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

Day 16. Let’s get this party started

Posted on June 18, 2013 by Jeanette

It’s official, I am doing a vertical map that will incorporate thermal imaging to locate cave openings in the valley walls.  Hope to find some archaeological significance.

Did a trial run with Ted using his Instant eye copter and a Go-Pro camera.  I took the controls and instantly wanted to get one!  I can figure out where in my hood the party is that is keeping me awake before an exam.  Ultimate retaliation  ;)

Tomorrow is the big day!  Today was hearing about hearing everyone’s projects.

Day 15, best day yet

Posted on June 17, 2013 by Jeanette

Started out the day wanting to wrap up loose ends at an archaeological wall feature that David Morgan showed us.  As I was walking back, I saw a wall feature that reminded me of what Jessica had been finding on the southern side of the southern valley wall.  Explored a bit, and found another wall.  Tagged the features with her GPS camera and came back to base.

I found the lost city of Atlantis!

Grabbed myself a Trimble and headed out again to the western end of the valley.  Examined the marsh area and logged other terraces near the base of the valley but still above the marsh area.  Surprised as the lack of mosquitoes that tried to get their fill of me, but who would want to get near someone that was sweat, sunscreen and bug spray soaked?!  Hiked up and found an old abandoned road on the southern side of the valley.  Hiked and found more small terraces.  Climbed the LOST tower to eat my apple when a group of tourists appeared.  I climbed down as gingerly as I could but I was already spotted.  I hung around making sure my walkie-talkie indicated that I was someone that was meant to be there, but the moment I could ditch the crowd, I hiked back into the bushes.

I then got sucked into the car going to do seep searching along the coast.  I wish I had my bathing suit and beach shoes, but no, I had pants and hiking boots for one of the most beautiful places to be doing work.  Lesson learned, will pack my suit and booties into my backpack!

Had a discussion with Dr. Wechsler about my possible research questions.  She was SO excited about the valley wall prospect!  Looking forward to whatever comes my way!



Day 14: Decision time!

Posted on June 17, 2013 by Jeanette

Well, not quite…

Day started with meeting the locals at church.

Finishing up Powerpoint, reading research articles, and getting ideas for my individual project followed my outing.

Presentation went really well.  I believe the geology may have been the foundation for a lot of things to consider like hydrology, vegetation, and in a roundabout way the archaeological sites.  So it was probably right that we went first even though we did not intend to.  All projects were able to feed off of each others information, and may have helped some people to refine their question or even go into a new direction.

Following the presentations we had a pizza break, fed the goats and horses, then reconvened to discuss our projects.  However possibly due to the great questions and presentations we were very late into the afternoon and the projects will now be presented as a one page proposal.

Unfortunately, my questions have to be rethought due to only 1/3rd of the Lidar data being available, and the scale of the DEM/Lidar is too big to tell small scale site features.  The other things that complicate my question is the lack of certainty of piles of rocks having significance.  Should the above data be available and at a scale that allows ~1m pixel resolution, I may be able to suss out the natural from man-made features.  And finally if the sites would be historic vs. prehistoric since this may have had a difference in location of sites.

If this is too complicated, I have the fallback question of doing the valley walls with go-pro imaging, doing transects with the quad-copter or the other copter that Ted uses, and Thermal imaging.  It would be interesting to see if these technologies could compliment each other and show the location of caves with the idea that some would be used as burials.


Day 13 Day off

Posted on June 16, 2013 by Jeanette

Morning started with a sleep in.  Enjoying listening to the rain again overnight.

Sleep in done, powerpoint perfection.  Worked till 2 on making the powerpoint presentable.

Caught the bus to Haliewa.  Enjoyed talking to several locals one of whom lives with his backyard butting up against the Kualoa Ranch property.  Another told me about the joys of getting bitten by the centipedes and stung by the jellyfish, here in Oahu.  Funny, all the locals I met also ride the bus.  Had several on my bus heading back.  Best way to hear the happenings and learn of the locals favorite places to visit.

Enjoyed walking from the bus stop back to the ranch in the pitch dark.  Another adventure…

Day 12 and Day 6 in the field

Posted on June 15, 2013 by Jeanette

It has been enjoyable getting up with the thought of exploring the sub-tropical area for geology and archaeology.  Today was no exception.  There were multiple things that need and could be done.

Options for today.

  1.  Watching and helping Ted do transects of the cliff faces with the idea of finding caves, with his quadcopter.
  2. going to seek out ancient fish ponds.
  3. Searching for more wall/platform features in the western end of the valley
  4. looking for caprock, and geotagging areas of geological interest.
  5. watching a laser scanner in progress

Shelby, Courtney and I went out to find the fish ponds with partial success.  We believe we found the southern pond, but the northern pond was covered with homes.  Maybe the quadcopters that were flown in the area yesterday will give better visuals over the homes than we could get standing at the homes front gates.

