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California State University, Long Beach
CSULB Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) Field Program
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Daily Blog for Charly Arney

Last day / wrap up

Posted on July 10, 2012 by Charly Arney

So it’s all over! WE presented our findings to the group today on our posters and with a short verbal summary. It was really sad to say good bye to everyone but I know that the knowledge I have gained through this experience will lead to even more exciting research in the future. I can’t thank CSLUB and NSF enough for allowing me to have this wonderful research opportunity. I feel that I have gained so much in such a short time. As excited as I am to get home and see my loved ones and my dog I am also sad to be leaving.

Analysis Week at CSLUB!

Posted on July 10, 2012 by Charly Arney

I was sad to leave Kauai and all the new people that I met there. This week we have all been working hard on using the data we collected to complete our individual projects. I am preforming a supervised classification in ERDAS on both the QuickBird and World View 2 imagery. The extra bands of the WV2 imagery are allowing the soft-wear to pick out individual species of natives! This is an improvement over the 2006 Gap analysis preformed by USGS. I am still going to use some of the classes stated in the Gap analysis but I will also have individual categories such as Iron Wood and Kava! I had hoped to have time to run both set of imagery through Ecognition and compare thoes results also but time is running out. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and now I have to compress all the knowledge down and present it on a poster! It seems impossible!

Day 19

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Charly Arney

I went to the emergency room this morning. The lump had gotten golf ball sized. I have a staph infection and have been prescribed antibiotics. I am feeling much better but I miss my home and my dog.

Day 18

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Charly Arney

Today we did a lot of lab work and went on a tour of the gardens. I successfully completed my first supervised classification in ERDAS.  I got bit by something on my face and think I have a staph infection

Day 17

Posted on June 28, 2012 by Charly Arney

Today we went back to the field to gather more data for our projects. The team is excited to combine all of our points and compare them.  I also helped out with the spectrometer more today. I gained experience using the SpectraWiz software on the YUMA to take readings and store data. I also used the Gcamera software to take gps tagged pictures of the specimens we were gathering. I am impressed with the YUMA’S capabilities and ruggedness.  Jake even used his solar powered charging station to run the spectrometer! It was really funny to use the sun to power the equipment that takes readings of reflected sunlight! The rest of the day was spent as lab time at the gardens. The education center over looks a breath taking view of the garden itself making it an amazing place to work! Tomorrow we have group presentations about our various individual projects and about how they will all benefit the over all project. After dinner we a lecture from Matt about his work with GIS and rare plant models

Day 16

Posted on June 27, 2012 by Charly Arney

Today vegetation team set out to collect data for our individual projects. We are all gathering GPS points of both native and invasive vegetation but for different reasons. The points that we all individually take will benefit the main research project by adding more points for comparison. . I am going to be comparing 4 and 8 band imagery to determine if the 8 band imagery is worth the extra costs both fiscal and in man hours. I plan to do this first in ERDAS and then in Ecognition. I will not be using pan sharpened imagery in order to prevent adding bias into my comparison of the imagery types. I am skeptical of being able to determine the difference between native and non-native plants at this resolution. These plants are rare and do not occur in large enough patches to appear on the imagery as more than one or two pixels. I am confident that I will be able to determine the differences between species of invasive vegetation in either Ecognition or ERDAS because of how large the groupings of these species are on the landscape. They also have very distinct textures which will be beneficial in classifying species in Ecognition. I used the Garmin GPS unit to take my points and I now understand the cost difference between this unit and the Trimble. The Trimble is much more precise and has many useful options which the consumer grade Garmin does not. In the evening we had the opportunity to go paddling on outrigger canoes! It was amazing! I can’t wait to try it again! Afterward we ate dinner at a great burger place near the harbor.

Day 15

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Charly Arney

Today we stayed in the ed center and processed data. We also got our assignments for our personal projects. I am going to compare the WorldView and QuickBird imagery to access the value of 8 band imagery. I also finally had shave ice in Koloa!

Day 14

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Charly Arney

ANOTHER BEST DAY EVER!!!! Today we went Napauli Coast State Park! We took an amazing boat tour around the island going into several sea caves and seeing some great coastal volcanic features. Matt was full of information about the ancient Polynesian cultural beliefs and hiking trail tips. We then got to the beach and did some Ground Penetrating Radar work on a recently cleared field by the Heiau. The Heiau here is one of the most complex and interesting ever found. It was three levels and a well that always contains fresh water. This well is a feat of engineering using the methods of rain flow accumulation, lithic cooling and fresh waters natural buoyance over salt water to sustain an entire civilization totally cut off from other fresh water resources. These ancient people used the massive reef system surrounding the beach as their “garden”, feeding their population mainly from the bounty of the sea. We saw many animals in this reef including sea turtles, crabs, eels, and many kinds of fish. The grad students from UOH came out today and flew the fixed wing and attempted to fly the kite. I always enjoy working with that team. I also helped Dr,Burney and Matt make mulch for the native plant garden there out of coconuts.

Day 13

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Charly Arney

BEST DAY EVER!!!!!! We got to tour the island and see Wiamea Canyon!!!! We also went to many local look outs” this island is a truly amazing and beautiful place! Best of all beneath all that pretty is a amazing geological and natural history that could keep any researcher hypothesizing for centuries! We got to have a BBQ on the beach and some great group bonding time. Snorkeling and sunsets who could ask for more?

Day 12

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Charly Arney

Today we went into the field with Lida Burney to take some GPS points of both rare native and invasive plants. We will link these points with the RMS images we have created with the fixed wing, GateWing, and kite to begin to test methods to more accurately identify plant life by RMS means. I also learned the ins and out of ARCPad. I have been itching to try this field version of GIS. After using both TearraSync and ARCPad on the Trimble units I would say that ARCPad is much more user friendly and it allows for more editing and base map options. We had a long and enjoyable hike around the coast and learned a lot about native plants and coastal habitats. After lunch we hiked up the massive hill beside the grid to take other plant samples and GPS points. We discovered so native plants still growing without the aide or care of people! The view from the top was amazing and it was interesting to see the GateWing flying BELOW US! It was a great day for data generation and I am excited to work on this project in the lab.

About Charly Arney

I am a GIS/ Geography double major at Michigan State University. I am also getting specializations in sustainability and environmental studies. I am the public affairs representative for MSU Outdoor Club and for MSU Geography Club. My professional interests are improving human interactions with nature as the need to provide more food and living space for people increases and in biodiversity preservation.