This Geographic Information Systems-based (GIS) module for exploration of tree physiological processes and their contribution to climate was developed at a NASA/NSF-sponsored workshop by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Teacher Outreach (TORCH) Institute in July 1999. Instructors were Dick Filson and Mike Stevens.
Here, we outline the steps
for general project development and for our multi-level World Wide Web
climate module, using ArcView GIS software as the principal data synthesis
and manipulation tool. GIS is a powerful tool for examining relationships
among different types of data. Increasingly, this tool is being used in
the private and government sectors as well as by the research community,
thus making GIS skills valuable to acquire.
Steps to General Project Development
I. Determine a Question or a Problem to addressIterate between IV and VII steps until you are satisfied with results.
II. Identify data needs/create a flow chart
III. Identify base map
IV. Locate and obtain data
V. Register all
VI. Conduct Analysis
VII. Plot/Report Results
I. Determine a question or a problem to address
Students learn best when
investigation of subject matter progresses from whole to part
Start with class discussions of
|Create a flow chart
an analog map
involves data collection
Importing a base map
When attempting large area studies, you should consider getting a registered base map such as a registered aerial photograph (orthophoto) or a registered topographic map (.dem - digital elevation model)
For small-area studies, registration of data to an orthophotograph or a registered topographic map is not that critical. Our data were registered using a GPS receiver to locate the trees. Since we had such a small study area, these data were too coarse and tree locations overlapped.
We finally chose an aerial photograph as our base map. Click here to see our base photo.
Plotting Data on the Base Map
Our final project, well, almost final, can be viewed by clicking here for final project
Photosynthesis Rates of Our Trees
Photosynthesis rates are actually plotted as CO2 flux
Soil respiration (really microbe respiration) may be a significant
Levels of Participation