After waking up from a night full of nightmares about the Sharknado 2 movie they had watched the previous night, BIOL 403 students began their second day of GIS labs. Dr. Wedding started out the day with some of her Case Studies she was involved in using GIS. She gave examples of international and local uses of GIS projects in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The first case study was about Deep Sea MPA design. The International Seabed Authority wanted predictive spatial models to lessen the impact of mining disturbance on a deep are in the abyssal Pacific Ocean. The second case study Dr. Wedding talked about was closer to home, a study in Hawaii. The study involved how benthic habitat complexity affected fish assemblages and which methods of measuring the complexity of the habitat would be most efficient. They compared LiDAR techniques with traditional rugosity measurements. Using LiDAR techiniques they were more able to quickly and easily survey large areas to see what different types of habitats were in the area and thus give managers more information for appropriate conservation decisions. The third case study supported management at an individual species-level. Dr. Wedding helped develop spatially predictive models and maps of key species of rockfishes in California. This allowed managers to understand which habitat variables were driving the distribution of the species.
Via these case study examples, we were able to see different applications of GIS so we could think about how we could apply it to our projects.
Next we worked on a GIS quiz and GIS Lab 6. In GIS Lab 6 we had some creative freedom and learned how to import our GPS points in excel on to ArcGIS and how to create a new shapefile to add new points to a map, such as potential new sampling locations. We imported a map of Kaneohe Bay and worked on it to create a map with new points and labels, which will help us for when we have to import our final project data onto ArcGIS on a map of where we surveyed in Kaneohe Bay. We’re so excited to see how our collected data will look on an ArcGIS map!
Next up, Keisha gave up her time to give us a Professional Development workshop. We talked about cover letters, CVs, graduate Schools, proposals, grants, Letter of Reference requests, and career choices after graduating. Keisha went over multiple examples of resumes and CVs including her own, Dr. Rodgers and Charley’s. Finally, our own Sarah (Chili) gave us some tips how to improve our interviewing skills.
Thanks for reading!