ES212 Spring 2008 Student GIS Research 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 9.2 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

Project quick links



THE CARBON EMISSIONS OF THE BOSTON RED SOX. The Boston Red Sox emit a great deal of carbon throughout the regular baseball season because of flights to the home fields of thier opponents. Knowing that air travel is one of the biggest transportation-based contributors to global climate change, the Boston Red Sox (and all major league teams) should be encouraged to offset their carbon emissions from regular season travel. Using ArcGIS to map the flight paths along great circle routes, the distance of flights to opponents’ cities was calculated to total the number of miles traveled in the 2008 season. The price of offsetting this carbon was estimated using the calculators of carbon offset retailers, such as Native Energy, a Vermont-based retailer. This project provides the potential costs of offsetting the carbon emitted from Red Sox air travel. To take the lead in the future of the Northeast, the Red Sox should begin to consider their contribution to climate change. Created by Rosalind Becker ('08), Alaina Clark ('08)

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MODELING POTENTIAL TIGER HABITAT IN HUPINGSHAN-HOUHE ANDMANGSHAN-NANLING NATIONAL NATURE RESERVES, CHINA. After declining steadily for several decades, the South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) is now thought to be extinct in the wild. However, there is some hope of reintroduction, with Hupingshan-Houhe and Mangshan-Nanling National Nature Reserves in southern China seeming to hold the most promise. Our study used slope, elevation, vegetation, and landcover variables to construct a rough habitat suitability index for tigers in these two parks. According to our model, there are areas of suitable habitat within both parks. However, there are some important variables that we were unable to include in our model, such as human population density and prey availability. Considerable in-depth research will be necessary to evaluate the suitability of these locations before reintroduction is considered. Created by Charles Carroll ('08), Courtney Larson ('08)

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A VISIBILITY ANALYSIS OF THE CAPE WIND PROJECT.Cape Wind has proposed a wind farm of 130 turbines on Horseshoe Shoal in the center of Nantucket Sound. A prominent concern about the project is the impact the visibility of the turbines will have on the region's tourism industry and property values. It is feared that their presence will diminish the value of the pristine coastline that has attracted vacationers to Cape Cod for generations. In this project, we assess the extent to which Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket will be visually affected by the wind farm. It was completed using a Viewshed Analysis in the GIS program, ArcMap, from the surface, mean, and maximum height of the towers. These Viewsheds were combined to give a comprehensive perspective of which areas are able to see the highest percent of the wind farm. Finally, a weighted land use value was applied to the Viewshed to account for the impact of land use on the ability to see the project. The objective of this analysis is to provide a visual representation of how great an influence the wind farm will in fact have on Cape Cod. Created by Patrick Roche ('09), Caitlin Casey ('09)

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HABITAT SUITABILITY ANALYSIS OF THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED FLORIDA PANTHER.The purpose of this study was to conduct a habitat suitability analysis of the critically endangered Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi) in Florida. We gathered land cover, population and road data from the Florida Geographic Data Library and performed map algebra using ESRI’s ArcGIS to compile a suitable habitat map. We found that there is 20381.7km² of highly suitable habitat and 557124.4km² of less desirable but usable habitat for the Florida panther. The highest concentration of highly suitable habitat is in Big Cypress National Park, with smaller patches in Tates Hell State Forest and along the southeast portion of the panhandle. Due to extensive fragmentation, however, and without establishment of habitat linkages to the existing southern population, there is little chance of survival of additional panther populations in much of northern Florida. Created by Ian McCullough ('10) and Andrew Young ('09).

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DEMOGRAPHICS OF NATURAL DISASTER HOTSPOTS IN MAINE. Natural disasters can cause extensive damage to communities and infrastructure. The state of Maine is fairly lucky, because natural disasters are relatively infrequent. Maine does, however, experience earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes and landslides. Certain areas of the state are more prone to experience natural disaster than others. Using GIS analysis, we are analyzing natural disaster hotspots in Maine to determine if there is a statistically significant relationship between natural disaster susceptibility and socioeconomic variables including income and population. Created by Lindsay Dreiss ('09) Caitlin Dufraine ('09).

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USING GIS NETWORK ANALYST TO IDENTIFY SUPPLIERS FOR A PRODUCE CO-OP IN WATERVILLE, ME .The idea for organizing a cooperative market on Waterville Main Street was proposed by Aime Schwartz in the fall of 2008. The Co-op would entail an open market located on Main Street to provide fresh, local produce and crafts to town locals. Through shorter delivery distances and agreements with local farmers, the co-op theoretically will offer consumers lower prices on produce than can be found in conventional grocery stores, as well as and opportunity to support local agriculture. One of the tasks involved with organizing the Co-op is to source all of the produce from among the hundreds of farmers located in Maine. The purpose of this project is to show how Geographic Information System (GIS) tools can be used to help the Co-op and other business a) site nearby farms that carry desired produce and products, and b) determine which farms are closest to the business site. Using GIS for this purpose will make it easier and more efficient to source produce suppliers, and reduce the workload on business planners. GIS Network Analyst is a tool that provides network-based spatial analysis, and can be used in conjunction with traditional GIS technologies to determine not only the geometric distance between points, but also distance over existing networks (like roads). We used Network Analyst to find the closest produce suppliers to the Co-op for specific produce items, and compute how far they are over existing roads. This will enable business planners to source potential suppliers by distance before contacting individual farmers, allowing for more efficient use of their time and a faster planning process. Created by Bethany Darling ('08), Jamie O'Connell ('08).

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MODELING ICE COVER ON TRAILS AT GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. This project used data from the National Park Service, the SRTM data set, and recorded weather conditions to predict snow deposition and snow and ice melt in the Grand Canyon National Park. This model, a simplified version of previous research, shows the location of persistent ice and snow on the Canyon slopes in March. Created by Eric Hansen ('08).

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CORRIDORS FOR WOLF REINTRODUCTION TO MAINE. Maine has been identified as holding potential for the reintroduction of wolves. Due to the long ranges of wolves, it is beneficial to map potential corridors of movement. This project analyzes the best routes for movement from suitable habitats in New York to suitable habitats in Maine. It shows the paths likely to be taken by wolves, based on their affinity for mixed and coniferous forest and their avoidance of areas of high road density. These corridors are identified using least cost path analysis and take into account topography as well as forest and road densities. Created by Will Tyson ('09).

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DRAFT PROPOSED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ROUTES FOR WATERVILLE, ME. Currently, there is a public bus transportation route in Waterville, Maine. However, this system could be improved. Our goal was to use GIS to find optimal public transportation routes throughout the city based on given points of interest and high population density areas. Three different groups of points of interest were created in the North, West, and South sections of Waterville. Using the Network Analyst tool, which calculates optimal routes, using existing street data, based on the input of stops, barriers, and impedance, we ran an analysis of what we thought would be the routes that best served the greatest number of people. Two different sets of routes were found: one with length as the impedance (the shortest length between the selected stops was favored), and one with population density as the impedance (the roads with the highest population density were favored). Finally, the times of the resulting routes (given a constant speed limit of 25 mph) were calculated and evaluated. Created by Michelle Presby ('09) and Fritz Freudenberger ('09).

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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 12:59:18 PM