Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Special Topics in Archaeology Student Spotlight!

GIS4990 Special Topics in Archaeology, Dr. Scott Palumbo

Identifying Maya Pyramids

Lab description - The goal of this module was to classify satellite imagery to detect Maya sites with pyramids. Over the past couple of weeks, students did this by creating a number of images to determine what worked best (e.g. False Color, NDVI, etc.).

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Edit a raster image to display select information
  • Export raster data to .kml or .kmz formats
  • View and share this data in Google Earth
  • Compare our Maya perspective to Southeast Asia (undergrads)
  • Begin a comparative analysis in Southeast Asia (grads)


The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Identifying Maya Pyramids 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 Archaeology spotlights this semester Valerie!

What we like: The neat thing about what Val did was to extend these skills from the Guatemalan rainforest to the jungles of Cambodia. Here she was able to use some of the same techniques to identify likely areas containing stone architecture in a region of extensive canopy. Such classification efforts are particularly important in parts of Cambodia because many relict landmines are left from the Khmer Rouge era and ground truthing is not always practical to do. In addition, his blog is fairly thorough. You can also see some of her Maya results.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Special Topics in GIS Student Spotlight!

GIS4930 Special Topics in GIS, Instructors: Ms. Brittney Markle & Mrs. Amber Bloechle

Network Analyst Analyze Week

This week students created routes, driving directions, and maps—all presented to
specific audiences—for the following scenarios:

Scenario 1- Evacuation of patients from Tampa General Hospital on Davis Islands
Scenario 2- Distribution of emergency supplies by U.S. Army National Guard to three storm shelters
Scenario 4- Presentation of shelter locations to public

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Create transportation routes and define service areas within the dataset utilizing Network Analyst. 
  • Identify evacuation routes and potential road closures (and alternate routes) throughout the city using appropriate data and analysis methods. 
  • Summarize key processes completed for Prepare and Analyze weeks, including any issues encountered along the way. 

The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Network Analyst Analyze Week assignment:

Erin Marie Gazenmuller 

About Name: Erin grew up in Ohio then joined the Air Force where she was first stationed in Omaha, Nebraska and was deployed to Iraq for seven months. She currently lives in the Panhandle of Florida brought here by her husbands' orders, but she still misses the midwest(when there is a bit less snow on the ground).

While in the military, Erin worked in Intelligence. However, military life and Intelligence didn't quite suite her so she decided to pursue other options. For a few months she worked at Fontenelle Forest where she had the wonderful opportunity of teaching children about nature, taking care of the resident rehabilitated wildlife on site, hiking through their trails (even in the snow), and meeting their wonderful staff of passionate naturalists.

Erin's husband then got orders to Hurlburt Field a couple of years ago. They live here with their cat, Charlie, and two dogs, Toto and Zoey. Erin enjoys traveling, learning new things, hanging out with my husband and critters, keeping up on shows like The Walking Dead, and napping. Erin has also recently started particapitating in Geochacing, and find it a fun GIS related hobby.

Erin is currently enrolled in University of West Florida's Undergraduate GIS Certificate program as well as with American Military University, pursuing an Associate Degree in Human Resources. She holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and a certificate in Hazardous Waste Management from AMU. She really likes school. And Starbucks. And memes...

What we like: Erin provided a clean and easy to interpret map showing analysis for all 3 scenarios. Her labels are easy to read and the symbology choices were well thought out. Her choice to include a based polygon layer as well as a water layer so that she was thinking about the whole picture. We also like the organization present along the right side of the page. Again, this presented all of the necessary data in and easy to interpret manner. Job well done, Erin!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Internship Student Spotlight!

GIS4944, GIS Internship, Instructor: Mrs. Leah Lewis, GISP

GIS Internships - Let's get to work!


The following student was chosen to highlight their current GIS internship experience.  

Daniel Lozano

About Daniel:  Daniel is currently in his 3rd semester of the GIS program and is employed at the Bureau of GIS for Union County, New Jersey.  Dan has been with the county since 2010 and is using his current position towards credit for GIS Internship.  Daniel states that this program has been great in that he has found himself applying problem solving techniques and methods from previous courses towards his job.  Did you know that Dan spends time working with the Prosecutor's office to prepare maps for use in investigations and/or trials?  It sounds like our student spotlight has a lot in common with our professional spotlight this week!

Congratulations Dan on being named the first Internship Spotlight Shout-out this semester.  Keep up the good work!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Graduate Special Topics in GIS Student Spotlight!!

GIS5935 Special Topics in GIS (Graduate), Dr. Paul Zandbergen

Calculating Metrics for Spatial Quality

Lab description - Students were tasked with calculating and interpreting various metrics of spatial data quality for a given set of locations.  Students also gained experience in how horizontal accuracy and precision are measured.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Experience the various metrics in calculating and interpreting various metrics of spatial data quality
  • Develop an understanding in how horizontal accuracy and precision are measured.


The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Calculating Metrics for Spatial Quality assignment:

Phil Coppola

About Phil: Phil hails from the Northwest, and is originally from Vancouver, WA.  After earning his degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry from Western Washington University he relocated to Gautier, MS.  There he worked as a biology intern for the Fish and Wildlife Service at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge.  Phil was responsible for monitoring, capturing, and banding ~100 remaining Mississippi sandhill cranes!  With his research focus in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology, Phil has been paid to chase red-cockaded woodpeckers up trees, and track lizards across the high desert scrub in the Alford Basin, OR!  Besides his studies, Phil enjoys bird watching, gardening with the UWF Botanical Society, hiking, camping, listening to music, and learning new things.  Phil is a graduate student in the Biology Department at the University of West Florida.  Welcome to the spotlight Phil, way to start the semester off right!

What we like:  Phil illustrated great craftsmanship in his final submission, and more importantly he provided a great explanation of the difference between accuracy and precision.  This re-affirmed his handle on the subject, excellent work Phil!!

Stay Tuned for more Spotlights, Internship is coming at you next week!!!