On our way back we explored the water cave, hiking a fair distance in the dart to the back where the well existed.  The cave was very cool for our hot humid days!

We then went to find the laser, but neared the area where it was taking place just when it was all packed up.

We ended the day early, stopped and got some snacks at the shrimp shack, and headed home.  I went to the beach while most others took a nap.

I then spend a fair amount of time with TA Scott trying to perfect our georeferencing of our map layers.  Ultimately the snafus in our work ended up being a very overlooked and easy fix.

Thomas and I took the time to do his version of the georeferencing with roads and geology.  I started falling asleep as this work was being done.  My nap time finally found me.

Day 5 in the field

Posted on June 13, 2013 by Jeanette

Went to the western-most part of the valley to search for archaeological sites.  The area was very dense with vegetation to the point that no hiking was able to be done.  The area was very clay rich and water was just running over the surface.  It was very humid/wet in that part of the valley, an area that gets the greatest amount of rain.  There is also relatively little outcrop of volcanic bedrock in comparison to the eastern part of the valley.  Maybe a sign of greater weathering.

The possibilities of this being an area of archaeological significance must be determined by LiDAR, most likely eCharging, and Laser scanning if the software is available.  I learned today that Laser will not be available for us to use as a way to cut through vegetation due to the expensive software.  But it is still a possibility for future exploration.  It is easy to speculate as to the reasoning for use or non-use by prehistoric natives, but the discussions I had with various individuals each had a reason for and against use in the western part of the valley.  Only surface imaging will help to suss out that question.

UAV’s were flown today.  Very impressive, expensive, and an easy hobby to become addicted to.

Shaved ice topped the day.

Archy time!

Posted on June 13, 2013 by Jeanette

Rained last night.  Beautiful to sleep in a tent to the sound of rain.

Split off from geo and worked with archaeology today.  Geology was pretty much done with the goal of finding the contact between the clay rich and large clast rich soils.  Our hypothesis is that the dissappearing water flows are due to the presence of a contact, or change in soil type.  Water would most likely run off the surface of clay, and the clastic soils would be a subsurface conduit for water flow and would be the point of disappearance of the water.

But today, I hiked around with Jessica and Shelby.  I learned quite a bit about types of archy features from them, and often had to remind myself that these girls majored in some form of archaeology or worked in it, as I kept thinking I would see something, but they would correct me.  My interest was hiking into the vegetated areas to see if there were rock features, and these vegetated areas were in the steep slopes with LOTS of vegetation.  I also find that features are easier to find looking up than going downslope.  That way if there are rock walls that are covered in vegetation, one is looking up at the wall below the vegetation instead of looking down at the vegetation covering the wall.

I have gotten very excited about LiDAR and eCharging and mapping the valley.  However, a lot was done today with the UAV’s and imaging.  Ted took his UAV and flew it up to the cliff faces.  A-HA, UAV up to the caves!  Ted spoke about running transects along the wall faces, which would be very complementary to the thermal project of temp differences within caves.  WOW, to actually be able to see inside an inaccessible cave!  (Well, inaccessible to all but the people that put the bodies in them)

BUT, laser has suddenly popped into the equation…  Laser on archaeology areas that are covered in vegetation could possibly cut through the vegetation.  It would be interesting to use laser with LiDAR to find covered areas.

My brain has stopped working.  Unfortunately, I seem to put off my blog until all other things are finished, and by that time, I can’t think straight.

The hidden world of geologic data dictionary descriptions

Posted on June 12, 2013 by Jeanette

Woke up to the spitting of rain that stopped just as I put the rainfly on.  Love to hear the roosters and horses anxious to get out of their stalls.


More geologic mapping today with the GPS.  Back into the mosquito ridden streams.  Our best method of seeing different alluvium formations is in the stream cuts and the slumps created by cow grazing.  We bring the odd hammer that keeps disappearing which makes getting to fresh formation a bit harder.  Our geo team is working with a less efficient means of GPS collection.  We can’t use our data dictionary so descriptions have to be written in my notebook and then typed into the ArcGIS attribute tables.  I am starting to formulate an idea that the geologic map that we are using is in need of revisitation (which we are doing now), and that the new alluvium is between the terrace tops of the old formations.  It just makes sense but needs to be further examined.




