Posted on June 19, 2013 by Kerry McMahon
Today we had a morning discussion about what direction we want to take our research. Everyone seemed to have really good ideas, although we all seemed to need the professor’s help in refining those ideas.
I am torn between working on mapping invasive ironweed and looking at the impact of cattle movement and activity and seeing if I can detect change in erosion features over a 10-year period. Unfortunately, in this kind of work, we are limited by the available data quality. If I am not able to detect eroded features in the 2001 imagery, I cannot accurately assess whether there has been substantial change. Even though the current imagery is of much better quality, matching up to lower resolution imagery may make my calculation inaccurate.
I am still leaning in that direction, so I will spend tomorrow seeing what I can find in the imagery. If that doesn’t pan out, I will have to begin exploring the ironweed idea, which is to map ironweed on the ground, and then try to see – using satellite imagery – if I can detect what environmental factors ironweed prefers. The goal would be then to be able to create a map of all of the ironweed in the VAlley (provided those factors are consistent) and then when mitigation efforts become necessary, the ironweed will be easier to find. I am hopeful that by end of day tomorrow, these decisions will be ironed out. It seemed like we had so much time and now we are on the downhill countdown. I work best under pressure though, so I trust my ability to come through in the clutch.
After our morning discussions, I presented the almost-finished geodatabase. Yesterday, I stayed at the barn to build the geodatabase that serve as the container for everyone’s data collection. This was a great learning experience for me, as repetition seems to be the best way to retain information. So after importing numerous shapefiles, making changes to attributes, adding and deleting fields and organizing the structure, I felt like my skills had drastically improved.
All of the other students were so helpful in helping me get their data organized and in a form that would work well in the database. Everyone continues to work hard and help make the common product complete.