Thursday, June 28, 2012

Applications in GIS: Student Spotlights

GIS4048/5100 Applications in GIS 

In the Applications in GIS course, students begin the semester by working through a series of modules related to natural hazards. This week’s topic, earthquakes, is the first of three Geo-Hazards or Natural Hazards we cover (2nd hurricanes, 3rd tsunamis).  In each lesson, students learn how GIS is used to identify and plan, mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from a natural hazard.  Key terms are defined, and hands-on exercises  demonstrate GIS being used in real-world emergency scenarios.

Earthquakes Hands-on Exercise Highlights

Topics covered: Northridge temblor of 1994 (magnitude 6.7) near Los Angeles, CA. See exactly how GIS was used to organize the chaos that followed this event. Exercises use actual data collected and employed at the time of the quake. Analyze data and create maps similar to those used in the actual
response and recovery efforts.

  • Use GIS to identify features at risk from an earthquake.
  • Explain how geology and magnitude values relate to building damage.
  • Map building damage to reveal the configuration of a fault.
  • Import data from an earthquake catalog and visualize it in 3D.
  • Create summary tables and plot earthquake data as graphs.

Student Spotlight Awards

The following students were chosen for their exceptional work on the Northridge Temblor Earthquake assignment:

John Kearney

John is most interested in  GIS applications for wildfires. He is currently employed as a wildland firefighter/ Forest Ranger for the Florida Forest Service. He has GIS experience working at the University of Central Florida Arboretum; where he used GIS to help manage the 800 acres of natural lands. We appreciate  what you do inside and outside of class, John!  It's your time to shine.

What we Like: John created a very visually pleasing and easily understandable map document. He paid attention to detail by including the units for each scale within his legend. His map design was also very well laid out and easy on the eyes. 

More: See John's blog


Alison Hayden 

Alison works in the Marine Fisheries field and she is most interested in learning more about how GIS is used in this industry. In the past, Alison has contributed to research on a NOAA based study involving Juvenile swordfish in the Gulf of Mexico where essential habitat is defined. Specifically, she participated in an icthyoplankton study collecting the data to support NOAA research. In the ESRI list of GIS industries, Fisheries management falls within the Marine and Oceans under the Natural Resources group.  We think that's really cool! See her post to learn more. We enjoy Alison's work and I'm pleased to showcase her in this week's spotlight awards.

What we like: Allison did an excellent job at presenting her results in a clear and concise way. She went the extra mile by clearly identifying the specific levels in the legend on her map. Her insert map also helped to further identify exactly where the area of interest is.

More: See Alison'
s blog

Lorraine Huron

 Lorraine plans to continue her GIS studies with a master's degree and work in academic research.  Lorraine's dedication to academics shows in her work and I'm excited to include her in this week's line-up. Welcome to the spotlight this week, Lorraine!  

What we Like: Lorraine did a very nice job of incorporating her graphs into the layout. This provided the viewer with  in-depth information on the magnitude of the earthquakes. Her layout provides multiple layers of information in one simply comprised deliverable.  Great job, Lorraine!

More: See Lorraine's blog

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