Tag Archives: Dickinson College

BairdFellows   cropped

Congratulations to GIS students, Chloe and Tabea

 

Advancing Sustainability

the 2014-15 baird fellows

2014-2015 Baird Fellows

 

Photo by Carl Socolow ’77.

2014-15 Baird Sustainability Fellows announced

Now in its third year, the Baird Sustainability Fellows program recognizes Dickinson seniors who have advanced sustainability goals through their scholarship, leadership and service efforts. Named for Spencer Fullerton Baird, a prominent 19th-century naturalist and Dickinson alumnus, the program this year brings together 12 students for collaborative projects and research to help create a sustainable world. Read about Chloe and Tabea’s missions below.

Chloe Miller, Archeology and Anthropology Major

Chloe Miller, 2015 Baird Sustainability FellowChloe Miller ’15

 

Chloé Miller is double majoring in archaeology and anthropology. Sustainability not only plays an important role in her academic fields, but also in her personal life. Raised in a Catholic and Native American household, she believes it is her responsibility to help return balance to the Earth for the sake of future generations. Chloé’s unique upbringing has guided her academic pursuits to understanding the dynamic, synergetic relationship between anthropogenic forces, human biology, and the natural landscape.

Her interests have taken her all over the world, from the Altiplano of Bolivia to Transylvania, Romania. While in Bolivia with Dr. Maria Bruno and Dr. Christine Hastorf, Chloé saw how past human interactions with the environment have evolved into the agricultural practices of contemporary highland farmers. She also observed how Bolivian politics, social inequalities, and the high global demand for quinoa is negatively impacting these farming groups. In Transylvania, Romania, she participated in a communal archaeology project that involved collecting information about medieval churches once forgotten by the Székely people, a long-existing Hungarian ethnic minority. Seeing this loss, which was the product of socioeconomic and political forces, first hand has inspired her to apply for a Fulbright Research Grant. She plans to return and provide support through complementary research about the historical relationship between pre- and post- Christian traditions among the Székely by using bioarchaeology and mortuary analysis.

On campus, Chloé works as a GIS intern where she helps Facilities map and analyze different aspects of the Dickinson campus and sustainability projects. She also helps the Classics Department cultivate a sense of cultural sustainability by spreading awareness of classical Greco-Roman culture as the Classics House Manager and as a Latin Club Teacher.

Chloé believes that a biocultural approach to understanding the human condition is a unique and understated aspect of sustainability, so she is excited to bring this to the colloquium. She hopes to represent a different perspective of sustainability that recognizes the need to not only understand how humans are affecting the environment but also how we our affecting ourselves.

Tabea Zimmermann, Environmental Science Major & French Minor

Tabea Zimmerman, 2015 Baird Sustainability FellowTabea Zimmerman ’15

 

Tabea Zimmermann is an Environmental Science major with a minor in French. In her time at Dickinson, Tabea has participated in many opportunities that have shaped her view of the natural environment and how humans use and value it. Her work at the college farm and with the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) served as foundations for two different study abroad experiences. Last year, Tabea spent a science-intensive semester in Cape Cod, MA studying the biogeochemistry of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems with the Marine Biological Laboratory. In the spring, she replaced her lab coat and safety glasses with sandals and a camera as she explored the culture and society of Cameroon. Here it became apparent that sustainability is just as much a factor of a people’s history, economy, and culture and it is about the natural environment surrounding it.

At Dickinson, Tabea is studying how different lakes have responded to environmental stresses such as climate change and atmospheric deposition and which lakes will be most sensitive to future disturbances. When she’s not happily buried in science, Tabea enjoys running with the cross country team, tooting her oboe, and reconnecting with friends. She’s looking forward to collaborating with a diverse group of students and having time to reflect on her recent experiences while continuing to evolve her understanding of sustainability and what it means to be an engaged member of her local and world-wide communities.

To read more:

http://www.dickinson.edu/news/article/1304/advancing_sustainability

 

How Diverse are our Trees? An Analysis of the Trees on Dickinson College’s Campus

Urban forests, much like those of college campuses can be unbalanced in species diversity, and richness, which can lead to devastation. By determining these factors and applying a standard guide, the health of the forest is able to be established, and in doing so creating a better way to manage the trees. The standard guide used is the 10-20-30 rule, which says that no more than 10% of the trees should be of the same species, no more than 20% of the trees should be from the same genus, and no more than 30% should be from the same family. The 10-20-30 rule is often used as a standard to determine if the species diversity is acceptable, inadequate, or a possible cause for concern in the urban forest. Dickinson College currently has no reference to the standard of its urban forest. There is also concern of using non-native trees in the urban forest, and if that has a negative impact on the overall forest. The project was started in the spring of 2010 by Mark Scott and Jim Ciarrocca to document all of the trees on campus, so that Dickinson could become an arboretum. This project explores species diversity in eight different sections of campus, the overall richness of the campus trees, the location of the non-native trees, as well as designating location of water accumulation on the campus. Since the start of this project 814 trees have been tagged, and there are 132 unique tree species. Overall the species diversity of the campus is acceptable. There are no trees with greater than 6% of the same species, three are no trees with greater than 18% of the same genus, and there are no trees with greater than 18% of the same family, thus Dickinson’s campus is all within the 10-20-30 rule, and has acceptable species diversity.

