ES212 Spring 2010 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 9.3x 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. .

Help using the map viewer      Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Project quick links

 

 

DISTRIBUTION OF TOXIC SITES IN ALASKA IN RELATION TO HUMAN POPULATIONS : This project is a GIS analysis examining the distribution of toxic sites in Alaska, including Superfund sites, Toxics Release Inventory sites, mining waste sites, and formerly used defense sites (FUDS), in relation to populated areas. The hazardous materials contained at these sites may be released into the environment, causing harm to both local ecosystems and the people who live in and rely on these ecosystems. In many cases, these hazardous sites are located in or near indigenous communities, which means that native Alaskans may be put at a disproportionate risk for harm. Furthermore, these communities may have low levels of income and education, and residents’ reliance on subsistence foods may further increase their exposure. Our research looks at the overall placement of toxic sites as a possible breach of environmental justice. Created by Blair Braverman ('11) and Michelle Russell ('11).

Download Poster       Download Text       Return to top

SIMULATED HISTORICAL WATER LEVELS IN THE BELGRADE LAKES WATERHSED IN MAINE: The dams in the Belgrade Lakes Region of central Maine control water flow of the six main ponds in the watershed. This project simulated historical water levels of these ponds and analyzed what surface area of land maybe have been exposed before the dams were constructed. Our simulation resulted in a 57.7% decrease in surface area of the ponds compared to current surface area. However, it is likely that the change we found is an overestimate because we used dam hydraulic height to calculate the change in water level instead of the actual water height. Created by Adrienne Bowles ('12) and Annie Warner ('11).

Download Poster      Download Text       Return to top

POPULATION CHANGE IN THE BELGRADE LAKES: The goal of our study was to determine how human population changed in the towns of the Belgrade Lakes Region and to project future population trends using existing rates of increase. We obtained population data for the towns in the Belgrade Lakes region of Maine (from 1950 to 2000 by decade) from Maine Office of GIS and proceeded to analyze them. Our analysis concluded that town populations in the Belgrade Lakes region increased by an average rate of 21.47%. The township of Oakland experienced the most population growth, increasing by 3,280 people, while Vienna experienced the least population growth, increasing by 296 people. All twelve townships experienced their highest percent population increase between 1970 and 1980. If current growth rates were to continue at the same pace, the towns of Sidney and Belgrade would experience dramatic growth at rates of 83.65% and 57.23% between 2000 and 2020, respectively. Created by Matthew Cheever ('12) and Alex Hsiao ('11).

Download Poster     Download Text       Return to top

KENNEBEC COUNTY ROAD BICYCLE COMMUTING COMPATIBILITY: As bicycles become an increasingly popular means of transportation it is vital to determine what roads are most suitable for bicycle commuting. I used GIS to analyze factors that influence bicycle compatibility to create a bicycle commuting compatibility model and map for roads in Kennebec County, Maine. I found that more roads in Kennebec County are suitable for bicycle commuting (37.8% with medium compatibility and 37.9% with high compatibility) than unsuitable (24.3% with low compatibility).The model I developed could be applied to any roads for which appropriate data are available. Created by Daniel Homeier ('12).

Download Poster      Download Text       Return to top

COMMUTER TRAVEL TIMES FROM BELGRADE LAKES REGION TO WATERVILLE: Communities in the Belgrade Lakes Region of central Maine are “bedroom communities” where residents live in rural areas and commute to work in metropolitan areas including Waterville and Augusta, Maine. How much time does a resident of the Belgrade Lakes Region spend commuting? What are the most efficient routes from populated rural locations to city centers? We used ArcGIS Network Analyst to calculate travel times and routes from six town centers in the Belgrade Lakes Region to Waterville, Augusta-Capitol and University of Maine at Augusta. The mean travel times and distances from town centers to Waterville, Augusta-Capitol and University of Maine at Augusta were 27, 27 and 24 minutes and were 16.1, 21.8 and 19.0 miles respectively. In the Belgrade Lakes Region there are approximately 13,000 people that live within 40 minutes and 33 miles of the education and employment opportunities in Waterville and Augusta. Our sample model estimates that the average Belgrade Lakes Region resident travels between 24 and 27 minutes and 16 to 21 miles to Augusta and Waterville. Created by Sarah Hart ('10) and Rachael Panning ('10).

