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California State University, Long Beach
CSULB Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) Field Program
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Daily Blog for 012557556


Day6/Week4

Posted on June 29, 2013 by 012557556

Time to go back to the mainland. It’s going to be tough getting used to the fact that there won’t be a perfect beach right down the street. It’s also going to be sad leaving all of the friends that I have made from the program. After a quick (few hour) packing, we are going to have a few hours to roam around. Then it’s going to be non-stop until Monday night for me. I’ll be hopping on a train up to Union Station as soon as we fly back to LA, then I’ll be taking a Megabus up to San Jose, Caltrain up to Mountain View and then finally crashing in my new apartment… right before my first day of work.

 

It’s been a great program. I have learned so much about Hawai’i, the people, the culture, and the landscape. I am super happy about all of the software and instrumentation knowledge that I have gained. I hope that when I get back to Maryland I will still use all of what I have gained.

 

Thanks CSULB and NSF.

Cheers

Thanks

Mahalo

Sincerely

-Thomas

 

Day5/Week4

Posted on June 28, 2013 by 012557556

PRESENTATION DAY.

 

There are 15 of us left. Plenty of food. Enough sleep. The only thing I have suffered was a broken hammock. Quite the opposite of a survival story.

 

I made my presentation this morning and have been rehearsing it since. With a few run throughs, one with a TA, I feel pretty prepared. Public speaking isn’t much of an issue for me, however I just want to make sure that people actually find interest in my subject matter and that my data is of any importance. I think it is.

 

I still have a bit of my conclusion to complete for my paper. I’ll finish that after a bit more rehearsal.

We are going to be presenting to the general public and the archaeology field school at the Koaloa ranch. Although there have been a lot of issues with this project, I am happy that I am finally able to bring it to a satisfying close. The presentations should be finished around 5 and then it’s back to the barn for blitz cleaning and packing. It’s hard to imagine that tomorrow evening we will all be back in Long Beach. Although many specifics of this trip seem like they were forever ago, like when we went to the north shore on our day off, overall I felt like I just got here. It’s going to be sad leaving all of the friends that I’ve made here. Sad face.

Day4/Week4

Posted on June 28, 2013 by 012557556

Second day of crunch time. Besides a quick run to the beach, I was in the barn all day and late into the night. There was another scare that our LevelLogger data wasn’t calibrated… again. With introduction, methodology, and results sections completed, I had little time to blog.

 

My next steps will include inserting figures and adding captions, finishing the remaining sections, rechecking my metadata.

 

Time to go!

 

*written on the 28th but taken from brief writing on the night of the 27th*

Day3/Week4

Posted on June 26, 2013 by 012557556

It’s crunch time. We have two days left to wrap up our projects and throw together both a presentation and a paper on the matter. I can tell that I am going to get a little sick of the barn today. I didn’t get a chance to go back to the valley and hike up to the ridge like I wanted to. Maybe if there is time tomorrow and if I can get all of my work done early I can grab the bus down there.

 

I’m planning on doing quite a few things today for my project. Just a few of my notes include:

change the name of isolated coral to a rock name

know what the ERDAS tool does

do a new classification in ERDAS

metadata for conductivity/temp data

look up more about mapping coral

look up more about coral habitat

figure out where likely seeps are based on my data & compare it to where people say seeps are

finish adding data to the snorkel photo point layer

 

compare my findings to the literature in k bay (with GPR)

 

 

Get photos organized

 

start pulling out valuable information from the readings

Day2/Week4

Posted on June 26, 2013 by 012557556

Last day out in the field! And it was a rainy one. Since it had been raining all morning, there were puddles on the ground and on the roads for the first time since we got here. There were only a few of us left. The barn had captured the rest of us. We made it down to Dr. Becker’s place and after trying the 200MHz GPR on the road with no avail, we decided to drag the 400MHz along Kahana Bay. We got there, calibrated the GPR, and started walking. While we thought we got some interesting returns that may have indicated fresh water seeps, there was too much overwhelming noise. Also… we switched the battery on the way back and got nothing. I Was dragging a conductivity log in the water parallel to them to see if we got a change. But unless we can get the GPR data off the computer, it won’t be worth it.

 

When I got back I started my first night of intense working. I finally got to work with some imagery! I took the pansharpened WV2 imagery, ran the principal component tool, and did a supervised classification. I am going to try another supervised classification with different parameters and possibly a different band combination to bring out the coral (based on my readings, a lot of people said that the red edge and near IR1 tend to separate coral from rocks… time to put it to the test). Take a look at my first attempt!

 

 

 

 

Day1/Week4

Posted on June 24, 2013 by 012557556

Back to the field. Scott and I left at 8 to meet up with some people from UH to map bathymetry and features with sonar. After an hour or so of setup, Scott set out on a ridiculously rigged kayak. The back had a wooden plank with a trolling motor on one end and the sonar head on the other. A car battery was strapped to the back and a large pelican case with a computer inside was in the middle. This thing wasn’t going to make it through the waves and wind in my area of interest.

 

The problem that they were having was that the water was too low. So when they were able to get far enough out, the width of the image was fairly narrow. I decided to leave so that I could get some more work done in my area. There is a chance that Ted, one of our coordinators and island locals, will be arranging for a boat to come out tomorrow and take the sonar to my area of study. Although it isn’t necessary, it would be another cool thing to have for my project’s portfolio.

