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

Judgement Day

Posted on July 10, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

Well the program’s over, I definitely fell a bit behind on my blog the last week. Finishing up the posters and data crunching took up just about all the computer time I could manage each day unfortunately. To sum up, the week was spent doing and redoing all the steps necessary to complete my project (to see these steps check out my final poster in the blogs!). It was actually a good week. Frustrating at times certainly, but I gained a much better understanding of the programs I was using by doing every step so many times. Ended up being fairly proud of my finished product in fact.

Overall the program was an amazing experience. We got exposed to lots of technologies and programs (new to me, not to all), got to play with some remarkable toys, got hands on experience with how research works, learned from some wise teachers and many patient and helpful grad students, met some excellent folk and all around had a good time while also learning some skills that would be really hard to get elsewhere. Also we got to hang out in Hawaii so there’s that…


The Fellowship of the Ring

Posted on July 3, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

Well we’re headed home at last. Spent the morning packing and waiting, then headed to the airport. No real snafus, pretty boring flight, no complaints. Got home late but we had some delicious snacks waiting for us, much thanks to Dr. Wechsler, so appreciated.

On Stranger Tides

Posted on July 3, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

Beach day! Got up early for a final sunrise and an early morning swim, then went out to an excellent breakfast. Great start to the day. And it only continued! Spent the afternoon snorkeling (tons of cool fish), bbq-ing and enjoying the sun. Really a nice day. About that whole school thing…

Oceans 13

Posted on June 30, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

Starting to wind down since we finished our presentations and only have a couple days left here. The morning was relaxing as we did some geo-caching and had beach time. After lunch we went back to the lab to crunch data again. I used the UAV imagery to pan-sharpen the World View 2 imagery and got some articles to read up on to better inform me on how I should go about improving the pan sharpening. The evening was spent at a lecture from Dr. Hunt that I really enjoyed. I’m big into the history of exploration so it was cool to hear about how Polynesians spread out and the methods people are using to determine this.

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

Another inside type of day as we had to spend much of it crunching data and getting ready for our status update presentations. The morning was incredibly frustrating. Repeated computer failings combined with the fact that I made but proceeded to forget my lunch put me a little behind the 8 ball. Fortunately Briton had a moment of brilliance that allowed me get a past a tremendously dumb roadblock and finally georeference my area of interest. After at last making some sort of identifiable progress I was able to throw some slides together for the presentation. I think it went well. Everyone had something interesting to present and all did solid jobs. I also felt better about my own work as I get the impression that we’re all exploring these platforms together and in this short of a time no one is really going to be crafting anything decisive.

Revenge of the Sith

Posted on June 28, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

A good morning transitioned into an incredibly frustrating afternoon. Spent the morning collecting the last of my points and wandering around the site. Once again somewhat repetitive but I can’t complain about such trifles when I get to be working outside, near the beach, in the sun. The afternoon wasn’t quite so grand. It was spent in the lab struggling mightily and repeatedly failing to get any progress on my project. Went down several false paths as I worked to mosaic the pictures of my study area from the UAV and get them geo-referenced. My struggles came from the debate over whether using photoscan was proper methodology due to the distortion involved. Individually georeferencing would require so much time that my study area would have to be highly restricted. We found a promising avenue in the form of a site called, but this ended up not working out as the site didn’t georeference the pictures as it seemed to claim. In all I can’t say I’ve made any progress today which is very frustrating. Had to spend the evening on self imposed timeout to make sure I didn’t get to snappy. It didn’t exactly help that we haven’t had a vegetarian option in a while here. Some real food would go a long way… After dinner Matty gave a lecture about some real uses of the GIS ideas we are working on. I really enjoyed the talk. It was good to see some real applications, specifically ones that involve some statistics as that is my other area of interest. Beyond that, he is just working on some really interesting stuff and it’s always good to hear about that kind of thing. Finally we came home to get some more work done but that idea was hurt by the realization that what i had gotten out of the day (my study site mosaic-ed by photoscan) was upside down and my computer lacks the software to fix it. Back to the drawing board tomorrow, hopefully I can figure something out here…

