Monday, November 18, 2013

Special Topics in Archaeology Student Spotlight

GIS4990/5990 Special Topics in Archaeology, Dr. Scott Palumbo

Biscayne Shipwrecks - Analyze Week

In the previous week, students added and compiled the essential ingredients that they would need to create a study of the Biscayne National Park Maritime Heritage Trail shipwrecks. This la focused on investigating the environment in which the shipwrecks lie. This can be done using available environmental data to compile and run processes to generate weighted overlays that indicate areas with attributes similar to those where the shipwrecks are located. This can be a valuable guide and/or tool for conducting marine surveys, as it can indicate areas where potential for shipwrecks is higher. There are many factors that cab be visualized in GIS with relation to shipwrecks such as oceanographic data on tides and currents and marine energy, as well as water chemistry, temperature, and prevailing winds and weather patterns. 

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Convert vector data to raster
  • Quantify raster information
  • Classify bathymetric data
  • Generate a weighted overlay
  • Familiarize yourself with shipwreck location modeling in the archaeological literature


The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Biscayne Shipwrecks - Analyze Week assignment:

Steven Kieffer

About Steven: Steven is an undergrad in the anthropology/archaeology department with a minor in geography and of course, pursuing the undergrad GIS Cert Program. He is still new to archaeology, but is a forensic digger at heart. After a few years on the corporate ladder making big paychecks without enough time to spend it and see his family, Steven would prefer digging, cataloging, mapping, and being happy with much less. Welcome back to the spotlight, Steven!

What we like: Besides being technically sound and accomplishing everything the assignment asked for, what helped Steve stand out was simply good presentation. So many students do the technical side well, but rush through aspects of map layout and specific. Steve used his data frames to effectively "chunk up" his presentation and no one map is particularly overwhelmed with text or detail. By applying a wide or shaded background to particular map elements, he ensured that these stand out and communicate to the reader.

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