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RENCI at ECU Wins Third Place at the 2011 ESRI Map Gallery Contest

Today, our world faces many challenges such as global climate change, population growth, energy concerns, food scarcity, social conflicts, resource shortages, and so on. The main focus of the 2011 ESRI Map Gallery Contest, held July 9-15th in San Diego, California, was to ask contributors to present maps that attempt to address how will these challenges and their interactions can be efficiently understood and dealt with using ArcGIS.

The emergence of more powerful GIS software, combined together with new concepts for web enabling geographic knowledge, provides promising possibilities for accessing and leveraging the work of GIS professionals around the world. Utilizing these possibilities, a research team for RENCI at ECU created a detailed map of "Sea-Level Rise (SLR) Vulnerability in the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System (APES)" using ArcMap v 9.3.1. High-resolution data-sets from various local sources (including the Coastal Change Analysis Program (CCAP), the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program, and others) were used to develop high-intensity GIS model that was then combined with new-age cartographic and visualization techniques to create a robust SLR scenario.

The results were then draped over a 3-dimensional digital elevation model (DEM) of the APES region to provide both a visually appealing display, as well as a useful tool for emergency managment and planning locally. The map was created by: Dr. Tom Allen (advisor), Matthew Carey, Michelle Covi, Brent Gore, and Travis Hill, and won Third Place in the category Best Map Product in a Digital Display Format. Click here for all contest results.


Estuarium photo

Outreach program  "Visualizing Hurricanes" visits Washington and Windsor


Michelle Covi visited the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington and the Roanoke/Cashie River Center in Windsor in July to present the program “Visualizing Hurricanes” for groups of families and children enjoying the end of their summer vacation. Participants learned about the techniques that climate scientists are using to predict where hurricanes will make landfall and how geographers are making high tech maps to show people what can happen to their homes. Visitors from the local area viewed storm surge visualizations at developed by RENCI@ECU researchers and tracked storms using Stormpulse. Children used hurricane simulation exercises from NOAA and other sources to understand the conditions in which hurricanes develop. Participants viewed current hazards via NC COHAZ and searched flood zones on Google Earth. Preparedness guides, provided by the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management were available for all visitors.


Conference Hotel

Sea Level Rise Risk Communication Project presented at Coastal Zone 2011

Dr. Donna Kain and RENCI @ ECU Outreach Coordinator, Michelle Covi, presented preliminary results of their study, “Risk Communication and Perception of Climate Change and Adaptation in Northeastern Coastal North Carolina” at the Coastal Zone Conference , July 17-21, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The session also included information about visual communication and social marketing from NOAA Coastal Services Center and a report about stimulating youth involvement in ocean issues through outreach by museums and aquariums. Attendees to the session demonstrated an interest and need for more effective ways to communicate about ocean issues, such as sea level rise, to public audiences. The biennial conference brings together federal, state and local coastal planners and managers with people from non-governmental agencies and business, scientists and students involved in coastal issues.  Conference website here


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