Geospectives, Independent Study opportunity, and more!

5:34:00 pm McGill Undergraduate Geography Society 0 Comments

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'Allo Muggahs!

Firstly, thanks a ton to the presenters and those who came to GIS day! With that out of the way, here's the news:

This Thursday, at 3 in Burnside 306, Nitin Sawhney, assistiant professor of Media Studies at the New School for Public Engagement in New York will be presenting a talk entitled "Participatory DIY Mapping as Tactical Intervention in Contested Spaces"...un-wine and cheese reception to follow. Check out the abstract!

In this talk we examine the emerging role of DIY (do‐it‐yourself) mapping as a set of tactical
tools and practices used among local communities and activists to collectively survey, research
and mobilize action around contested issues and struggles. The recent availability of simple and
affordable aerial mapping technologies as well as open source online tools has facilitated
greater participation among amateur mappers, activists and citizen groups.
We will consider how these grassroots mapping approaches have been used globally in the
context of environmental action, civic agency and protest. These will be illustrated by recent
environmental actions undertaken by citizen activists monitoring oil spills and urban pollution,
preventing logging in natural parks, and supporting tree planting in cities. We will also examine
initiatives conducted with marginalized youth in slums and refugee camps to develop spatial
narratives around land rights, conflict and occupation. Finally, we'll consider recent aerial
mapping of protests in Jerusalem and during Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan.
What is the role of such participatory mapping initiatives to support civic agency and sociopolitical
advocacy? What sorts of tools, open access content, and pedagogical practices better
support such initiatives? How can researchers work closely with citizen groups in participatory
mapping and what can be learned from such engagement? What are the limitations, risks and
ethical concerns if any, and how should they be mediated? These are some of the questions the
talk will seek to pose for discussion among participants.

ii) INDEPENDENT STUDY IN REMOTE SENSING (see attached poster):
Cloud forest conservation in Northwest Ecuador: Is community reforestation working to increase forest cover?

What the project entails:

- Using LANDSAT images from 2001 and 2010 in a heavily deforested region of Andean Ecuador, you will determine changes in forest cover and general land use before and after the implementation of community reforestation projects

- There are plenty of opportunities to expand/ develop questions further

- This work will be part of a larger research project looking at how community reforestation affects both people's livelihoods and forest biodiversity in this megabiodiverse region of the Andes


- You need to have completed coursework in remote sensing and/or experience working with satellite images and remote sensing

- Also, an interest (but not necessarily experience) in tropical forest conservation



Location: Department of Biology & McGill School of Environment, McGill University

Project Title: Predictive modelling under uncertainty: applications to environmental issues.

Students will perform ecological modelling to investigate ecological and management-related
questions for invasive species. Invasive species species have been identified as one of the five
main drivers of global change by the Millennium ecosystem assessment, and cause damages
estimated at over 100 Billion dollars annually. While broad generalizations can be made on the
impact of global drivers, detailed and specific predictions for management decisions are lacking.
Such predictions are made difficult by limited information, time, resources and communication,
which affect virtually all environmental issues. In an increasingly complex world with various
global drivers producing environmental, social and economic impacts, understanding and dealing
with uncertainty is crucial. Addressing limitations that result in uncertainty will be a highly
transferable and sought-after skill-set in any environmental field. Students will develop and
apply the modelling skills needed to address some of the key challenges associated with
uncertainty and real-world limitations. Students will make ecological predictions and explore
management options for invasive species. There will also be the opportunity to engage in field
work in freshwater lake or coastal marine systems, depending on interest and experience.

Supervisor: Brian Leung

Contact Information:

Here are a few gems, couldn't pick just one.-
1) A fantastic comic on different ways of projecting the planet:
2) An amazing overlay from The Atlantic of NASA's "earth at night" map with facebook's friendship map:
3) Ingenius map showing american states with their population and GDP equivalent countries:

Just a swimming pool in Singapore:

That's all for now, if there's anything we should include in next week's listserve, send it in (!...Have an amazing week!



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