This project specifically looked at ways to assist Mr. Scott in managing Dickinson College’s trees. The richness and species diversity were determined using the Marine Geospatial Ecology Toolset, created at Duke University.  Using 3-meter elevation data from USGS, areas of depression were identified, where water would collect on Dickinson’s campus. This was done by filling in the depression using the fill tool, using the raster calculator the original elevation data was subtracted from the filled elevation data, this then gave the depression areas. This information will be used to assist Mr. Scott in making management decisions.

 

An Analysis of the Trees on Dickinson College's Campus

An Analysis of the Trees on Dickinson College’s Campus

BurnsHarrisburg

An Evaluation of Harrisburg Street Trees

BurnsHarrisburgThis project aims to provide useful tools in the form of maps to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) tree planting project. The CBF tree planting initiative aims to plant trees throughout Harrisburg to improve stormwater management practices. The Chesapeake Bay has been put on the impaired list and given a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The TMDL limits the amount of nutrients like nitrate and phosphate that enter the Bay ecosystem as too much of these nutrients impact the Bay’s functioning. Since Harrisburg is on a major tributary of the Bay, this TMDL will require Harrisburg to start addressing its stormwater management practices. Since trees provide ecosystem services like water retention they can be a crucial part of reducing the nutrients and pollutants running off the streets of Harrisburg into the Susquehanna River, and then into the Bay. Every street tree in Harrisburg was inventoried. As part of the inventory data was collected on the location of the tree, dbh, age, species, condition, and maintenance required. The maps produced for this project used that data to identify priority areas for street tree services. The service areas include dead tree removal, tree planting, crown cleaning, and priority re-inspection. These maps show hotspots in need of these services. The importance of these hotspot maps is that they can be used to organize maintenance crews internally and volunteers coming to the CBF looking for work.

By: Christine Burns

Dickinson College’s Lit Walkways in Relation to Public Safety Concerns

Project Link:

http://dickinsongis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingTextLegend/index.html?appid=29638faea0e14e2aaeecb93f2f611af1

Introduction:

Public safety concerns at Dickinson College are dynamic; this is especially true with lit walkways on campus. Areas that are initially classified as ‘safe’ to walk through can within a short amount a time be classified as ‘dangerous,’ and vice versa; the areas that were ‘red-flagged’ by students five years ago are no longer issues today. The Department of Public Safety recognizes these concerns and is open to suggestions made by students in an effort to make the campus feel safe.  In this project, I wanted to explore the current concerns of students by mapping the Dickinson owned lamp posts and highlight areas that should be focused on for the addition of new light fixtures in the near future.

Methodology:

I began my study by renting out a recreational grade Garmin 62S from the Bosler Media Center and mapping out all Dickinson owned lamp posts on the main part of campus as waypoints.  Originally, I also wanted to collect waypoints for all the Carlisle Borough street lamps and Dickinson parking lot lights within the main campus, but the task was too complex for this current project.  In total, I mapped 271 lamp posts which I located while doing a walkthrough of the campus.  After data collection, I uploaded the waypoints as a shapefile on ArcMap and added other data layers that detailed parts of campus, including buildings, streets, walkways, as well as a satellite image of the area.

After creating this map, I met with Lt. Fasio of the Department of Public Safety who has data from the past year of areas which students have alerted him as being ‘unsafe’ as well as areas that he realizes need attention in the near future.  Taking this list, and visually analyzing the map I created, I found 6 areas that could be considered problem areas which the school should focus on for the addition of new light fixtures in the near future.  This includes the area surrounding the recently acquired Allison Hall, the walkways leading to South College, the railroad tracks in front of Kaufman Hall, the area around Dana Hall, the routes to reach the Factory Apartments, and the area around the Kline Center once its construction is completed in the summer of 2014.  I made another shapefile that outlines these areas on campus in ArcMap, and following this, I uploaded all my files to ArcGis Online into a webmap application.  Along with working with the presentation of the web map I created, I also added interactive descriptions for the problem areas.

Conclusions:

Although I always hear my fellow students complaining about the lack of lighting on campus, and even though I did find some problem areas, overall this campus is very well lit.  It must not be forgotten that this campus is incorporated within the town it is located in; Carlisle residents live adjacent to on-campus housing and the center of town is just down the street from campus.  Therefore, students cannot expect that the campus will be lit up to the degree that a football field or theme park would. Also, considering that I did not include Carlisle Borough street lights or Dickinson parking lot lights, this map shows a very safety-forward campus as long as students stay on Dickinson walkways and stay aware of their surroundings.  I hope other students will also understand this conclusion from my map and see what areas they may want to be extra cautious around until there are additional lighting fixtures in place.

