GIS Projects

Invasive Lionfish: An Investigation of Lionfish Distribution in Native and Non-Native Regions
 

Lionfish, also known as Pterios volitans and Pterios miles, are invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. Lionfish are destroying the ecosystem and marine habitats in the non-invasive areas by consuming native marine species, populating at exponential rates, and also by having no known predators in the non-native regions. Analyzing the distribution and movement patterns of lionfish in the non-native region can indicate the future spread of lionfish. To examine the issue at hand, I used data of a world map projection, sea surface temperatures, and another world projection map solely looking at the Caribbean Sea. I then additionally collected individual lionfish locations to look at the expansion of the lionfish population in the Caribbean Sea. I analyzed the migration of lionfish over the Caribbean Sea, as well as comparing the native regions of lionfish to the non-native regions based on sea surface temperatures. I concluded that lionfish would continue to expand into various coast waters in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as increase in numbers.

Traffic Analysis and Service Area Analysis of Four Charter Schools in Eugene, Oregon
 

Within the Eugene 4J School District, attendees of the charter schools include males and females ages 5-14. An important factor in determining the location of a charter school for a child is how far away the school is from a family’s household. A 6 minute driving time area from each of the Charter Schools depicts the households that are close to each individual charter school. This is important to supply present and future families with information on where to live in order to be near a particular charter school. Additionally it is important to estimate the future population of children within proximity to the charter schools to predict the actions the schools should talk to enroll all potential children in the area. The first PDF is a map of the service areas of each school and the urban growth boundary of Eugene. The second PDF is the analysis of 6-minute traffic driving and the estimated population growth within Eugene.

3-D Elevation Model of Mt. Saint Helens Before and After Eruption
 

A raster DEM data set created the 3-D elevation models of Mt. Saint Helens, showing what the mountain looked like before and after its volcanic eruption in 1980. On the right a contour map was created from the DEM, where a contour tool converted the data from raster to vector and represents 200 feet between each of the contour lines. Hillshade, slope, and aspect tools were applied to the DEM file in order to represent the 3-d model in ArcMap. The slope tool creates an interval gradient based on angles for each cell, ranging from 0-85%. The aspect tool determines the degree for each slope angle based on its direction relative to north, ranging from 0-360 degrees. Hillshade finally results in the computing the shaded relief the shadow and angles of each cell value. In the PDF below is the final layout for the project, which includes the contour map on the left, two 3-d models before and after the eruption on the right, and a locator map on the bottom.

Utilizing Python for Programming and Automation of Raster Imagery Analysis of Percent Area Cover for Stony Corals in Bonaire, Netherland Antilles
 

Through my first semester in graduate school at CU Denver I learned python in collaboration with ArcGIS Desktop (Arcpy) and GDAL. My final project involved creating my own script that would geo reference raster images of coral reef benthos to GPS located pins. These raster images were edited in Photoshop to trace the area of varying stony corals by species. Creating a code that would geo reference was the trickiest portion of the process, where I had to determine how to get the cell size extent of the image to attached the corners to each pin of the images. The script then runs through the traced images and converts the raster values to vector and conducts an area analysis in square meters. Then this value is divided by the area of the entire plot to then compare different areas of coral species to one another. Upon request is the scientific poster created that shows the entire process and the developed script.

Analysis of Historical and Modern Vegetation Data in Oregon Ecoregion

Measuring the change in vegetation types for the Western Cascade Lowland ecoregion in the state of Oregon had two main purposes. From a GIS perspective, the analysis was used to understand the use of various tools (dissolving and clipping) as well as understanding the limitations to interpretation of the data presented in the final map. Due to changes in ecological classification of datasets, interpretation and identification of common vegetation types was necessary to conduct the comparison. From an ecological perspective, the reasoning for the analysis of the ecoregion was to show how the vegetation type has change over time and to see if there are any correlations for the changes in vegetation. For example, if the river way systems change due to the installation of a dam between the periods of when the data was analyzed, which in this case the vegetation type data was from 1938 and present time.

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