We all know that GIS maps help people visualize and communicate information in powerful ways, and the online Story Map application is a great way to publish your research results and share that information across the web. Researchers in the Arizona State University (ASU) Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) are doing just that.
The Teachers College wanted to communicate the impact of its grant-funded research projects broadly, particularly to public school teachers throughout Arizona. To accomplish this, MLFTC created a new position for a Geospatial Data Specialist and hired Melissa McGehee (a graduate of the ASU Masters of Advanced Study in GIS program) to work with MLFTC researchers. McGehee had extensive experience with ArcGIS Online from her graduate school days and was able to leverage that, working closely with a team within MLFTC, to create media rich Story Maps for several grant-funded research projects.
Congratulations to MLFTC on their innovative approach to public education. Using online maps to communicate the impact of grant-funded research is a wonderful extension of the requirement in many grants for “dissemination” and “engaging wider audiences.”
Light pollution affects the entire biosphere. Scientists have found that artificial night light has a particularly negative effect on adult sea turtles and their hatchlings. Sea turtle species are listed as either endangered or vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Artificial lights within the human-built environment can lead females to nest in less suitable sites, decreasing the success of the clutches laid into the nest. Hatchlings are directly affected too, by becoming either misoriented (moving more inland, rather than toward the ocean) or disoriented (crawling in circuitous paths). The results can be fatal. Mis- or disoriented hatchlings often become exhausted, dehydrated, and more exposed to predators, not to mention to vehicular kills.
It is important to develop the most effective management strategies to protect sea turtles. Before the development and widespread adoption of geospatial technologies and spatial analysis techniques, conservation policies depended on expensive, large-scale surveys involving many people conducting field visits to beach habitats.
Survey data were used to inform the creation of appropriate zoning and light ordinances. Geospatial data, such as satellite-derived imagery, have made understanding the geographic distribution, intensity, and ecological impacts of artificial light less expensive and easier to analyze.
Welcome! If you’re reading this, you’ve successfully found the web presence for the Map and Geospatial Hub, a new unit of the ASU Library system started in Fall 2016 (lib.asu.edu/geo).
So, why the new website?
The creation of a new Map and Geospatial Hub marks a consolidation and significant expansion of the operations related to maps and modern mapping technologies at ASU Library. Such a consolidation warranted a more accessible, more user-friendly web presence that more adequately described the expanded, more ambitious vision of the unit.
The new web pages were designed to better assist the ASU and broader community discover our map, data, and technology resources; our educational and training programming; and our opportunities for collaborative projects and research. The site also features this News & Blog stream (lib.asu.edu/geo/news) to update the community on what we’re up to.
As with all websites, ours is dynamic and its content subject to change as we continue to collect feedback on its usability and effectiveness. Expect further improvements to our web presence as we continue the work of improving ways to serve and impact the ASU community and beyond. We’re just getting started!