Physical Sciences spring picnic: next week, May 5 in Hammond Park. Picnic is free for all geospatial analysis students and their families/friends. Many awards will be passed out. Pick up tickets in SH 133.
From Logan Smith: Brief pdf text document over the history of kites in Japan and elsewhere from NTIEVA.
Note: Friday, April 22 is the last day to turn in late lab asssignments.
|Left: students conduct KAP near the picnic shelter on the northeastern side of the lake. Right: Looking to the north over recently burned prairie.|
|Left: overview of the central portion of the lake with the caretaker's house and workshops in the foreground. Right: close-up view of cabins with the spillway in the background.|
On Thursday afternoon, prior to the field trip, your instructor and Justin Abel visited Dunlap Bottoms and conducted kite aerial photography under nearly ideal conditions. Fires were burning in the uplands on all sides of the Neosho River valley, but the sky over the bottoms was clear and relatively free of smoke. Following the exceptionally wet year of 2015, the winter and early spring of 2016 have been fairly dry so far, and spring greenup has barely started in the bottoms.
|Burning the tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills upland. Multiple fires and smoke plumes to the south (left). Dunlap Bottoms in the foreground and a rising column of smoke in the background (right).|
|Left: overview of Dunlap Bottoms showing restored wetland (center) surrounded by old drainage ditches. Right: only two small puddles of water (arrows) were present following a dry winter and early spring. Kite flyers in upper left corner.|
|Left: view looking eastward. Diagonal elements are a strong compositional theme; note the X pattern of roads at scene center. The asterisk (*) shows the benchmark location that we visited during the trip (site F). Using GPS, we collected UTM values of 730972 E and 4271860 N (zone 14) at the benchmark E223 (right).|
|AgEagle UAS shared by Jason Hart in class today. A flying-wing drone designed primarily for agricultural applications. The aircraft has a wingspan of approximately 56 inches. Go to AgEagle technology. Photos by JSA.|
Our class field trip will take place this Saturday, April 16. Meet in the north parking lot (next to practice athletic field) at 8:30 am. Bring your lunch and beverage, and wear clothing appropriate for walking through prairie and woods. Sun screen and insect repelent are advised. Also bring a notebook to record GPS values. Camera, hand lens, and sample bags are optional. Your instructor will provide GPS units.
We will visit the eastern edge of the Flint Hills region in Chase and Morris counties. This region played important roles in the early history of Kansas. Our purpose is to practice map reading, use of GPS, and perhaps kite aerial photography. At the moment, the weather forecast calls for sunny sky, high temperature near 80 °F. and 15-25 mph wind from the south, but it's too soon for an accurate prediction. In case of bad weather (thunderstorms) on Saturday, we will postpone until the next day.
Check the blog later in the week for additional details about the trip. The field trip is required for all students. Anybody not able to participate needs to make arrangements for an alternative exercise.
Preliminary team projects
Reminder: our class field trip will take place on April 16. More details will follow next week.
The spring burning season reaches its peak in the first week of April for the tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills region. Burning is done to promote the growth of new green grass, return nutrients to the soil, and prohibit woody vegetation. It's a natural part of a fire-adapted ecosystem.
|Fiery sunset, as smoke rises in front of the setting sun.|
Photos © J.S. Aber.
Now is the time to start thinking about team projects. All students (from both sections) should contact each other, discuss options, and form teams at this time. Let your instructor know your ideas and team membership.
|Christopher Allen [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Collin Kile [email@example.com]|
|Emma Kluender [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Zhilin Li [email@example.com]|
|Brian Madeira [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Michael Moles [email@example.com]|
|Brian Mosier [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Kelsey Porter [email@example.com]|
|Erin Roberts [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Alex Rojas [email@example.com]|
|Connor Simmons [firstname.lastname@example.org]||Logan Smith [email@example.com]|
|Drake Wenciker [firstname.lastname@example.org]|
Note: The field-trip schedule for ES 555 in the fall semester has been updated including an overnight weekend trip to western Kansas, October 7-9th.
Now is the time for students to enroll for fall semester. Your instructor will offer three upper-level courses for on-campus and distance-learning students. ES 555 and 771 count toward the geospatial analysis minor or certificate.
From Brenda Zabriskie (former student): You might know that after I moved to Arizona there would be GIS jobs available in Kansas. I am forwarding the email I received with the applications from Jarred Rybicki who is the staffing specialist for Adecco in Topeka. A local engineering firm currently has a 3-4 month temporary project that will require 10 GIS Analysts and 10 GIS Sr. Techs. Note: contact your instructor for further information.
Have a good spring break!
From Logan Smith: "What is a Satellite?" NASA's explanation of what satellites are.
From Collin Kile: I thought this article would be an interesting and possibly useful addition to the blog. Go to heartland maps from USGS.
Reminder: the mid-term exam is in progress and due by noon Wednesday.
Note: the mid-term exam is scheduled March 4-9. It will cover all material through this week. The exam may be placed online Thursday to give students a head start. Check here or the course schedule for a link. We will take a hiatus for student contributions to the blog during the mid-term period.
|Close-up shot of reflections from the water surface of Mine Creek.|
This past Friday your instructor and grad student Megan Sprague visited a floodplain wetland at Mine Creek, where the second largest calvary battle of the Civil War took place. Today it's a Kansas State Historical site near Mound City in Linn County. We conducted kite aerial photography under nearly ideal weather conditions, and gave the first field test for a new cargo dolly.
|The winter leaf-off season is a good time to "see through" the trees. Looking toward the southwest (left) and southeast (right). Mine Creek and smaller tributary streams meander through the forest, which consists of hickory, walnut, oak, maple, elm, and sycamore species.|
|Cargo dolly for soft muddy or sandy soils. The wheels were purchased from Wheelez. Frame is constructed with oak treated with Danish oil, and most hardware is brass, aluminium, or stainless steel to prevent rusting.|
|Challenge: Mine Creek (top) and a small tributary stream (bottom) both display bright spots. What is this phenomenon, and what is it called? Send your answer by Thursday noon for a participation bonus point.|
From Logan Smith: Explore asteroid impact sites!
Reminder: the mid-term exam is coming up soon. Keep up with exercises and reading assignments!
|Regarding the second flag challenge (below), there are only two countries in the world with black, white and blue flags, namely Estonia (shown here) and Botswana.|
|Regarding the challenge (below), many countries around the world have red, white and blue flags, to name a few the United Kindgom, Norway, Iceland, Czech Repubic, Russia, Slovakia (shown here), Nepal, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, etc.|
For those who missed the first challenge opportunity, here is another chance. Black, white and blue is a rare color combination for a national flag. Identify a country with this color combination. Hint: there are only two countries with black, white and blue flags, one in Europe, the other in Africa. Send your answers by Wednesday morning for a participation bonus point.
Reminder: Section B will begin at 2:30 (rather than 3 o'clock).
From Gina Manders (former grad student): GSA students will likely find this news interesting, an age map of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Distance-learning students should enroll for ES 351 ZA. They must have access to Idrisi software, which is the primary GIS utilized in this introductory course. Distance-learning students should obtain a "student starter" license for only $95, which is limited to one year usage.
Beginning in January, students should consult this blog frequently for course activities, notes, announcements, and reminders. All students are expected to make regular contributions to the blog as part of your course participation. Send blog text and images to your instructor.