Thomas and I further explored the area till our sweaty overheated minds decided to climb up to where the volcanic rock outcrop was.  Thomas and I had different ideas, he decided to bushwack to some insane spot on a ledge up high and I tried to follow a ridge to look for more archy features.  Fail on my part and big fail on Thomas’s part.  I made it to my goal and took some great pictures but there were no obvious features.  Thomas ended up army crawling through the bush to be able to get to his destination and quitting less than halfway to his goal.  The worst part is that he had to come back down.  On the way down he found a beautiful snail shell.   Suddenly he was screaming bloody murder and telling me to “get it out, get it out!!”  I was told to put my hand in his liquid soaked pocket, with a little disclaimer to not be freaked out.  Several things went through my mind at once; acid, stinging spider, etc, I reached in the pocket to be met by a slimy, sharp, sandpapery feel that filled my whole hand.  I freaked out and would not take it out.  Come to find out the huge shell still had a snail and he sat on it.

This evening was spent learning to download the data to arcMap to be able to see where we have been and to collect data points.  The geo situation is a different situation, where we have a few more odd steps to do to be able to visualize our work.  Sometimes it is good to have something different or out of the ordinary to do, but I am so slow in learning in this fast paced environment that I feel sorry for the people that have to deal with me.  But I so appreciate the experience.

Tomorrow we mix things up a bit.  I will most likely be in the geo group trying to help the newer member of our group to understand what we are trying to get a grasp on.  This evening I will make an excel spreadsheet to enable attribute selection that would normally be easy with the Trimbles.  The spreadsheet will help make things go quicker for data explanation of the geology seen without having to write lengthy descriptions.





Boots on the ground

Posted on June 11, 2013 by Jeanette

Had the best sleep!  Thank goodness for the tents!

Thomas and I started out the morning doing our best but still missing the mark in making a data dictionary.  We were really lacking a good mentor, Dr. Becker’s absence was noted.  I started panicking when everyone was speaking with the TA’s and instructors about their dictionaries and getting advice, but no one was checking in or helping us.  I decided to inquire of TA Scott.  What a blessing he was.  He even had a geologic map of the area.  It was starting to feel strange not having been given any topo maps to be able to orient ourselves, I wonder if geographers don’t use topo maps like geologists…  I searched USGS as well as other websites with no luck.  Scott pulled through in that arena too, having a PDF topo map of the area.

Thomas, Scott and I were able to really technical a plan, and our data dictionary took a turn in a different direction. We are mostly mapping contacts of two different types of alluvium.  The older consists of a clay rich soil, which may be a reason for surface water seen.  The younger alluvium is not clay rich and very friable/porous, which may be where water disappears.  We now plan on mapping/walking the contact.  After doing this we may be able to see if there is a pattern between soil type and water at the surface!

However our day started with a fantastic hike up to a canyon where we believe we found a taro terrace, a century old well, and BEAUTIFUL views.  How lucky we are to be working here.  As we walked down to our stream/contact spot, we found further terraces evenly spaced down the hill and running up the valley at nearly the same elevation.  Would be FANTASTIC to analyze these features on LiDAR.  The project I want to do!


Plenty to do but looking forward to tomorrow.

Valiant effort

Posted on June 10, 2013 by Jeanette

Spent the most miserable camping night of my life!  Camping in freezing weather with just my 30 degree bag and no tent was much more enjoyable.  I wanted to sleep sans tent.  The mozzies were so persistent.  My bug repellent with 30% DEET was only slightly effective.  I slept in my little cotton Cocoon because of the humidity, and I believe the mozzies went right through.  Got about 1 hour of sleep.  I was too proud to go inside…

Today was about trying to get an idea of the lay of the land and what subjects and attributes make up the data dictionary we need to build.  Drove up Ka’a’awa Valley in a tour bus with a bit of a special tour.  Kept passing movie sets.  I have to laugh at how awestruck people were of the props that were left.  As if being there made them closer to the actors or to the possibility of falling into the movie itself by some black hole.   We did get out to see some unexplained features, that appeared to be archaeological.  One was a small berm.  The other was a historic house foundation probably dating to the early 1800’s.  I  was so excited.  My original interest was to take lidar data and analyze the valley for possible pre-historic features,  and it is possible that here was one of them.  It may not be part of a Taro Terrace but there may be other features in the valley that are able to be correlated to traits of this structure.  Stoked!!

Spent the afternoon with Thomas figuring out our data dictionary terms.  A very smart young man, glad he is my partner.  We are in charge of coming up with geological classifications and attributes and how to best enter them into the Kimble.  We were meant to finish the dictionary tonite, but because the system for doing things is still in the works as we go, we were told not to and do it tomorrow.  Hopefully this does not mean extra work at the last minute to get things done….

They splurged and got a tent from Costco.  Sleeping sans rainfly.  I like to live dangerously, but not mosquito bitten!

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!