Monday, July 8, 2013

GIS 4048/5100 Applications in GIS - Natural Hazards Student Spotlights.

Natural Hazards
For this series of projects students enrolled in Application in GIS used their GIS skills to explore three different natural hazards; lahars, tsunamis, and hurricanes. In each lesson, students learned how GIS is used to identify and plan, mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from a natural hazard. Each exercise demonstrated GIS being used in real-world hazard scenarios.

Week 1: Lahar - Hazard Preparation and Planning, Mt. Hood, Oregon
Scenario: Students approached this project with the mindset that they had been hired as a private consultant to identify potential inundation zones for the Mt. Hood, Oregon area.  
Their goal was to use 2011 USGS 30M Digital Elevation Models (topography) and the Hydrology Tools found within ESRI’s Spatial Analyst Extension to determine drainage flow in a potential crisis situation. After determining the streams, students used newly released 2010 US Census Data to create a population analysis for the areas in proximity to the drainage areas.These findings were created to aid local and state officials in hazard planning and response time.

Student Learning Outcomes: 
  • Defined Default Geodatabase and Map Document Properties
  • Created data using the Go to XY tool and Convert Graphics Feature
  • Explored Spatial Analyst (SA) extension
  • Prepared data for processing in a geodatabase including, but not limited to, proper nomenclature.
  • Performed a raster mosaic using ArcToolbox
  • Conducted analysis using the Hydrology Toolset in the SA extension
Melyssa Hunter
About Melyssa: Melyssa is pursuing the undergraduate GIS certificate. Melyssa graduated from The University of Georgia in May 2012 with a B.S. in Geography and an emphasis in Atmospheric Sciences. She has participated in research focusing on tornado debris information gathered from social media, and has interned with my local emergency management agency. With your background in emergency management, you were a natural for the first spotlight. Way to go!
What we like: Melyssa's maps were great from a cartographic standpoint. Her symbology choices were top notch, as well as, her ability to display the information without clutter. The Hazard Planning Map was at the top of the class this week. We are pleased to share this with you all.
"This week I worked on a map showcasing the possible inundation areas surrounding Mt. Hood from lahar events. I worked with many new tools throughout this lab, starting out with a couple of raster images and a little information, and eventually turning it into a map of possible inundation streams. I produced two maps. The first shows the elevation around Mt. Hood, as well as the inundation streams.

"The second is more detailed, displaying a half mile buffer surrounding the inundation area, as well as schools and population blocks in the areas. I really enjoyed starting out with little, separate bits of data, and analyzing it to create a map of importance."

Week 2: Disaster Evacuation for the Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Scenario: A massive earthquake of magnitude of 9.0 occurred Friday 11 March, off the Pacific coast of the northeastern part of the Japanese main land (Tohoku Region), causing devastating damages. For this lab students adopted the mindset that they were a GIS professional helping assist with disaster relief.  Their focus for the study was on the Fukushima coast and area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant.

Student Learning Outcomes:
  • Work with GIS data and information relevant to response and recovery efforts of the Japan Tsunami
  • Compile important information from provided Japan Tsunami background materials
  • Understand, create, and work from a file geodatabase, feature datasets, and mosaic raster dataset within ArcCatalog
  • Review basics of digital elevation models
  • Recall how to create a shapefile by importing XY excel data.
  • Apply GIS query and selection operations to calculate estimates of evacuation populations.
  • Use ArcGIS multi-ring buffer and clip tools to create evacuation zones surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Create a VB expression to label features by two fields from the same data layer.
  • Create and work from a file geodatabase in ArcCatalog
  • Analyze runup on Fukushima coast 10 km inland for 3 zones using conditional raster analysis
  • Intersect roads, nuclear powerplants, and cities with runup results to aid in evacuation decisions
  • Determine the at risk population locations within each zones\
Lucinda Hall

About Lucinda: Lucinda has the very cool occupation of being a map librarian at Dartmouth College. She has a BA in History and a Master's in Library and Information Science. She is in her second semester of the Graduate Certificate Program. Lucinda is a frequenter of the weekly Elluminate Sessions and is always coming up with interesting and detailed questions!Congratulations Lucinda! Welcome to the spotlight! 

What we like: Lucinda displayed the needed information very clearly. The map is symbolized and labeled with a cartographic style that is easy to understand and does not leave you searching for geographic reference. The data frames and legend are zoomed to a user friendly scale and size, and her scale bars are set to quantifiable distances. 

Week 3: Hurricane Sandy - Post Storm Damage Assessment, Ocean Springs, NJ
Scenario: In this exercise, you will first track Sandy, then create and design attribute geodatabases for editing purposes.You will explore the imagery effects tools to visualize pre/post Sandy imagery. As a final task, you will take parcel data, the imagery, and the newly created damage assessment files to catalog a street on the New Jersey coastline.  

Student Learning Outcomes:
  • Add data to a blank map document
  • Analyze data stored in a Microsoft Excel Database
  • Create Data using the Display XY tool.
  • Create data using the Points to Line Feature Tool
  • Explore the Marker Symbol Options
  • Create a VB script for Labeling
  • Prepare data for processing in a geodatabase including, but not limited to, proper nomenclatures
  • Perform a raster mosaic using ArcToolbox
  • Explore the Effects Toolbar using the Flicker and Swipe Tool
  • Prepare Post-Storm Damage Assessment Data using Attribute Domains in a Geodatabase
  • Locate and identify attributes based on storm damage
  • Generate report/table based on damage results for given study area
  • Analyze Parcel Data using the Attribute Transfer Tool (Graduate Students Only)
  • Create multiple deliverables based on findings
Justin Coryell
 About Justin: Justin is in the US Navy stationed in Gulfport,MS and is currently teaching a GIS 101 course on base. Justin is on track to receive his graduate GIS certificate in the fall. Justin has also been very active in the weekly Elluminate Sessions. We always appreciate you stopping by! Welcome to the spotlight Justin! 

What we like: Justin did an awesome job on the Hurricane Sandy Track and Life Cycle Map. He used a number of call out boxes to highlight the storm at certain locations. His use of color as well as design was very complimentary. His Damage Assessment analysis was crisp and precise. If needed, this would be a great product to share with an agency like FEMA.  

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