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Daily Blog for Katherine Macklin

Anchor Steam

Posted on July 10, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

It’s been one full day without seeing or talking to any of the weirdos I met on the program, and boy is it strange. I can’t rely on Avery to wake me up in the morning to go to breakfast, or shout out of the window to Bryan and Jesse in the room above us instead of sending a text message, or wake up laughing about something with Ali in the morning (most likely related to a cat sweater or San Francisco), or call Ryan ‘pop’, ‘dad’, ‘fashah’, or any other parental nickname. However, I still make geeky remote sensing jokes but instead of sharing them with people who would find them amusing I keep them inside and laugh at how clever I think I am. I did spend a little time investigating free GIS data available online and took a look at some layers of Washington state data of landcover and other fun things.

Today my brother and I drove up highway 1 today to have lunch on a beach (nowhere close to as pretty as Kauai), and ended up watching harbor seals playing in an eddy, a dead pelican float out to sea and then back into a lagoon and then back out to sea, and a flock of birds diving – rather ungracefully – into the water to catch fish. I ended checking out the place we went on google maps and found that there were a lot of geocaches in the area where we were: bummer.

The most important part of my day included investigating a warehouse/art space with my brother and finding the place where taco trucks sleep.

Fly away home

Posted on July 9, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

Today was a bittersweet final day in southern California. I had to say goodbye to two of my new friends at 4:30 in the morning, and more farewells were required throughout the day. Avery and I both had late flights out of LAX, but thanks to Bryan’s kindness he took us to the Science Center in LA and drove us to the airport in the evening, so we didn’t end up bored and stranded at CSULB all day. My flight to Oakland was short but with beautiful mountain views (for the time that I was awake), and now I get to spend some quality time with my brother!

While I’m happy to be back in a place that composts, carpools, and is biker-friendly, I will go to sleep tonight remembering all the good times I had with the wonderful folks I met on this program. GO BEACH.

I joined the US for the Snoop Cats!

Posted on July 7, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

This morning we had our final presentations/poster symposium outdoors and I gave one of the worst presentations in my life (and got a gnarly farmer’s tan) but it’s okay because we are done!

The afternoon was completed by catered tacos (yum!) and some sad goodbyes to our departing cronies.


In other news, an ad for the ESRI conference came up on a youtube video I was listening to! Check it out:

Winding down

Posted on July 6, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

These past two days have been a whirlwind of classifications, lab time, brain mush, and color schemes. We finished our posters this afternoon and it sure does feel good to be done! Check out our group wikis for a breakdown of our individual projects and see what we’ve been up to for the past four weeks!

My poster ended up being much wordier than I would have wanted, but I only had one figure and that’s just how it all fell together. Oh well!

Time to celebrate, I’m going to miss these folks like crazy!

















A country for its people

Posted on July 5, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

Happy birthday America.

In other much more important news; South Korea wants to begin “scientific” whaling again, Libya’s election materials were burned, there is a cholera outbreak in Cuba and there are still nine states that produce zero commercial solar and wind power – all in the southeast.

I hope you all enjoyed your beers and dogs yesterday.


Want sources for these? How about you go read a newspaper.

Lab Day(s)

Posted on July 3, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

Yesterday was a lab day. I worked on a classification for my study area. After I had worked on it for about 3 hours I realized that the raster I was using did not include all of the coastal vegetation right along the cliff edge or water line. So today I went back and fixed the raster then worked on the classification again. Hopefully I will finish it tomorrow morning or on Thursday.

There is nothing I like more than spending two beautiful, sunny days inside a dark computer lab.

From beach to Beach

Posted on July 2, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

We woke up early Saturday morning to check out the sunrise off of Shipwreck Point and then went for a swim in the morning sun. After breakfast out at a restaurant in a nearby town we headed home to prepare for a day at the beach. We went back to Poipu beach for the day and got to see a chubby monk seal taking a nap on the beach. There was some great snorkeling and I found myself swimming in the middle of a giant mixed school of fish of all sizes – including a moorish idol lurking on the outside – and some very playful trigger fish.

Sunday was full of packing and flying back to CSULB, and waking up on Monday to realize that I was no longer on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific. Bummer.

Final day at GZ

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

This morning we set out to our study area for our final day of data collection – and a good day it was!

Our afternoon was spent in the lab and we were all pretty groggy, but mostly successful. I worked on classifying a larger portion of my study area and it’s going well.


Our fearless graduate assistant, Briton, leads us towards success (and then he drove over a mourning dove on the way home).

I get by with a little help from my friends

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

Today was filled with learning experiences left and right. We spent the day in the lab again and I ended up getting a lot accomplished with constant help from my peers and advisors. I ended up working out a rough classification system for an inset of my total study area using a program called eCognition. I will generally go through the steps below.

The above is my study area which is a segment of the general study area in SE Kauai within a 250 meter buffer of the coast. The points represent locations where I took waypoints at patches of vegetation – red represents alien species, green represents native, and blue represents mixed native/alien patches. I imported this image into eCognition and took a subset of the box. Then I ran a segmentation on it and ended up with the below image.

After this I designed a set of classes which I used to classify my segments. I selected individual segments based on which plants I knew were growing there as it shows  in the below image. Each color represents a different class (purple is ironwood, green is naupaka, light blue is grass, etc).

Then I ran a classification tool and came up with the following image. The program took the samples that I classified and then assigned the rest of the polygons a class based on their spectral readings.

After this I imported it into ArcMap and made the colors a little more attractive.

This classification can be compared with the preexisting GAP analysis that had been done on the island (30 meter resolution) and an obvious advantage becomes clear.

We did group and individual presentations tonight and all did very well! Phew!

No Trespassing

Posted on June 27, 2012 by Katherine Macklin

My morning looked similar to yesterday’s, but today I worked on the easternmost half of our study site. Today went a lot smoother since I had a better idea of what I was doing plus there was less plant diversity on this part and a little more trespassing required to get to the far end of the study range.

We went to the lab after lunch to start working with our data, and what I have so far can be seen below:

This image shows an aerial image (Worldview 2) of our study site in false-color near IR. The points represent individual patches of vegetation with red representing alien, green representing native, and blue indicating mixed alien/native patches.

The above image is an inset of the first image and is a section that shows different vegetation types very well. In general, the darkest brown/red is a species of ironwood tree, the blue is dirt, the white is sand, the lightest pink is naupaka, and the medium red is kiawa (pronounced key-ah-vah). Not all parts of the study area show this as well as this section, so we will see how well my classification works later on.


About Katherine Macklin

I am an environmental science major and mathematics minor at Sweet Briar College born and raised in the great Pacific Northwest.