Research story 2

Your main tasks are to:

  1. Ask a spatial question about environmental qualities of land or water and how they change or differ in space and/or time.
  2. Write a script in the Earth Engine code editor to provide answers to your question.
  3. Explain your results by connecting to references about environmental processes and related research article(s).
  4. Share results of your analysis in a web app and short article.

Some common types of spatial questions

Here is a short list.

Anomalies How do conditions in a sub-region (spatial or temporal) compare to conditions in the greater region of which the sub-region is a part?
Analogies What places are similar based on a set of conditions and criteria?
Proximities How do conditions near a type of geographic feature or temporal event differ from conditions far from this type of geographic feature or temporal event?
Connections How are conditions or events in one place connected or linked to conditions or events in another place?

If you have an idea for a project and are not quite sure if it fits a type on this short list, please discuss your idea with me.

You may find it helpful to develop a project that is analogous to a problem we have already worked through during a lecture, lab, or problem set. Your project may have the same structure but it should involve different components (for example, different cookie cutters and dough).

Some examples of previous student work

Indonesia’s annual fire extent for the 5-year period before and after 2015 by Brian Lee

Changes in Green Space and Land Surface Temperature Anomalies in Cape Town over Time

Effects of the California Drought on the Mt. Shasta region in 2000 and 2021


For dough ideas: awesome spectral indices

For cutter ideas: search Earth Engine data catalog

Please note that if you can identify a vector dataset as a shapefile, we can help you import this data into Earth Engine as an asset in lab tomorrow.

Upcoming tasks

In lab tomorrow, we will check in with you about your project ideas.

For lecture on Wed, May 4, please be prepared to pitch your idea to the class. You will have 2-3 minutes to present. Your pitch should include:

  1. What is your topic?
  2. What is your question?
  3. Why you are interested in this?
  4. What datasets do you plan to use?
  5. What are analogous problems that we have worked on previously?
  6. What is different about your problem?