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CSULB Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) Field Program
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Daily Blog for Jeanette

And now, the end is near…

Posted on June 29, 2013 by Jeanette

Presentations: done

Report: done.

It has been a pleasure to work with so many smart young individuals.  I have learned a lot and feel that I have a new course to take in life.  This is what this experience is meant to do, I suspect.



Day 25: An all nighter

Posted on June 28, 2013 by Jeanette

Yes, working on my powerpoint, presentation, and report.  Countdown, 14 hours till completion.

I am proud of myself.  I know more than I give myself credit for and I have learned a lot as well.  I am excited to own my project, and be a part of all the tangents that came with it.  Paul and Dr. Wechsler have been a key part in my discoveries and learning curve and Greg’s flying skills and time have been invaluable.

Thank goodness for Dr. Lipo’s schedule of nearly weekly writings and research.  I am not as scared to sit at a computer and write as I used to be.  I am sure my writing has gotten better for it as well, but I no longer dread the writing aspect of research.



Day 24: T-44 hours till freedom

Posted on June 26, 2013 by Jeanette

Started the day wide awake at 6 and getting to what I know.  Thermal comparisons to true color photos were the name of the game.

Near noonish, I went out with Paul and Michelle.  Spent 1/2 hour in the Kualoa Giftshop before walking up to the wall that Paul was filming.  Then we headed out to my area for the last of the thermal images.

Wouldn’t you know it, they look great, but due to the closeness in proximity, it is hard to determine where I am looking on the walls.  Mental note, attach a GOPRO true color to locate myself from my black and white images.

It’s going to be a long long night!  My sleeping bag/tent are calling me!!

Day 23: Starting to come together

Posted on June 26, 2013 by Jeanette

A rainy, indoor data day.  I am encouraged by my question, at the same time discouraged at being able to get good data.

My answer with thermal will probably be that caves can not be differentiated from vegetation (which there is a lot of).  Tomorrow I will spend one more day getting a thermal close up of the David Morgan cave to prove this, as the thermal I have been using appears to be at a great distance.

Also, Dr. Wechsler is helping me discover how to lie the vertical portion of my map so that I can make contour lines.  Stayed up past my beloved bedtime trying to make this work.  IF there are caves that can be recognized in this manner, this will be the only means of locating caves with the technologies that I have experienced in this program, thus far.

Will chug away at it early tomorrow.

Day 22: Count down to last field day

Posted on June 24, 2013 by Jeanette

Spend the day in the field doing transects of the wall with the David Morgan cave and the adjoining wall to the east of it.  I am now focusing in on a small part of the wall to be able to do a 90 degree transform of the wall and create contours of the topology.  I will pick out contours that overlay with thermal imaging areas that are cool and that should pinpoint caves.  I also did IR transects to correlate vegetation with those areas that may be questionable to know if there was vegetation or not, however I think that true color will do just as well.  I will also attempt hillshading to see how that may help with locating caves.

I am usually pretty pooped after a day in the field followed by the mental drain of learning on the run these software packages.  I am pretty sure it shows in my writing of the blog.

My apologies!

Day 21: Day off (sort of)

Posted on June 24, 2013 by Jeanette

Today is the much anticipated day off!    Had several options, but decided to get a scooter and ride the island.  However, I did not make a reservation and the rental shops were closed to check availability.

I decided to help search and rescue Mike’s hexacopter.  It is always thrilling to do hiking with a purpose, however this was not hiking, it was dodging spiky branches, crunching down waist high ferns and climbing under/over root and branches that acted like walls, all while it was raining and the ground was nothing but mud.  Every few feet, I had to have a good look around since the brush was so dense, trees so high, to look for the black copter in the darkness of the canopy.  About 30 minutes into the “hike”, Mike made the announcement that he found it.  Absolute stroke of luck that he saw the shiny metal bottom of the copter which was covered with leaves.  Hoots and hollers all around.  The graphics cards were still good with usable data, but the copter had broken one of its arms.

