific methods and geospatial technologies the TSI will provide support and solutions.

Current Projects

  • Alabama Trails Foundation – We are working with the Alabama Trails Foundation to create geospatial datasets in support of their Trail Master Plan and National Recreational Trail designation. We are using GIS to improve and streamline trail maintenance and management.
  • Alabama Scenic River Trails – We are working to create river maps and provide geospatial datasets for all kayaking and canoeing rivers and streams in the state. We are creating river mile points and maps, and they will install mile markers along the rivers for emergency response and navigation.
  • Anniston Museum and Botanical Gardens – The trail building classes offered by the TSI have partnered with the AMBG to build and maintain trails on their property. This arrangement provides students with hands on trail building experiences.
  • Sweet Trails Alabama – We are working with the Sweet Trails Alabama by participating in their steering committee as they complete their statewide master plan. Additional we are providing GIS analysis and support to ALTA planning for the master plan.


We offer a Sustainable Trail Science Certificate.

We can develop educational opportunities and presentations for groups or agencies that want to know more about trails and trail science.

Contact Information

Trail Science Institute Director
Ross H. Martin PhD, PG
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry and Geosciences
Office: 207A Martin Hall email: