Student Projects 2011

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    Documenting Coral Reefs with “Immersive” Videos

    Kitty Currier
    Planetary Coral Reef Foundation and Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara
    The Planetary Coral Reef Foundation (PCRF) was founded in 1991 to monitor coral reefs worldwide.
    Between 1995 and 2008 PCRF volunteers conducted approximately 50 site studies, characterizing the condition of hard coral and the species richness and abundance of fish at each site. From 2007–2008 PCRF partnered with the Immersive Media Company (IMC) to collect video footage with IMC’s Dodeca 2360 system, a camera that captures video footage in 11 directions radiating outward from the camera’s center.

    Video capture was conducted by a crew of four to five PCRF volunteers. At each site, footage was shot along the reef edge at a constant depth. A global positioning system (GPS) receiver recorded the location of the base unit, which followed the camera at the surface onboard a dinghy.

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    Glacial retreat on Antisana and Cotopaxi stratovolcanos
    in the Eastern Cordillera, Ecuador

    Carson Adam, David Avon, and John Ryan Barbieri
    A series of remotely-sensed images were used to follow the retreat over time of two large glaciers, Cotopaxi and Antisana in Ecuador. By performing a number of data-enhancing transformations, and then by classifying the region into land-cover types, changes were clearly detected in the glacial extent from 1986 to 1999, and from 1999 to 2007. The results were then compared to historical climate data for the region to draw correlations between temperature anomalies and glacial retreat over time.

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    2010 UCSB Energy Consumption Map

    David Avon, Ryan Barbieri, Oliver Bleakley, Cameron Clayton, and Cameron McElroy
    The efficient use of resources on the UCSB campus is vital in maintaining the school?s reputation of environmental awareness and stewardship. Each year, the university is audited for its use of electricity and gas. The data is most often shown as aggregate or combined total data, which makes the identification of areas where improvement is needed difficult. In order to help identify the areas where energy management could be improved on campus, the consumption of gas and electricity was mapped for each building at UCSB.

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    The California State University Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology Geospatial Research, Education, and Technology Network

    Christopher B. Cogan and Corey Garza

    The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) was established in 2008 to integrate system-wide resources and promote interdisciplinary multi-campus collaborations to advance our knowledge of California?s natural coastal and marine resources and the processes that affect them. The coastal zone faces a number of economic, sociological, ecological and technological challenges that require innovative solutions. COAST is uniquely positioned to provide a statewide coordinated response to these challenges.

    COAST is developing a suite of Networks to address critical national environmental issues and support COAST?s mission and goals. These Networks link people, data and equipment together to create an unparalleled, robust statewide resource that maximizes the use of coastal research and education capabilities throughout the 23-campus CSU system. The Networks provide the State with sound expertise and practical solutions to our most pressing environmental issues, while enhancing education within the CSU and training the next generation of college graduates with skills necessary to meet the coming challenges.

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    Glacial Change of the Quelccaya Ice-Cap, Peru, During the Last Two Decades
    Maiana N. Hanshaw
    Departments of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara
    This study investigates glacial change of the Quelccaya ice-cap region in the Peruvian Andes over the last two decades. Four satellite air photos are used in this study: one Landsat TM image (1991), two Landsat ETM+ images (2000), and one ASTER image (2004). After performing several correction techniques including atmospheric correction, conversion to reflectance and radiance, pan-sharpening, georeferencing and co-registration, mosaicking and clipping, a supervised classification on the images from the three time periods was performed. This classification was then analyzed using change detection techniques on the areal extent of the classified units. Results of this study vary from what is represented in the literature, which indicates that glacial extent has been decreasing since monitoring began. This discrepancy is likely due to the classification technique and base image used (2000 Landsat ETM+), as this image has the smallest number of unclassified pixels and the largest number of snow and glacier pixels, while the remaining two images have larger numbers of unclassified pixels, and smaller numbers of snow and glacier pixels.

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    Damage Detection for the March 2011 Tsunami in Japan
    Comparison of Ecological/Economical Impacts on City and Suburb

    Yuina Nunokawa, Nathan O’Daniel, Ernesto Ortiz, and Xuejiao Zhang
    On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Japan, triggering a massive tsunami. It caused extensive damage to both human and natural environments. This poster provides quantitative information on the losses caused by this event, measuring the data in terms of damage to urban and suburban sites by using ecological and economic measurements.

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    UCSB Earthquake Hazards

    Alex Schild, Austin Foley, and Chelsea Schauer
    Santa Barbara and the surrounding area lay in the wake of most earthquakes generated along the San Andreas Fault, which is an active and therefore potentially dangerous transform fault line dividing the Pacific from the North American plate. Despite the potential risk, Santa Barbara inhabitants knowingly choose to work and reside here, and each year more than 20,000 students choose to attend the University of California Santa Barbara.

    On a campus located so close to the shaking effects of the San Andreas Fault, the matter of public safety in the event of natural disaster often comes into question. Accessible data is compiled to evaluate the high risk areas on the UCSB campus to determine where emergency medical kits would be of most use in the event of an earthquake.

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    Where is the Real UCen?
    [The concept of centers at UCSB]

    Lisa Berry, Shauna Cooper, Adam Rottman-Hipps, and Stephanie Truitt
    UCSB has a well-known building called the University Center. The purpose of this project is to examine the concept of centers and to find the ?real? UCen and explore the perceptions that people have of where the center of campus is, taking into consideration new construction of buildings on campus. The center of campus was analyzed from three different perspectives: the mean center of the buildings over time, the mean center of classroom usage by quarter, and the perceptual center of campus. The goal was to determine how the mean center of student locations changed when new academic buildings were built. It was hypothesized that if a new academic building is of significant size, it should move the mean center of campus, as well as shift where students are on campus.

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    Modeling the Spatial Dynamics of Near-shore Marine Species

    James R. Watson, David A. Siegel, Satoshi Mitarai, Bruce Kendall, Steve Gaines, ChangMing Dong, Jim McWilliams
    In an effort to understand the population dynamics of marine species in and around the Santa Barbara Channel, a simple demographic model with coastal circulation simulations of larval dispersal has been combined. By altering life history traits (e.g., pelagic larval duration) a hydrodynamic model?which spans the period 1993 to 1999?has been used to find the physical source and destination relationships for several important Californian marine species. This information is then fed into a demographic model that includes fecundity, habitat, and several mortality parameters. This spatially explicit demographic model has enabled teasing apart the local effects of persistent ocean flows, suitable habitat, and basic life-history traits.

    1Earth Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, 2Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara, 3Institute of Geophysical and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles