Geospatial story map and data development to facilitate integration of cultural fire regimes into wildfire and climate adaptation strategies
Forest Engineering Resources & Management
Remote and/or Corvallis Main Campus
Description of project or research opportunity:
My lab is beginning a large collaborative effort in Northern California to evaluate fire, vegetation dynamics, and risk under expected climate change in the Klamath River Basin. One of the central components of this work, which will my PhD student Skye Greenler will be spearheading, is developing an approach to integrate anthropogenic ignitions from Indigenous Peoples and natural ignitions to reconstruct an historical, cultural fire regime. This work will be done across a 1.2 million acre landscape in conjunction with a forest collaborative (WKRP) group, the Karuk tribe, and research scientists with the US Forest Service. We am planning to develop a geospatial story map for the study area that can evolve and grow with the project to use as a communication tool with land managers, tribal members, the public, and within our project team. Our vision is that this interactive map will have different biophysical and geopolitical base maps; a layer that displays results from all previously published fire history and indigenous fire use studies in the area with their geographic location and pop-up boxes of key photos, graphs, results etc.; and then layers of our new map products and study results once they are finished. As this tool is built, people will be able to zoom into a specific part of our study landscape and toggle though all these different layers to understand and see the factors driving fire behavior, past studies (and their key results), historical photographs, and our results for that area to begin to understand how all of these factors connect. Once this tool has been developed, we also plan to work with Dr. Frank Lake to reconstruct and digitize maps of historical trail networks to incorporate into our geospatial story map and analyses. We am hoping to work with an undergraduate in the Mentored Employment program to develop the framework, base layers, and layer of previously published studies for this geospatial story map and reconstructions of historical trail networks. This work will mostly be working in GIS and could involve some literature review work if the student was excited to do it. We will also be gearing up our work on some of the more complex spatial modeling components of this project which the MEP student can potentially be involved in if they desire. The undergraduate helping with this project would get to be actively involved in a large collaborative project that both scientist and collaborative groups are really exited about. This project would also result in a concrete, publicly available product that the student could put on their resume and use as an example for future employers. The larger project is rapidly growing, and if a student was excited about it, there may be opportunities to continue to stay involved. Additionally, this project can be done completely remotely depending on how long COVID-19 precautions are required.
Tasks student will perform:
Student will primarily be responsible for geospatial map production in ArcGIS including data manipulation, data visualization, map creation, and potential basic geospatial analytics. This task will require both analytical and design skills. Student may also work with partners to acquire necessary data, digitize maps, or preform basic literature review. Specific tasks for the MEP student will be tailored to their interests, skills, and internship objectives.
Special skills required:
Basic GIS skills and interest in data visualization and design
Hourly rate of pay:
Proposed dates of employment:
Thursday, October 1, 2020 to Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Anticipated hours worked per week:
Mentored Employment Program
COVID-19 Pandemic Response:
This research project involves producing a geospatial story map, some literature review, and potential other GIS work, which can all be done remotely using the CoF remote computer access provided by the helpdesk. If that service proves not to work, we may need to figure out how the student can borrow a computer from the CoF to have access to ArcGIS, but otherwise not much will be needed complete this mentorship in a fully remote setting. All project meetings can be easily conducted over zoom or phone. For remote project management we may use programs like Trello to create task lists or Microsoft teams.