While the 2017 wildfire season has been comparatively quiet to date, there are indeed some fires chewing up the landscape over Alaska’s northeastern Interior, and now much of the state is beginning to notice.
This image below was taken by the Suomi National Polar Partnership (S-NPP) satellite as it glided over Alaska this afternoon. The wavelengths shown here are exactly what the human eye would see if we could hitch a ride on the S-NPP satellite. While weather satellites can detect signals across a variety of wavelengths including infrared and microwave, it turns out that the visible spectrum with which we humans are quite familiar is one of the best ways to highlight the smoke plumes from wildfires. With high pressure draped along the Brooks Range, a northeasterly flow is blowing the smoke from its point of origin in the northeastern Interior toward the southwest and across much of the state.
Here in the Fairbanks area the smoke has thus far mainly remained aloft, with the results being an orange color to the sun and a tinge of smoky smell in the air. The National Weather Service forecasts a change in wind direction after a few more days which will push the smoke eastward into Canada.
Hello! My name is Roberta Glenn, and I recently graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) with a B.S. in Geography, focusing on landscape analysis and climate change studies. I’m an intern this summer with ASRC Federal and the UAF Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA).
This summer I’m working on identifying satellite products that may be useful for subsistence hunters on the North Slope. Previously, hunters and whalers were only able to get their hands on good and useful satellite data when scientists were in town doing research. In 2013 I interned with the North Slope Borough Wildlife Management Department in early spring when whaling was just getting started, and the sea ice was taking longer than usual to open up a lead. One of my daily tasks was to pull data directly from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and examine the ice conditions to look out for any open leads around Utqiagvik.
This summer I hope to put together a collection of useful mapping resources, as well as make these resources easily available to those who may benefit from them. I’m looking forward to speaking with my fellow Utqiagvigmiuts about what kinds of products may be useful and how these products should be made available (webpage, PDF, GIS package, etc.). Quyanaq!
Hello again everyone!
This is my final tumblr post on my final day of work here at GINA! I graduated this past spring semester so unfortunately will not be able to continue here, but instead will be pursuing graduate school this fall and am currently conducting archaeological field work and research.
I have been working at GINA as a student employee and intern through EPSCOR since May 2015, and have loved every minute of it! Everyone that I have had the chance to work with over the past few years have been some of the best and supportive people I have had the chance to work with during my undergraduate career. I have learned invaluable skills since I have been here, and have had the opportunity to create my own projects, be apart of public outreach scenarios, and present projects at conferences at UAF (to name just a few of the many things I have had the chance to do).
Before working with GINA I was unclear of what GIS (Geographic Information Systems) was about, but now two years later I know not only what it is but have changed my minor to GIS and will be focusing on it and its application in archaeology with future research and graduate school work. Without a doubt, if it not for my work here at GINA I would not be as ahead as I am in my own personal career, and I deeply appreciate the opportunity I was given here.
Thank you again to my coworkers at GINA and EPSCOR for the past two years, and I wish you all the best!
My name is Nicolette Edwards, and I have been working at GINA as a student employee through EPSCOR since May 2015, and this summer will mark my third one here. My degree is a BA of Anthropology with a focus on archaeology and a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) minor, and I am especially interested in how humans impact their surrounding environment in the past and present. Since I graduated in May, I will only be here until the end of June, but I am excited about the projects I will be working on and finishing up until then!
The main project I have been working on over the past couple of months is EPSCOR’s Salmon 2050 Project which is a “A Participatory Scenario Planning Project for the Kenai River Watershed” that created a total of five different scenarios based on the possible different environmental conditions that may occur in 2050. Each of these scenarios has their own specific guidelines and stipulations. My focus is on the urban development side of this project, where I utilize ArcGIS to create a visual for each scenario and provide realistic expectations of both domestic housing and commercial businesses based on the potential environmental conditions. An example of this is provided in the picture above! It is only one scenario (out of five) but it provides a good example of how much the environment could be effected based upon human’s expansion and growth. For more information of the project as a whole, here is a link to EPSCOR’s page:
Also, on June 10th I will be showcasing our Augmented Reality Sandbox at Denali’s Summerfest. If you are not familiar with it, it is a sandbox with a projection simulating landscapes (specifically with distinct elevations) that changes based on on how the sand is formed. It also has the ability to imitate water in both flow and accumulation and how it would move about the formed landscape! Here is a YouTube link for those interested:
Thank you for reading and have a great summer!
For the second year running UAF-GINA is hosting a weeklong bootcamp on introductory skills in GIS, the command line, Github, and Raspberry Pis. This year we are also hosting a weeklong digital mapathon for improving mapping of North Slope communities.
We want to open these two opportunities up to anyone who wants to get an introduction to these topics. The mapathon and bootcamp are both free to participants, these activities are sponsored by Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Federal - Mission Solutions.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
2017 GINA Bootcamp
June 5 - 9, 10am to 4pm
Computer Lab in WRRB 040 & Decision Theater Development Space
Sign up for Bootcamp
North Slope Mapathon
June 12 - June 15. 10am to 2pm
Decision Theater North (WRRB 010)
Sign up for Mapathon
Hi! My name is Ianjon Brower and I’m working for ASRC-Federal and GINA this summer. My project for this summer is going to be prototyping a Raspberry Pi with specific sensors that monitor the temperature (and other things) of ice cellars that is easy for anyone to use! These ice cellars are in native villages such as Utqiagvik, Nuiqsut, and many more. The reason we need to do this work is that some of the ice cellars have been filling up with water by melting and this is ruining their storage for all year around.
What’s in an ice cellar you ask? It’s use to store all the hunted game that’s found locally to preserve. It’s a natural big freezer that’s supposed to stay ice cold all year around. We are going to get some data to figure out why this is happening! I have a lot of learning to do for this project and the people here are a great help.