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Spatial Discovery at UCSB

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Spatial Discovery at UCSB

Sara Lafia and Werner Kuhn

Center for Spatial Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

UCSB’s data site provides geographihc search by extent. “Where in the world is campus research happening?”

The University of California, Santa Barbara, in partnership with the UCSB Library and Esri, has launched an instance of ArcGIS Open Data to showcase campus research. Datasets and publications across departments, such as Marine Biology, Archaeology, and Political Science, are geographically referenced, discoverable, and linked.

Core Concepts of Spatial Information: Towards Question-Based Spatial Computing

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Core Concepts of Spatial Information: Towards Question-Based Spatial Computing

Behzad Vahedi and Werner Kuhn

Center for Spatial Studies and Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

What is a core concept? Concepts to interpret spatial data or computations (Kuhn, 2012). These are lenses through which users can look at world and Conceptualize spatial information. There are two sets of core concepts, Content Concepts which are lenses to look at the world with, and Quality Concepts that are lenses to look at other concepts with. Location is a base concept, used to define other concepts. Each core concept comes with a set of core computations. Concepts along with their computations play the role of Abstract Data Types (ADT) in computer science.

Accessibility and Location Theory of California Farmers Markets

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Accessibility and Location Theory of California Farmers Markets

Lila Kübler-Dudgeon, Riley Anderson, Mitchell Johnson, Oscar Leon

Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

Since 1970, the amount of farmers markets has increased over 2000%. Farmers markets reduce the use of fossil fuels, increase access to fresh produce, boost local economies, and enhance the degree of social interaction through shopping (3).The National Farmers Market Summit Report in 2008 stated that farmers markets “must increase consumer access in low-income areas”, suggesting that farmers markets do not adequately serve low-income citizens (4). This is problematic because low socioeconomic areas tend to buy cheaper, less healthy foods (3). However, between 1975 and 2015, the number of farmer’s markets in urban neighborhoods has risen from 340 to over 8000 (3).

Sensitivity of Chaparral Obligate Seeders in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties

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Sensitivity of chaparral obligate seeders in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties

Shane L. Dewees, Stephanie A. Ma, and Carla M. D’Antonio

Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Chaparral, the dominant vegetative community in Southern California, is characterized by sclerophyllous, evergreen shrubs. These shrubs can be categorized into three main reproductive strategies based on their responses to the infrequent fire regime characteristic for the region: obligate seeding, obligate resprouting, and facultative resprouting. Obligate seeders typically occur in more xeric and nutrient poor sites, where obligate resprouters are generally less likely to succeed. However, obligate seeders are predicted to be negatively affected by the shortened fire return intervals that are occurring as a result of human caused fire within chaparral settings.

Mexico City Land Cover Change from 1985 to 2016

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Mexico City Land Cover Change from 1985 to 2016

Hilda Rocha and Andrew Cardinal

Department Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

Mexico City is the capital and the most populous city of Mexico1. In 2005 its whole metropolitan zone registered 19.2 million inhabitants2. The city has expanded over three different entities: the Federal District where it was founded originally, the State of Mexico (which now contains over 50% of the city’s population), and a portion of the State of Hidalgo that recently has been incorporated into the metropolitan zone2. As of 2016, the population of Mexico City is estimated to be 8.9 million1, while the entire metropolitan area’s is estimated to be 21.1 million1, making it the most populous metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere1. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 feet)1. We analyzed land cover trends over the last three decades within certain areas of the metropolitan area.

Harmful Algal Blooms in the Chesapeake Bay

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Harmful Algal Blooms in the Chesapeake Bay

Grant Catlin, Johnny Roberts, and Anthony Farris

Department Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

The United States’ largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay, is home to a vast and complex ecosystem, which supports a diverse range of habitats and provides a crucial economic role for local communities. Every year, predominantly in the summer months, harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur, negatively impacting economic, ecological, and human health. HABs occur when colonies of algae grow rapidly, fueled by warm water temperatures and excess nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen. Tracking and monitoring HABs is very challenging, as they are highly variable in nature and can pop up and disappear in a number of hours. We utilized MODIS and AVHRR satellite data as a method to track blooms over the course of July through September 2014-16, and analyzed the effectiveness of using chlorophyll and sea surface temperature as a proxy for these blooms. By linking past records of HAB events with locations of agriculture facilities and their phosphorous and nitrogen watershed outputs, we were able to combine remote sensing techniques with GIS, and ultimately provide a product that displays a time series trend of HAB hotspots in the Chesapeake Bay.

Mapping Emergency Response with Twitter

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Mapping Emergency Response with Twitter

Briant J. Fabela, Thomas Anaya, Jason Granados

Department Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

Thousands of the incidents occur each year the Fire Department responds to, but is there any relation as to where these and incidents happen and why? This project is intended to find out. We derived spatial information from more than 44,000 tweets.

We correlated these dispatch calls with time, incident type, and other metadata in order to explore spatiotemporal and socioeconomic patterns.

After projecting the point data we created onto a map, we were able to determine there are spatial patterns and correlations between certain types of incidents and location around southern Santa Barbara County, specifically Isla Vista and Goleta.

Phenological Synchrony in Quercus Lobata

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Phenological Synchrony in Quercus Lobata

David Hyon, Jacobo Pereira-­Pacheco, Zachary Snider, Cristina Soto-­Balderas

Department Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

Phenological synchrony is a phenomenon in which individuals time the initiation of life cycle events together. In this study the first two steps of the phenological synchrony hypothesis [1] were tested involving valley oak (Quercus Lobata)

1.“Temperature during the spring correlated with homogeneity in microclimatic conditions throughout the study area.”

2.“Differences in microclimatic heterogeneity drive differences in phenological variability”

How Did Recent Rains Affect Soil Salinity Across UCSB Campus After Years of Drought?

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How Did Recent Rains Affect Soil Salinity Across UCSB Campus After Years of Drought?

John D. Roberts, Armando X. Munoz, Grant Catlin, Anthony Farris

Department Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

Background:

UCSB irrigates 90% of landscapes using reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is high in salt content that accumulates over time. Salt accumulation can cause salinization, which has detrimental effects on soils and vegetation. Project in 2015-16 measured electrical conductivity across various sites at UCSB to determine the salinity of soil.</>

Objectives:

Acquire electrical conductivity (EC) values to use as a proxy for saline by conducting surveys using GEM2. Use GIS to compare values with 2015-16 eata to determine how soil saline residue derived from reclaimed water has changed after recent rains following years of drought.

Hypothesis:

We expect that the soil electrical conductivity will be lower across all sites in 2017 compared to the 2015-16 due to higher rainfall this season compared to the previous 4 seasons. We also expect that Commencement Green Site might show a difference in values due to different mechanisms affecting the soil salinity.

Where are you? The Effect of Uncertainty & its Visual Representation on Location Judgments in GPS-like Displays

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Where are you? The Effect of Uncertainty & its Visual Representation on Location Judgments in GPS-like Displays

Alinda Friedman1, Mary Hegarty2, Alexander P. Boone2 and Trevor J. Barrett2

1University of Alberta & 2University of California, Santa Barbara

Question: Do non-experts understand positional uncertainty?

Positional uncertainty can be represented as:

  • A 95% confidence interval (circle)
  • A probability density function (fade)

Do people believe they are equally likely to be anywhere inside the blue dot? Do they assume they are more likely to be at the center of the blue dot? Are they influenced by the size of the blue dot, which indicates uncertainty of position?

Using GIS to Clean the Air, Improving Stewardship of Santa Barbara Channel's Gifts to Ventura

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Using GIS to Clean the Air, Improving Stewardship of Santa Barbara Channel’s Gifts to Ventura

George Naugles

A Spatial Problem…

Some of the cleanest air in the world, as well as most of the water used in the City of Ventura arrives via the Santa Barbara Channel. Diverting surface runoff and pumping scarce groundwater to irrigate city trees, Ventura currently contaminates pristine Pacific air with over 7,000 allergenic wind-pollinated trees, compromising’ quality of life for 20% to 25% of the population for many weeks each year. Allergenic pollen producers are projected to increase airborne pollen levels 30% to 400%, by 2050, due to increased carbon dioxide levels. Various scientists have documented gradually increasing incidence of allergies in children since 1950. That is without even considering today’s trees’ future growth. So pollen allergies are expected to affect the quality of life of more people more over time in the future.

2017 Eastern Sierra Avalanche Analysis

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2017 Eastern Sierra Avalanche Analysis

Joey Conway, Kevin Anderson, Jack Sargent, and Stephen Fetterly

Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

The 2017 winter was one of record breaking snowfall in the Eastern Sierra. Our goal was to determine what variables were correlated with avalanches reported on the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC) website: slope, aspect, elevation, and vegetation. We analyzed the differences between public and professional avalanche observations to ensure consistency in the crowd-sourced data. Using these variables, we developed a descriptive map of high, medium and low potential avalanche risk areas throughout the Eastern Sierra mountain range. With this information, skiers and mountaineers alike can recognize more dangerous and avalanche prone locations.

Isla Vista Safest Path Finder

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Isla Vista Safest Path Finder

Samuel Fall, Lauren Haas, Lilian Yang, and Brian Hsiao

Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

Most navigation systems are programmed to promote the shortest distance between a start and an endpoint. Distance and time may be important to a pedestrian, but safety should be taken into consideration, as well.

Isla Vista is a 1/2 square mile unincorporated community within Santa Barbara County. It is estimated that 8,000 pedestrians leave and enter Isla Vista each day, making foot traffic safety of great importance (County of Santa Barbara, pp 2-32). Through a comprehensive raster map of street illumination, crime location data, sidewalk availability, and location of intersections, we will attempt to portray how safety-dependent navigation varies from classic shortest path navigation and how the shortest path may differ from the safest path.

Characteristics of Moulin Density and Location on the Greenland Ice Sheet 2012 & 2015

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Characteristics of Moulin Density and Location on the Greenland Ice Sheet 2012 & 2015

Julia Ebert & Lilian Yang

Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Greenland ice sheet has been experiencing increasing surface melt (Bhattacharya et al., 2009; Box, 2013; Fettweis et al., 2011). Most of the surface melt goes through supraglacial streams and lake systems that drain through moulins. Moulins are circular, near-vertical sinkholes in ice sheet and glacier systems in which water enters from the surface. This drainage of water by moulins provides an increase in meltwater to supraglacial and subglacial environments, thus increasing basal sliding of outlet glaciers. It is important to understand the spatial distribution and seasonal progression of these hydrologic feature by mapping with fine resolution and great spatial coverage, allowing for a broader understanding of sheet-wide reactions to increased melting (Chu, 2013). This projects seeks to glimpse into the spatial changes of moulins on the Greenland Ice sheet from 2012 to 2015 by using satellite imagery and GIS.

Mapping Gray Whale Migration to Evaluate Shipping Lanes and Reduce Whale Ship Strikes

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Mapping Gray Whale Migration to Evaluate Shipping Lanes and Reduce Whale Ship Strikes

Jeremy Neill, Linnea Palmstrom, Daniel Park, Bronson Reich

University of California, Santa Barbara

The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) makes an annual migration of up to 13,600 miles round trip from their winter breeding grounds off Mexico to their summer feeding grounds off Alaska. This may be the longest migration of any mammal. The North American population is 22,000. Threats to their population include ship strikes (boat collisions), entanglement in fishing gear and climate change. This project looks at gray whale migration, how this intersects with shipping lanes, modeling their migratory behavior, and ways to reduce ship strike.

Last modified: June 20, 2017