During the Spring 2021 semester, I participated in two projects in Professor Piotr Cienciala's lab, both involving the further development of watershed
data sourced from Southeast Alaska and Western Canada. The first project seeks to understand the relationship between carbon storage and transfer in the temperate rainforests of Southeast Alaska while the second project involves the analysis of rivers to be applied to endangered bull trout habitat restoration along the coast of Western Canada. My role as research assistant required downloading, processing, and analyzing GIS data
I utilized many different GIS techniques throughout the course of this project. One that I had not had experience with before this experience was the hydrology toolbox in ArcGIS Pro. Using different tools in this toolbox, I was able to create partial watersheds that were unique to our project and data. I also created several unique shapefiles consisting of combinations of watersheds and river data for areas of interest. This data processing allowed us to narrow our scope of view, visualize the areas that we were interested in, and analyze the areas using land use and climate data.
These projects have definitely helped to further solidify my passion for applying geospatial analysis to environmental concerns. I am incredibly interested in the ways that spatial data can assist in the expansion of restoration and conservation goals and hope to develop these interests into a career in the geographic and ecological fields.