Attack of the Clones

Posted on June 26, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

Having picked our topics yesterday we set about collecting the last data we’d need to do our analysis before getting back to Long Beach. For me that involved walking around taking as many GPS points as possible of any areas I could later use to compare the effectiveness of my two classification schemes. The work itself was rather repetitive but the day was fantastic. Beautiful day to walk around and explore, plus I finally got a full chunk of alone time which was so so so appreciated. Once we got enough done in the morning/early afternoon we lunched and hung on the beach, went for a little swim and soaked up some sun. In the evening we got the opportunity to go canoeing with the local club. It was very brief and I hate when I’m unable to do things with the proper technique so I would’ve loved more practice, but it was a cool opportunity and really fun to get a workout in and paddle around the bay. Plus we went out for a nice, fun dinner after! Once again a really fantastic and yet productive day.

The Return of the King

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

Great nights rest finally, waking up this morning felt great. Unfortunately we proceeded to spend the day indoor with some good ol’ fashioned screen time. The main takeaway from today was nailing down our individual projects. Or working on it at least. For mine, I’ll be attempting to take our UAV imagery and turn it into an orthophoto. I will then use that image to pan-sharpen the WV-2 pictures of our study area. The final step (ideally) is to then compare the classifications allowed by this new image to the classifications based on the WV-2 pictures pan-sharpened by other methods. The overall goal is to see whether it is worthwhile to take the imagery we’re collecting here as far as classification is considered. I made some progress making the orthophoto but really struggled figuring out exactly which method to use. In fact, I’m really still not sure, but hopefully I can resolve that in the next few days.

At World’s End

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

No much academia to report on today. Instead, we got up around 4:15 AM to catch a zodiac ride up the Na Pali coast. The ride itself was a blast. Scooted along the tops of waves much faster than expected, a thrill I thoroughly enjoy. Also ended up getting utterly soaked. Our amazing pilots gave us a treat by taking us into some sea caves, including one with a huge skylight right over an island in the middle. Hard to believe a place like that could exist. Even better, the queen of R & B herself, Mary J. Blige filmed a music video there! Truly hallowed ground. Our destination was Nualolokai (sp?), a beautiful, secluded area only reachable by boat. Apparently most tourists are only allowed to come for a brief time, but we were permitted to stay all day. Hard to say much besides wow. Got an archaeological tour, did a little field work, then hung out in paradise. The reef presented ample tide pooling opportunities, we went for a hike up the cliff, where we ended up finding some good rock hopping and several dead goats. The highlight though was the snorkeling. It was so good in fact that I stayed out long enough to let the sun utterly destroy my back. Rough. Totally worth it though. Some great coral, some cool fish, and best of all, some sea turtles, one of which was huuuuuuge. Just followed it coasting along for a few minutes. Really a special experience. The way back was just as fun (especially as I got to sit at the very front for a bit), then we got home for pizza! Crashed super early after such a long day but it was really incredibly awesome all around.

From Dusk Til Dawn (backwards)

Posted on June 24, 2012 by Jesse Yourish

Day off! So nice. While being in Hawaii is awesome no matter what you spend your time doing it was really nice to get a day of being a bit more touristy. The morning was chaotic as always but we made it up to Wiamea Canyon which was stunning. We drove up and stopped at various lookouts on the way, made me really wish we had a few days off so we could do some hiking… next time I suppose. Ended up making it up to the coast for some stunning views out over the water. Came back down to the beach for some time in the sun. Warm water is a wonderful thing. Did some snorkeling, some body surfing, some bbq-ing, got to watch the sunset over some palm trees. All around just a fantastic day, not sure what else to ask for.

About Jesse Yourish

Is from Port Townsend, WA and is currently a rising senior Geography major and Statistics minor at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.