ES212 Spring 2009 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 9.3 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 36 x 42 inch posters and reduced 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. .

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Project quick links



EXPLORING THE SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HUMAN-TIGER CONFILCTS IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA AND SUMATRA: Large-carnivores and humans are increasingly in conflict as humans encroach on their natural territory. As a result, many large-carnivores species have become endangered due to habitat destruction, prey reduction and retaliatory killings from conflicts. No global internet database, however, exists to document, monitor and evaluate these conflicts, particularly to take advantage of the growing spatial resources available. Using human-tiger conflicts in Malaysia and Sumatra as a case study, this project explores how such a database could be created. GIS was used to conduct multiple analyses on the data obtained about these conflicts. We conclude that a database would require data to be compiled according to a protocol based on these spatial scales: Point, Sub-State Polygon and Provincial. Created by Aurore Anastassiadis ('11) and Li Yu Chan ('11).

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EVALUATION OF THE CONSERVATION LANDS OF MAINE BASED ON PRESENCE OF HABITAT SUITABLE FOR LISTED SPECIES: “Conservation Lands” include both public and private lands that are devoted to the protection of wildlife and natural resources. “Listed Species” include federally and state endangered and threatened animals that are in danger of extermination in the state of Maine. The purpose of this study is to determine how well conservation lands are protecting the habitats of listed species. GAP data was used for 13 terrestrial vertebrate species indicating the presence or absence of suitable habitats. This data was compiled in GIS, generating a layer showing the number of listed species an area is suitable for. The areas that were suitable for at least one habitat were compared to answer three questions: (1) Is there is a difference between the presence and absence of listed species on protected lands and lands that are not protected? (2) Is there is a difference between the presence and absence of listed species on public lands managed by the state and the federal government and private land? (3) Is there is a difference between the presence and absence of listed species on lands protected under easements and lands that are protected fee simple? We found significant differences between all three categories. Conservation lands, private lands, and lands held under easement protect the habitat of listed species most effectively. We believe that this is due to the large number of private land trusts in the state of Maine and the effective management strategies of state lands. Created by Michael Ambrogi ('09) and Kimberly Bittler ('11).

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WIND TURBINE VISIBILITY ON THE COLBY CAMPUS: This project was designed to demonstrate the visibility of potential future wind turbines built on the Colby campus. We conducted viewshed analyses in ArcGIS on three different potential turbine sites to determine the visibility of the turbines within a 10km radius. We found that the Runnals hill turbine would be visible to the largest area and the largest number of residents. Created by Emma Balazs ('09) and Jenny Helm ('11).

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LIGHT COVERAGE ON COLBY COLLEGE CAMPUS: Outdoor lighting is an essential component for nighttime safety on college campuses. Outdoor lighting on Colby College campus is not uniform, leaving some areas with minimal light. The purpose of this project is to analytically evaluate if and where major walkways on Colby College have inadequate lighting. While we were unable to define inadequate lighting, we found that most paths on campus do appear to be well lit, while in general open spaces on campus have the lowest light levels. Created by Meghan Cornwall ('11) and Francis Gassert ('11).

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WIND POWER IN MAINE: BALANCING CONSERVATION AND ENERGY PRODUCTION: An expedited permitting area has been created to facilitate the development of wind power projects in Maine. The purpose of this project was to investigate the impact of removing areas of conservation interest from the expedited permitting area. We found that the removal of these areas impacts the total wind potential of the state, in an amount proportional to the size of the area removed. The impact on the total wind potential ranged from 0.46-29.0 % decrease, depending on the calculation scenario used. These findings may have implications for future policy decisions concerning wind power development. Created by Hannah Lafleur ('11) and Jordan Schoonover ('10).

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POSSIBLE MIGRATION ROUTES THROUGH MAINE BY VERNAL MIGRANTS: In this study we evaluate the possibility of two routes of migration into the state of Maine. The first possible route would be for migrants to continue along the coast, north of the Maine/New Hampshire border, and later swinging inland across the interior. The second path is for migrants who come up the east coast and straight into Maine, spreading across the state as they move north. In order to evaluate these possible routes we utilize a citizen-science project that measures the spring arrival dates of migrants according to the biophysical regions of Maine (Wilson 2007). Independent t-Tests and maps indicate that there is a trend of birds continuing along the coast before moving inland; six of the nine species show this pattern. Of the nine birds studied only the eastern phoebe showed a significant trend of moving directly inland and moving across the state. Two birds show non-significant patterns of migration which could indicate insufficient data, or random migration patterns. The results are not conclusive because several of the biophysical regions have less reporting, and so the relationships among regions regarding arrival dates are skewed. Continued data collection and analysis is recommended. Created by Andy McEvoy ('09) and Gordon Padelford ('11).

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INVASIVE AQUATIC INVASION: THE SPREAD OF VARIABLE LEAF MILFOIL IN MAINE: Variable leaf milfoil, Myriophyllum heterophyllum, has been present in Maine since 1970. We created an analysis area including seventeen infestation sites and all bodies of water within a forty mile buffer. We also eliminated all water locations with a size less than 7,101 km2, the size of the smallest infestation site, Shagg Pond. Within those specifications we randomly selected seventeen un-infested bodies of water and used them as our uncontaminated sample. We looked for relationships between presence and number of boat launches, and proximity to a populated area. Using the Mann-Whitney test, we compared the sample size of non-infested lakes to the infested lakes. We found there was no significant difference in all three variables on the infestation of variable leaf milfoil. Created by Brian Lynch ('09) and Kaggie Orrick ('10).

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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 12:54:05 PM