After this, I decided to spend the day doing my work, and research.  Pretty quiet day, very peaceful!  Will take another day to do a little sightseeing…

My research seems to me more about proving that more work needs to be done.  I have been correlating thermal photos with true color photos.  Unfortunately the caves are not as prominant in the photos or the thermal is showing that vegetation and cave temperatures are nearly the same.  Thus picking out caves along the walls will not be an easy process using thermal.  This seems to be where I am heading as far as an answer.  What I need to do, what is screaming at me from my gut, is to use the bunker and nearby cave as controls to prove that I am right, that there is no benefit to using thermal to pick out caves in the way of vegetation.



True color


Day 20: Finally rid of the pins and needles

Posted on June 23, 2013 by Jeanette

YAY!!  The thermal is working as is the X100.  Unfortunately Mikes hexacopter is somewhere in the ferns somewhere in the valley.

Spent the day finding ground control points to be able to locate the vertical wall that Greg is creating, for Arc Scene.   When I got several points, it was time to watch out for horses as they sent out the X100.  Once that came back, it was time to get the thermal working and do some transects.  The transects were successful even though they were preliminary.  Successful in that the images came out but being able to locate caves was another story.  The vegetation was nearly the same color as the caves, or at least the grey scale was hard to detect differences.

At this point, my question is, can I create a control to be able to find caves, using the deeper bunkers and less deep cave along the road to the right of the bunkers, to see if there are differences between the depths as well as to get   a perspective as to the greyness of the cooler areas that can be distinctive from vegetation.

Tomorrow is the day off.  Gonna help find the hexacopter, and then find a way down to Kailua to do some sightseeing and shopping.

Day 19

Posted on June 22, 2013 by Jeanette

Spent the day indoors fiddling with PhotoScan.  Also spent the time looking into thermography of cave openings.

Cooked a non-tuna casserole dinner!

Just crossing my fingers that the thermal camera works tomorrow.

‘Nuff said!

Day 18: A step closer to the cave of mystery

Posted on June 20, 2013 by Jeanette

Video from yesterdays test flight before climbing the walls:

Today used the Phantom with the Optio to transect the southern walls again.  Beautiful cloudy morning till around noon when the skies opened up just as we finished a flight.  We expected the rain to subside as usual after 1-2 minutes, but 10 minutes later we were soaked and decided to head back to base camp.  Ka’a’awa’s law:  When you are finally under cover from the rain, it will stop.

Later, our Phantom and strategically placed Optio disappeared.  We had to put on our MacGyver thinking caps to figure out how to put  Mikes borrowed Optio onto the Phantom without the connector that comes with the Phantom.  Using a few zipties and foam, we made an even better way to view horizontally.  (Next time we will use more foam).  Few more transects down and then we moved onto the Instant Eye to get up close and personal with “the cave”.

I also took a photo with Ted’s telephoto lens-Nikon camera.  (From base camp)


Day 17: Flying High!

Posted on June 20, 2013 by Jeanette

Had a FANTASTIC day eventually.  Started out hiking the north side of the valley to get different perspectives of caves across the valley using shadows as well as higher elevation and binoculars to locate caves and put on the topo map.  Eventually gave up due to too many “caves”.  Caves are everywhere, and I suspect a lot are hidden under vegetation.  The true caves may have water flowing from them which would feed onto areas where plants can thrive and thus hide the cave from view.  Also the caves on the cliff faces may just be little overhangs, and not connect in any fashion.

Excited to see a book written on caves of the Ka’a’awa valley by the Forest Service.  Dr. Hunt will be bringing this book that I plan on using as a test reference for the thermal portion of my project.

My project is actually up in the air…  It is quite possible that the Thermal Camera will not be working, and also just as possible that the hexacopter that would fly it will also not be working.  I REALLY want to see this project happen, but am prepared to find a backup to my project…

After doing my hike, I came back to base not sure what to do with myself.  Luckily Greg was ready to fly a Phantom and we went to do transects of the cliff faces to start creating a 3-D model of the cliffs (Greg’s project).  We used Dr. Lipo’s Optia camera that did GPS on the photos.  Paul did an initial run and went higher than the wall tops.  We got beautiful views!!

After this and several transects, I helped Ted fly his Instant Eye looking at the wall that the Laser was done on, for Dr. Weschler.

Liking it!

About Jeanette

I like rocks, and finding the things that people, who vanished a long time ago, have left behind! Give me a CJ-7, a topo map, and solitude and I become a very happy girl!