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University of Oregon Infographics Lab

Cartographic Research Assistant (September 2016 - September 2017, Part Time)
  • Created full page layouts for the following topics in the "Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming's Ungulates": Native Americans, Archaeology, Bison Migration Strategies

  • Digitize historical herd areas within North America for ungulates species.

  • Designed unique graphics for demonstrating female ungulate fat content and number of offspring over 3 years.

  • Create an elevation graphic for different habitats reached by each ungulate species in Wyoming.

  • Worked on color coordinate for Migration and Predation page layout and adding in data received from the National Parks for animal ranges.

  • Initiated a review of the atlas to standardized all arrows and inset maps on all pages in the atlas.

  • Met with partners at University of Wyoming to update design changes and ensure accurate representation of data in maps and graphics.

  • Make changes to color, symbology, layout design, images, and more based on internal meetings and group discussions.

Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming's Ungulates

Below are specific pages that I worked on during my time in the InfoGraphics Lab at the University of Oregon. We collaborated with the Wyoming Migration Initiative and the University of Wyoming for the creation of the atlas. It is a six year long project, where I came into the project during the fifth year of production. Many of the pages were started or near completion, however the design of almost every page was still under review and needed cartographic design elements to be created and edited. For each of the pages below, I worked on a specific portion of the page with re-designing the layout, color coordination, alignment adjustments, label placements, adding or removing labels, features, lines, and much more. Below above each page I explain my role of editing for that specific page. For all layouts on this page: © Atlas of Wyoming Wildlife Migration, in production.


For the top map I worked on color coordination with the graphic below, adding and removing specific vegetation layers appropriate to ungulates, and making sure that all city labels are legible and aligned accordingly with the city dot it represents. I created the Seasonal Habitats graph by utilizing a transect line in ArcMap taken from a general migration route overlaid with the habitats layer. This line was generalized through illustrator to define the ranges in which each ungulate species lives and a relative elevation for each type of habitat. This process involved numerous edits to the transect line, making sure the experts in Wyoming agreed with placements of habitat zones and the habitat range of each animal.


I worked on the cost of lactation sidebar at the bottom of the page. These graphics took several drafts to figure out the best way to represent the data. Additionally we were given a robust dataset from our partners with information on over 50 mothers, number of infants they had, and their individual fat content every December and March. The goal was to show how a mothers body fat is significantly decreased based on the number of calves she has. Thus on the left graph it depicts only one cow with zero, one, and two calves during various year. While the second graphic demonstrates the average change in body fat percentage based on number of calves. The combination of a varying line color and thickness of line helps to distinguish the information apart and connect the two graphs with each other and the graphic above.

Migration and Predation

One of the most challenging aspects of this page was the coordination of colors between both of the pages. Since we are representing 6 types of animals throughout the two pages, they needed to coordinate separately, but not get lost in the background or land cover of the maps. On the top left map, the main purpose of the story revolves around elk and their predators. Thus elk need to stand out, but the bear and wolf siting points can easily get lost due to size, proximity, alignment, or transparency compared to other map features. Additionally we wanted to call out the Clark's Fork herd, which is represented in the main map on the right analyzing wolf pack with elk routes. Another challenge on this page was muting the colors. For the small multiple maps of wolf and grizzly bear distribution, the normal forest green color is brighter and more prevalent, but would overwhelm the page and cause the reader to focus on that part first. Thus a muted grey-green works better with the flow of the pages.

Bison Migration Strategies

I worked on creating the top six graphics for this page which represent bison migrations throughout Yellowstone and the variance depending on the type of winter and the location they live in Yellowstone National Park. The trickiest part of this project was mapping out the complex migrations and establishing a timeline of when the bison are traveling. I created timelines below each map to illustrate the amount of time spent in a summer range, winter range, stopover, or in active migration. This timeline is coordinated by color, labeling of each migration by letter, and displayed over the same time period for each map, from July 1st until May 15th.

Elk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

The top map was graphically challenging and contained detailed problem solving skills in ArcMap to complete. I was given a land ownership layer and migration routes of elk, where we wanted to understand which land ownership categories the elks migration took place in. I found a way to combine the layers (a raster data set with vector lines) to split the migration routes into the varying land ownership categories. However once exported into Illustrator, each line was split into rectangles as varying angles, overlapping with each other, and was a mess at first. I sorted through each migration route to clean up the data to show a smoothed line that represents all the necessary land ownerships. Additionally to highlight the migrations routes as the main purpose of the map, transparency and drop shadows helped to create this effect.

Migration and Predation

On the right side of the page, it took several drafts to finalize the color coordination, label arrangements, and strokes/weights of words to find a way to represent the data in a legible manner. The color coordination, hierarchy, and glows/transparencies of the elk and wolf ranges in the map contrast enough with each other, but connect to each species. To continue with the red theme for wolves on both pages, varying hues distinguishes the packs both in their labels and in ranges. The grey elk routes help to connect with the left side map, calling out the Clark's Fork herd represented on both pages. One of the objectives of the atlas is to create page pairs that also adhere to those who are color blind. We use a system called Color Oracle to display the images we are working on how a person with deuteranopia would see the colors. This is the most common form of color blindness, and allows our atlas work to be reached and understand by a wider audience.

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