On Saturday, we participated in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) event at the Fort Atkinson Farmers Market. Great chance to show kids and families (and even grandmas!) how we’re both teaching and researching drones for mapping at the GIS Center.
As part of our Research Infrastructure Grant, we presented the results of our biomass mapping from the 2016 and 2017 seasons at the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium 2017 Conference. Thanks to Jeff Smyczek for all his help on this project!
Thanks to Thomas Slawski for the opportunity to present our water array project at the 2017 Fox River Summit. We made connections with several area groups and identified potential sites for semi-permanent installations of our device.
For many of our mapping projects and contracts, from mapping storm sewers to electrical networks, we’ve needed more accuracy than our “resource grade” Trimble GPS units can provide. This has been particularly true for our UAV imagery. Since we’re producing images with resolution of between 1-5 cm, we need ground control that’s as accurate or better than this resolution. Our Trimble units under ideal conditions can provide 15-30 cm horizontal accuracy — not good enough. Plus, we’re hearing more about local government units purchasing higher-accuracy devices which our students need exposure to. Read more…
As part of my research sabbatical this year, I’ve recently returned from the first of two research trips to the Yellowstone region. The goal of this trip was to visit the archives at both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks to collect information about ecosystem management and private lands and to acquire more information from the US Forest Service about their acquisition and exchange of private lands. I was able to collect over a 1,000 pages of archive documentation on the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, the parks’ role in ecosystem management and influencing adjacent private lands, and related correspondence. For the GIS analysis, I was successful in acquiring data from the USFS to recreate forest ownership for the last 40-50 years.
One of the requirements of the Testing the Waters’s grant with WI DNR was to conduct a comparison of our array with a conventional, trusted unit. We finally got access to a professional-grade unit, a YSI Professional Plus (thanks Dr. Dale Splinter!). This unit is around $3,000 for the dissolved oxygen, conductivity, temperature, and pH probes that it has with it.
For the latest Rock River Coalition newsletter, I finally got around to doing an initial analysis of the Testing the Waters data that we collected over 11 days of paddling. The full article is available here: Testing the Waters: What did we learn? Read more…
By Jeff Smyczek
On 30, Sep 2016 | In UAV/drone | By Jeff Smyczek
As part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), I am obligated to present my research at multiple poster sessions throughout the year including the Fall and Spring Undergraduate Research Days. I had never presented at a poster session before and was experiencing the uncertainty that goes along with doing something for the first time. How do I fit a whole summer’s worth of information onto a poster? How are these posters typically formatted? Who will I have to present my research to? Well, with help from the UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Research Program (URP), ideas on these questions started circulating through my head. With help from Dr. Compas, I put together a poster that reflects the progress I have made on my research project and uncertainties were clarified.
Jeffrey Pohorski, one of the video producers in Media & Marketing at UW-Whitewater, did a great job telling the story of our adventure down the Rock River this May: