Bison Ecology & Management education module - Page 8

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Project activity. Part 2 - Spatial Data Comparison & Hypothesis Testing

In-Class Activity

 

MAIN SCIENCE & POLICY ISSUE:

Bison leaving Yellowstone National Park in certain winters & the related Culling Policy.

MAIN RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

  1. What changes in bison distribution have occurred during the past century?
  2. What factors have influenced changes in bison distribution during the past century?
    (natural and human)

METHODS FOR ANSWERING QUESTIONS:

  1. http://ynp.csumb.edu/mapper/mapperV2.htm or click on the image at right.
  2. There are 3 types of data on this website: raster data, vector data, and point data
  3. View each map and associated legend:
    1. Land Use Land Cover (LULC) – this map shows the vegetation across YNP, ranging from meadows (light green) to non-meadows (dark green)
    2. Digital Elevation Map (DEM) – this shows the elevation of the landscape, ranging from low (white / light blue) to high (red / pink / dark blue)
    3. Slope – this shows the degree of steepness of the topography, ranging from white (flat) to dark blue (very steep)
    4. Snow 1993 – this is a normal snow year, ranging from no or little snow pack (white) to heavy snow pack (red)
    5. Snow 1997 – this is a heavy snow year, ranging from no or little snow pack (white) to heavy snow pack (red)
    6. Burn – this shows the extent of burn intensity from the 1988 Fire, ranging from white (less intense burn) to green (high intensity burn)
    7. Geothermal – this shows the location and heat intensity of geothermal features across the park, ranging from yellow (low heat intensity) to black (high heat intensity)
    8. Water – this shows the location of rivers and streams in the Park
    9. Roads – this shows the location of roads in the Park
    10. Grids – these are overlay grids of varying sizes (5km, 10km, 20km, 50km)
    11. Bison ’70 – ’97 – these are bison location data for the stated years or months from the Meagher airplane surveys across the Park
  4. For each map, describe, in detail, the patterns that you see.
  5. Propose 6 hypotheses, relating bison to raster data, that will help you answer the main research questions. (e.g. The bison home range has (increased, decreased, stayed the same) over the past 30 years; Most bison spend the summer in (meadow, forest, along road) areas, etc.)
  6. Test each hypothesis by viewing, comparing, layering, and studying the maps and overlaying gridlines. (Count grid cells to quantitatively answer as many hypotheses as possible)

 

 

 

 


29 Nov 2006 Webmaster