ES212 Spring 2006 Student GIS Projects

In addition to the Atlas of Maine maps, students in ES212: Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing each completed an independent "analytical" GIS research project.

The maps were originally created in ArcGIS 9.1 and exported to the web using ArcIMS, an internet map server from ESRI. To view the maps using ArcIMS, click on one of the the links below. To view the student research poster as a PDF document, click the PDF link next to the map description. The research posters were originally created as 42 x 48 inch posters and reduced to 8.5 x 11 inches to faciliate download by PDF. Please note: The IMS and PDF maps are large files so it may take a few minutes to load unless you are using a high-speed internet connection. ArcIMS works well with Windows operating systems running Internet Explorer. MacIntosh OS X users may need Mozilla Firefox to open and view the dynamic ArcIMS maps. .

Help using the map viewer      Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Quick links to project maps



ESTIMATING THE IMPACT OF CATASTROPHIC SEA LEVEL RISE IN MAINE . Maine's 3,500 miles of coastline is the longest coastline in the continental US. The goal of our study was to use GIS to estimate the impact future global sea level rise could potentially have on our state. We show the area of coastline and some of the economic and social impacts that would result from a rise of one meter and six meters. We used roads to estimate the impact on infrastructure, and public building, including schools, libraries, hospitals, police and fire stations, as a measure of social impact. A sea level rise of six meters would result in a loss of over 650 km¬2 from coastal communities and cost the state of Maine over 3 million in repaving costs. Through our study, we hope coastal communities will be able to prepare for and react to the predicted changes in global sea level. Created by Christopher Russoniello ('06), Randa Capponi ('06), Gregory LaShoto ('07 J), and Sharon McMonagle ('06)

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FEASIBILITY OF THE REINTRODUCTION OF WOLVES IN MAINE: A GIS STUDY. The eastern timber wolf (Canis lupus lycaon) once inhabited Maine, as well as the rest of the eastern United States and southern Canada. As a result of human land use and widespread extermination campaigns, wolf numbers dramatically decreased, and by the early twentieth century, no wolves remained in Maine. As large carnivorous and territorial mammals, wolves require contiguous undeveloped areas with abundant prey. This project is a feasibility study that identifies the areas in Maine that are suitable for the reintroduction of wolves. We used GIS modeling to identify contiguous forested areas over 1,000 km2, calculate road and population density, and map the presence or absence of prey throughout the state. These variables were combined in a habitat suitability model to determine the location and amount of suitable wolf habitat in Maine. The northwestern part of the state appears most suitable for wolf reintroduction as it relatively undeveloped with low road and population densities. There is also a smaller isolated area in Washington county that might be suitable, but further investigation is required. Created by Caitlin Cleaver ('06), Liza Mitchell ('08), Caroline Polgar ('06), and Samuel Weeks ('06)

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PRIORITIZING LAND PURCHASES FOR THE BELGRADE REGIONAL CONSERVATION ALLIANCE. . The Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance is an organization that is dedicated to preserving land and water quality in the Belgrade Lakes region in Maine. The BRCA holds land in such towns as Belgrade, Mount Vernon, New Sharon, Vienna, Rome, Smithfield, and Oakland. The BRCA is looking to expand its acreage in and around these areas to better accommodate the public and to promote the ongoing effort to conserve land as part of the Kennebec Highlands Project. The BRCA is currently considering parcels of 50+ acres in New Sharon, Rome, Belgrade, and Mount Vernon. In order to identify possible suitable parcels, we completed a GIS analysis and produced these layered maps, which highlight areas of land that we think might be desirable to the BRCA. Our analysis encompasses human access, wildlife access, and the locations and sizes of parcels. Created by Hilary Langer ('06), Karen Prisby ('07), and Rachel Terry ('07)

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A SPATIAL ANALYSIS OF IMPERVIOUS SURFACES AT COLBY COLLEGE IN 1965 AND 2006. Roads, parking lots, buildings, and other impervious surfaces do not allow rainwater to infiltrate the ground. As a result, they can lead to an increase in runoff to nearby ditches and streams, as well as a greater influx of pollutants such as motor oil that can often be found on paved surfaces. For this project, GIS was used to find the total area covered by impervious surfaces on the Colby campus, and to show how this area has grown in the past 40 years. It was found that new development on the campus has lead to a 56% increase in impervious surfaces at Colby since 1965. Created by Katherine Renwick ('07).

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DEVELOPING A MODEL FOR PEDESTRIAN ROUTE SELECTION AT COLBY. Millions of unconscious calculations are made daily by pedestrians walking through the Colby College campus. I used ArcGIS to make a predictive spatial model that chose paths similar to those that are actually used by people on a regular basis. To make a viable model of how most travelers choose their way I considered both the distance required and the type of traveling surface. I used an iterative process to develop a scheme for weighting travel costs which resulted in accurate least-cost paths to be predicted by ArcMap. The accuracy was confirmed when the calculated routes were compared to satellite photography and were found to overlap well-worn “shortcuts” taken between the paved paths throughout campus. Created by Alexander McPherson ('07).

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SPATIAL ANALYSIS OF COLBY COLLEGE TRAILS: PERKINS ARBORETUM AND RUNNALS HILL. I created an updated map of trails at Colby College using global positioning system data that were then edited in ArcGIS. The map background, obtained from the Maine Office of GIS, was created from digital orthophotographs produced from aerial photos collected over southwest Maine in Spring 2003. Trail difficulty was determined by creating a slope layer and taking other factors into consideration such as ground surface and path width. The map will eventually be available online, enabling interactive selection of trails where users can access additional trail information. Created by Jacqueline Rolleri ('05).

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SOLAR PANEL MODELING ON SUITABLE ROOFS AT COLBY. With the recent construction of Colby Green and the current plans for the construction of several new buildings, the total area for future development on campus has declined. The goal of this study was to illustrate existing campus development and to determine where future growth could occur. GIS was used to in determining the different soil systems on campus, the current use of the land, and the boundaries of the Colby property. The project shows what potential obstacles the college will have in attempting to expand the campus and proposes where the best options are for construction are. Created by Sarah Kelly ('06) and Scott Shahverdian.

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Environmental Studies Program,  Colby College
4848 Mayflower Hill,
Waterville, Maine 04901 USA
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Last Modified: 05/27/11 01:02:37 PM