Download Poster     Download Text       Return to top

SUITABILIY OF LAND FOR AGRICULTURE IN TANZANIA: Agriculture is vital to the economy of Tanzania, providing many jobs and contributing to a large portion of the GDP. This project sought to answer the following question: What land is suitable for agriculture in Tanzania? We hypothesized that in addition to land currently in use for agriculture, there would exist additional land suitable for agriculture that had not yet been realized as such. We used logistic regression to create a model that predicted agricultural suitability across the country. We evaluated twenty variables and came up with nine predictors of agriculture that we included in our final model. The results of this study were inconclusive but our model showed that some areas that are suitable for agriculture are currently unused for this purpose. Our model suggests that conservation areas tend to be less suitable for agriculture; however, our model likely over-represents the importance of roads and urban centers as predictors of agriculture suitability. Thus our model more accurately predicts agricultural suitability of land outside conservation areas. We were unable to accurately predict land suitability for agriculture within conservation areas because of the relative lack of roads and the absence of urban centers within their boundaries. Created by Megan Browning ('10) and Taylor Tully ('10).

Download Poster      Download Text       Return to top

KENNEBEC-MESSALONSKEE TRAILS MAP: The goal of this project was to create a comprehensive map of the walking and hiking trails in the greater Waterville area. We mapped 48 miles of footpaths and off-road Kennebec Messalonskee Trails using hand-held GPS units. We overlaid these routes on satellite images of the Waterville area. Included in the map are trail head parking areas and major street names to facilitate navigation to trail heads. A table of trail lengths also was compiled. Created by Cassi Knight ('10) and Wyatt Fereday ('11).

Download Poster      Download Text      Return to top

SOUTH CHINA TIGER PREY HABITAT SUITABILITY ASSESSMENT IN HUPINGSHAN-HOUHE NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE COMPLEX, CHINA : A habitat suitability assessment of prey species of south China tiger in Hupingshan-Houhe National Natural Reserve Complex was carried out using a Geographical Information System. Wild boar was selected as a model species. Information on the habitat requirements and natural history characteristics of wild boar was synthesized from published literatures. A preliminary Prey Habitat Suitability Index model was derived based on criteria that fulfill the species’ requirement and reduce human-wildlife conflict. The study identified parts of the NNR likely more suitable for wild boar. However, further study on wild boar habitat requirement, species distribution field data using radio telemetry, and a complementary study of the ecological and socioeconomic aspects are required for the reintroduction of prey species. Created by Yiyuan Qin ('12).

Download Poster      Download Text      Return to top

PROJECTED WHITEWATER CLASSIFICATIONS OF MAINE’S RIVERS: Whitewater canoeing, kayaking, and rafting is both a recreation and a business in the state of Maine. However, the importance of proper information when undergoing these activities is paramount for safety. This study used variables consisting of river width, slope, bedrock density, and flow volume to project the probability of rapids in sections of Maine’s rivers. This data was reclassified to model the whitewater classification scale defined by the international scale of river difficulty (I-V). The study was able to identify general locations, but likely overestimated the values. The classification with the highest number of segments was class IV with 805,153 and the lowest was class V with 88,564. All classifications were found on each river segment yet higher classes where most often found on larger sections of rivers, and not tributaries. All findings in this study should be cross-referenced with other literature to ensure safety on the river. Created by Anders Nordblom ('10).

Download Poster      Download Text      Return to top

Colby College  |  Colby Search  |  Colby Directory
Students of Environmental Studies 212
Environmental Studies Program,  Colby College
4848 Mayflower Hill,
Waterville, Maine 04901 USA
T: 207-859-4848   F: 207-872-3731   contact

Last Modified: 05/19/11 03:48:54 PM