Environmental

GIS and California: The Alarming Revelation

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Another guest post by this semester’s journalism intern.

Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, are computer systems that allow individuals to map, model, and analyze large amounts of data through a single database. Recently, through the help of GIS maps, significant data have turned up some alarming realizations in regards to a very crucial and life-changing matter: water supply. This new information shows how important the use of GIS is, and how it is utilized in a matter that can effect everyday living.

Californians have a lot to worry about nowadays on top of the mudslides, wildfires, and battles with oil companies. The state referred to by some as “unsustainable” has always had issues with water supply. Now, with new information brought forth by NASA scientists, a strict and frightening op-ed has been released to Californians regarding their water: The state only has about one year of water supply left.

Other information also found by NASA satellites indicate that water basins in Sacramento and San Joaquin are 34 million acre-feet below normal compared to the 2014 year, which started October 1, 2013 and ended September 30, 2014. With it being the hottest year yet for California, water gages from The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California indicate that last year was mostly responsible for damage to the water supply for the state, and the lack of snowfall and overall precipitation didn’t help the drought. The Sierra Nevada (Sacramento) is responsible for more than 60 percent of water supply to the state. It sources drinking water for 23 million people, and irrigation water for agricultural land.
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avsp

Episode 503 delayed

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Hey folks! Sorry, but I am caught up in a few other projects for the next couple of days, including returning to classes following Spring Break. We have the episode recorded, but I have been editing reports, documents, ppts, quizzes, labs, etc since Tuesday and before that it was grading midterms, not leaving time to edit this week’s podcast. Once I get the report wrapped up I should be able to take the 1.5-2 hours it takes to get the episode edited and put together. It may be up as early as Monday night, but I think Wednesday night (EDT) is a more likely release timeline.

I think I am going to blame on the transition to daylight savings time…that was an hour lost right there! #BanDST!

Education

Elmhurst College’s Digital Earth MOOC

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If you are attending the upcoming 2015 Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual meeting in Chicago, IL this year, Elmhurst College is one of the Chicagoland colleges doing noteworthy work in GIS and Geography that you might want to stop by and visit. Elmhurst College’s School for Professional Studies is offering a FREE 4-week (March 1-March 28), Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Skills for Digital Earth designed to introduce how location technologies are used in society.  The course will be taught by Judith Bock, Program Director, Department of Geography and Geosciences at Elmhurst. The MOOC is designed for those with no prior experience with geographic information systems (GIS) software all the way to advanced users. (more…)