 

After I left, I decided to snorkel the whole shoreline so that I could take photos and see how the coral communities changed. Even though I had been kayaking twice, I hadn’t seen the coral in detail yet. I was quite surprised to see how much and how often the depth changed. It gave me a good sense of how the communities were arranged and how the water both affected and was affected by the ocean floor surface.

 

Once I got tired of being scrapped up by coral and found a soft sandy path, I got out of the water and ran into Dr. Becker. He was experimenting with the 200MHz GPR antenna. This thing was big, and not on wheels like the 400MHz one. We did some test along the road shoulder but found that there was a lot of interference including everything from power lines overhead to the eroding sea wall.

 

It will be a busy day tomorrow if I’m going to try to work with GPR, thermal and sonar data!

 

Here is a picture of the remotely desktoped computer from the sonar group and Dr. Becker testing the 200MHz GPR.

 

Day7/Week3

Posted on June 24, 2013 by 012557556

We finally got another day off. But starting next week it’s going to be a blitz until the end. I went to bed late and woke up early, 5am to be exact. We hopped in TA Paul’s car and headed south. Greeted it a cloudy sunrise, we were a little disappointed, but within minutes there were overwhelmed by the beautiful of sunlight hitting the clouds swirling the mountain peaks. We continued south and hooked around the point. We stopped fort a few hours to snorkel at Hamanua bay. I saw so many beautiful fish but I was a little sad at the evidence of human coral destruction. Next stop, the Pearl Harbor memorial… then to Waikiki. Once in Waikiki, I broke away from the group to hike up to the top of Diamond Head. It was nice to walk on my own for a bit as well as eat too much pineapple. I swear that the acid was going to dissolve a hole in my tongue.

 

Take a look at my pictures from the day!

 

Day6/Week3

Posted on June 24, 2013 by 012557556

Time for updates!

We had the morning to work on our projects and go out in the field… whatever was necessary. I stayed back.. and I got a little stir crazy. However I did get a bunch of work done! I successfully got my LevelLogger conductivity/temperature point data organized into one .mxd file. I started analysis and got some of the TAs to take a look at the results. The data between our two kayaking days weren’t too different giving me confidence that our measurements were correct. Besides Gordon’s data from day one (which seemed to be backwards… so we just threw it out), it seems like the highest freshwater concentrations are along the major above ground tributaries. This makes sense… but it has been hard because I am unsure if they are disguising the seeps below or if the seeps are just not as obvious.

 

At around 2 I took a break ans started playing with the Arduino boards as a side project. I checked out the soil humidity probe (which would be a cheaper conductivity probe) and the GPS shield. The conductivity probe (which we tested with freshwater and sea water) seemed to work but didn’t give us the ranges similar to the LevelLogger ranges.

 

We had another progress group meeting and Dr. Lipo took a look at the Arduino sensors with me. I almost wish I could devote all of my time to building them :)

 

Afterwards we had the rest of the night off! And we had another birthday to celebrate, Cole’s.  Cake, bonfire, games and beach.

 

Goodnight

 

Gnight

 

-Thomas

Day5/Week3

Posted on June 22, 2013 by 012557556

I went out on the water again today! This time the water was a bit less choppy and my crew was a little bit different. My goal was to collect finer data by upping the conductivity sample frequency from once per 30 seconds to once per 10 seconds. After that, me and my hardy sea crew went back to base camp, did a little bit of file organizing, a bit of adventuring and then finally some more GPR. This time we took the GPR across the entire opening of the valley. While I am not very sure what I am looking at on the depth monitor, I hope that some of the professors can find some secrets in the data.

 

Afterwards, a quick trip to the grocery store and a good leftover dinner left me sitting at my computer… until now. There was a lot of data processing and cleaning up to do… and I am still not quite done. However, I am getting a lot done. I also got accepted to another job for the rest of the summer! Now I get to stay in CA until school starts back up again. But in the mean time, there is lots of work to be done. After talking to Ted, we arranged plans to get a Sonar unit up and working for Monday. I am excited because with Sonar, possible thermal imagery, and LiDAR imagery, I can get a chance to play around with the image processing programs so more.

 

If I get a lot of work done, I want to start focusing on the coral. I want to take a look into the second part of my question and really understand what is going on under the ocean surface. I am pretty curious about Scott’s project now since Ted had pointed out some places of very prominent submerged archaeology.

 

Happy birthday Cole. I’m sorry you sent to bed 15 minutes before midnight. But tomorrow will be fun.

Day4/Week3

Posted on June 20, 2013 by 012557556

Too much inside. Although we planned on being out in the kayaks again today, we wound up being inside at Dr. Becker’s place the entire time. We had a very hard time getting the conductivity and GPS data to sync up. We wanted to get them synced up via time, but unfortunately, after several hourts of format changing and excel table copying, we still weren’t able to get the data to play nice. Eventually, we were able to get a good join where all the data was visible.

 

Since we had 3x as many GPS points as conductivity points, we had to weed some out. In addition, we had to do some time corrections since we launched each device at a different time and (although we thought they were) they weren’t set to the same time.

 

Eventually, we were able to symbolize the data in a meaningful way. We found some likely seep locations even though the conductivity differences are minute. After spending hours indoors, we got a quick break to experiment with the GPR. We walked… very slowly… along the shoulder of the road. We tried to map the water table and found it easy in some places and difficult in others.

 

Take a look at the data we gathered and the GPR photos I took!

About 012557556

Rising Senior majoring in Information Systems and Geography with certificates in GIS and Web Development from UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) in Maryland.