Images:

The images below show data layers used in this project; the first being the lamp posts collected, the second being the problem areas in relation to these lamp posts, and the third being a description box created in the ArcGis Online Application.

 

Lamp posts

Problem Areas

 

Description Box

Dickinson College Arboretum

Introduction.

To become an accredited arboretum there are certain professional standards that need to be met by an accreditation program. That can be done by either the Morton Registration for accreditation (1) or the Tree Campus USA program (2). The use of which program will be used for Dickinson’s future ambition to become an arboretum has not yet been decided, however work has begun to fulfill the general basic requirements for Dickinson to become an arboretum. Dickinson College has been mapping the trees on campus since the spring of 2010. Kristin Meseck, a student at the time at Dickinson, started the project as a part of the Advanced GIS course offered at Dickinson. She worked in collaboration with Mark Scott, Dickinson’s own arborist. Since then multiple students and GIS interns have worked with Mr. Scott and have contributed to the data collection over the years. Mr. Scott has since then strived to turn Dickinson College into a arboretum by starting the general process of surveying and identifying the trees on Dickinson’s campus. The data that is collected includes tree number, common name, family, genus, species, variety, height, diameter, if the tree is native, condition of the tree, if there are insects and disease, if it is dedicated, pruning requirements, miscellaneous work, comments, if the tree has been removed and the type (deciduous or coniferous). After the collection of this data and the exact GPS coordinates of each tree are recorded, the data is all entered into a database so the data can be projected onto a map. Since 2010 over 700 trees have been surveyed and that is not even 50% of trees on Dickinson’s campus. For my final project in the Introduction to GIS course I have taken all of the data collected thus far and have created an interactive web map application available to any individual who would like to learn about the trees on Dickinson’s campus.

Methods.

To begin the process of making a map on ArcMap, I was given the collected tree data from Jim Ciarrocca, Dickinson College’s GIS Specialist. Using that data I constructed a map of the trees on Dickinson’s campus. I created a map with specific levels of details on the trees present in that area. The data attribute tables were edited to show every tree’s information in a more uniform way. The first level has five trees indicating specific tree areas, for example, Morgan Field, Academic Quad, and more. The next detail level separates the trees into whether they are coniferous or deciduous trees and there are symbols differentiating the two. The last and closest level of detail available separates the trees by family; each family has a different symbol indicated in the legend. There are also layers indicating Dickinson College buildings, for spatial reference for the user.

After the map was created in ArcMap, I began the uploading process to ArcGIS online to publish the map. I signed into my account through ArcMap and followed the prompts to publish the map online. Once the map was up online I needed to choose a web map application template in order to create a web map application to share the map online. I chose the Storytelling Basic application because it allowed me to display the map effectively. After the Web Map Application was finished I was able to share it with everyone using a URL, anyone could see it even without an ArcGIS account.

Results.

An effective part of using a web map application are the pop-up windows available for each symbol on the map. This allows users to click on a tree and find out the information available on that particular tree. The pop-up seen in this image example is how all of the pop-ups in the map look.

webmappopup

 

 

 

 

 

 

These three images show the three different detail layers of the web map application, which were described in the methods above.

First level of detail.

First level of detail. The tree areas.

 

Second level of detail.

Second level of detail. The tree types (deciduous or coniferous).

Third level of detail.

Third level of detail. The tree families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dickinson College Arboretum Web Map Application can be seen at:

http://dickinsongis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/OnePane/storytelling_basic/index.html?appid=f1a3070fab3945eeb7f70083d6654587

 

Discussion.

ArcGIS online is an incredible tool that allows you to make a map available and interactive to so many people. The application allows you to better show the story you want to tell because it is interactive and the different templates allow you to decide how exactly you would like to tell that story. This tool is new, so there were some challenges in learning how everything works and including everything you want to do. For example, there is not a way to include labels on the map, which is why the pop-up windows are necessary to give the user information about the items on the map. A feature that I hope will be added to the templates is that if photographs could be added to the pop-up windows, because then for this particular web map I could have added a photo of what a particular tree species looked like, for better understanding by the user. Overall, it is an extremely beneficial tool and continues to change and offer more services to a mapmaker.

 

1.  http://arbnet.org/arboretum-accreditation.html

2. http://www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa/ 

 

More information on the progress of this project  can be found at:

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/gis/2013/04/29/from-tree-to-database/

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/gis/2012/11/01/gps-coordinate-point-and-attribute-data-collection-of-trees-for-the-dickinson-college-arboretum/