A student of mine happened upon the Weislander Vegetation Type Mapping data set while conducting some of his thesis research. This is a very great find of historical vegetation cover mapping for California. This method was well ahead of it's time (being compiled in the 1920's and 30's). This data set is now GIS enabled as a result of work conducted by UC Berkley and UC Davis. I hope you find this data set useful in your work. At least check it out. Historical photos are available as well.
My student explained to me that some of the trees in the Sierras are not as near as big now as they used to be, especially of some species.
What a great data set that is available for other ecological research!
With my busy schedule, I don't often to post much of anything, but thought I might provides some info on a variety of topics.
I teach an online Python class at American River College. It is completely full for the Spring and I am working on having the class offered more often. I am also working on a text that I hope will become a book the provides the bridge between Python and ArcGIS. A draft version of this will be offered in my class for the Spring. Check out my blog and JenningsPlanet links for more information.
GIS and the Community
I am working with Soil Born Farms to possibly provide an Internship opportunity that can help Soil Born with their mission while using GIS to deliver the "local food message" and showcasing some of the utility of GIS.
I have also created a GIS of my home property that focuses on how I am using my property for gardening. I hope to develop the data and generate some web services that I can showcase to students about what GIS can be used for and as potential project ideas for some of my classes.
GIS and Renewable Energy/Environmental Management
Renewable energy is an important interest to me and as almost all sectors of industry, GIS is being used to communicate the messages. ESRI has posted some interesting show cases of how GIS is being used in environmental management.
I came across this organization by chance in a book store. It turns out it is run by the same person who put out EarthWatch and published scientific papers on the state of the World. Check it out and read through Plan B 4.0 and get involved.
JenningsPlanet Urban Farm
My little patch of garden is in nitrogen and soil replenishing mode. I have planted a wheat, vetch, fava bean mix in two of my plots as well as my back fence. Luckily my neighbor cut is "evil privet" bush down, so I now have a little more sun light. I am trying to remediate some soil on my back fence and have dug up a little patch near my shed (aka future green house) for something. Compost bins are near full with my trees leaves and grass clippings, not to mention my home food waste. At some point I need to seriously prune my wonderful seedless mulberry weeds (I mean trees) so that my little garden can benefit from the sun. This will all come in time, since I need to fix my roof.
I have been thinking about how to implement (relatively cheaply) solar arrays on my property, better use water (hmmm...maybe I should be capturing this water for use later)....Note to Self: Buy bins to collect rain water, then use on garden. The solar arrays are not going to sustain my energy use for my home, but it will offset something. The search goes on.
I now have some snow shoes, but of course the challenge is finding that time and obtaining winter clothes for my kids so we can go play. I am also thinking of investing in a pretty good GPS for my treks. I also plan to create GIS data sets/web services to also show case the use of GPS (yet, another one of my classes at American River College).
This is the update from JenningsPlanet Urban Farm. If I could just shift the Earth's orbit or slow it down, I would have time to do these things.
If you want to call this downtime, so be it.
Be Productive, Get Involved