Thursday, May 29, 2014

Applications in GIS Student Spotlight

GIS5100 Applications in GIS, Dr. Paul Zandbergen

Watershed Analysis

In this lab assignment students completed all the steps necessary to delineate streams and watersheds from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), first by making the DEM hydrologically correct and then creating flow direction and flow accumulation rasters, followed by stream delineation and watershed delineation. Students also examined how well the results from automated delineation compared with datasets for streams and watersheds form other sources.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Become familiar typical procedures for stream and watershed delineation
  • Examine how a hydrologically correct DEM differs from an unprocessed DEM
  • Understand how flow direction and flow accumulation concepts are implemented in a raster environment, and used to create streams segment and catchment
  • Analyze differences in linear and area objects in vector and raster

The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Watershed Analysis Lab assignment:

Gail Sease 

About Gail: Gail lives in Bakersfield, CA has earned BS and MS degrees in geology but has not worked as a geologist for a long time.   Her occupations over the last 20 years have included oil company geologist, junior college geology instructor, Spanish student, teacher of middle school and high school Spanish, biology and geology, school librarian and school secretary.  Before moving to Bakersfield in 2011, she lived with her family in Bogotá, Colombia and Tripoli, Libya for 8 years.  Gail would like to get back into the oil and gas or minerals industries and is seeking to bring her skills up to date.  GIS expertise is extremely valuable in these and many other fields.  Her sister is currently working on her internship at UWF's GIS Master's certification program and her experiences have convinced Gail that it will be an excellent opportunity.

What we like: Gail did a solid job documenting the differences between the streams and watersheds delineated from the DEM and the streams and watersheds from existing sources. This includes measures based on length and area, but also measures based on coincident areas and stream order. While the study area (the island of Kauai) has mostly very well defined topography, some of the differences are quite substantial.  Way to go Gail, and welcome back to the Spotlight!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Programming Student Spotlight!

GIS4102 GIS Programming, Dr. Derek Morgan

Introduction to Python

In this week's lab, the student practiced using the different Python interfaces, and then prepared for future assignments in this course by completing a process summary, writing a blog post, and submitting basic deliverables. Graduate Students had an additional writing assignment.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Use the IDLE (Python GUI) interactive window
  • Use the PythonWin interactive window
  • Save and run a script in PythonWin
  • Use the ArcGIS Interactive Python Window
  • Run a script using PythonWin
  • Successfully complete a process summary
  • Successfully create a blog based on the module
  • Successfully complete a module by submitting all deliverables


The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Introduction to Python assignment:

Valerie Woelfel 

About Valerie:  Valerie is currently an Archaeological Illustrator and has been for almost 30 years!  While pursuing a BA in studio art, she decided to take a few summer archaeological courses, and thus stumbled across the career path she is still on.  This career has successfully combined her love for art, history, archaeology, and travel.  After working on several digs as an archaeological illustrator, she feels GIS is the next logical step to add to her job skills and expand her employment opportunities!  Like many of us involved with field research she is not in this field for the money, but rather the memories and experiences gained.  Way to kick off our spotlights this semester Valerie!

What we like: Valerie really kicked off the semester her write-up! She sufficiently summarized the article and addressed how the methodology related to the topics covered in class thus far, algorithms via pseudocode in this case. While not all topics covered in the article were completely understood, she successfully extracted the meaning and its application to her work!  This provided us with a good example of what we expect from our graduate students in this class. She also successfully ran her first code to set up her folder system for this class. Great job, Valerie!

Let the summer spotlights begin!