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California State University, Long Beach
CSULB Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) Field Program
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Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM)

Field Research Program for Undergraduates

Hawai’i, June 2nd – July 3rd 2014


Welcome to the  Geospatial Research and

Mapping (GRAM) program.  This summer program is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) offering.  For more information about NSF-REU programs please see: For information about our NSF REU award, please see:

Our summer 2014 field program will take place on-campus at California State University Long Beach and at the famous Kualoa Ranch in the picturesque Hakipu’u valley on the northeast shore of O’ahu.

Geospatial Research and Mapping

Geospatial science is an applied discipline that requires a strong field component. Employment in geospatial technology, a rapidly growing career option, often requires prior applied experiences. These field-based opportunities have become an increasingly essential component of the training for all geographers and related professionals. This REU entails a four-week summer program of training in geospatial mapping techniques related to natural and archaeological resource management.


We are planning to run the second year of the three-year NSF REU program in June 2014.  Students will all gather at California State University at Long Beach for one week of initial training on geospatial technology:  computers, GIS, image processing, data generation techniques, etc.  Out-the-area students will be housed at the CSULB dorms for this week-long training session.  We will then all travel to the beautiful State of Hawai’i or the two-week field portion of the project.

Our tentative schedule for 2014:
June 2 – 7:        CSULB

June 8 – July 3:      Hawai’i  (Oahu)

This experience is designed to provide a truly unique research and educational opportunity for undergraduate students through active participation in data collection and analysis in support of ongoing research by scientists at CSULB and  the University of Hawaii.

GRAM research is conducted at two scales:  local site and broader landscape.  The summer research experience emphasizes the use of geospatial techniques to aid hypothesis-driven geospatially based natural resource and archaeological research and mapping that will result in improvements in the monitoring and analysis of environmental processes on Oahu.  The natural resource-focused research contributes to improved understanding of long-term changes in vegetation cover dynamics, natural hazards, non-point source pollution, and surface/groundwater quality.  The archaeological research improves our understanding of settlement chronology and resource utilization prior to European contact.  An important practical goal is to assist NTBG with baseline studies and monitoring protocols to assess the effectiveness of ecological restoration and cultural preservation activities.

GRAM provide sa framework for geospatial analysis of the landscape that introduces undergraduate students to technology and the culture of research while providing the tools and methods required to map, monitor, and analyze patters and environmental processes.  GRAM allows undergraduate students to develop research questions and conduct basic and applied research on Oahu using cutting-edge geospatial technologies.

This REU site research focuses on the geospatial sciences and will apply geospatial technologies to address a combination of archaeological, natural resource mapping, and applied research questions.  Geospatial science refers to sub-disciplines within Geography (such as spatial analysis, biogeography, and hydrology) that evaluate the earth’s surface through the use of fieldwork and geospatial technologies, and integrate physical, biological, and human-built environments, both ancient and contemporary, for analysis and assessment.  Geospatial technologies include geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, thematic mapping, image processing, global positioning systems (GPS), and spatial statistics.  Students will be able to learn in the natural laboratories provided by Kualoa Ranch(*) in the area of some of the richest archaeological sites in Hawai`i.

Student Requirements:

Students are responsible for their travel arrangements to and from the Los Angeles area (California State University Long Beach). Students must arrive at CSU Long Beach on June 2, 2014. The program ends on July 3, 2014.

Students are required to enroll in 6 units of Geography 495 – Field Experiences in Geospatial Techniques.  Course tuition and fees will be paid for by the Program. Students will receive a $750 stipend for their participation in this program and/or additional uncompensated costs related to the summer experience. Note:  All students are expected to be able to bring a recent vintage, full-size (i.e., non-netbook) Windows-based laptop  (Min 4GB RAM, 160 Gb Hard disk, Video card, MS Office 2010), for use during the field program. Please contact us regarding your computer if you have any questions regarding its capabilities.

REU Covered Expenses:

  • Housing and Food while in the CSULB dorms
  • Housing and food while on Ohau.
  • Travel to and from Ohau
  • Transportation while on Ohau
Applications are available online here.  Completed applications (including 2 letters of reference) are due no later than March 1, 2014.

Eligible Student Participants: Undergraduate student participants supported with NSF funds in either Supplements or Sites must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An undergraduate student is a student who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree. Students who are transferring from one college or university to another and are enrolled at neither institution during the intervening summer may participate. High school graduates who have been accepted at an undergraduate institution but who have not yet started their undergraduate study are also eligible to participate. Students who have received their bachelor’s degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are generally not eligible to participate. (source:, 3/5/12).

* The site of the field work is famously known as the location of the filming for Lost, Jurassic Park, among other TV shows and films.

An orthophoto created using blimp photography

    Important Dates

    Field Locations