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Land Cover as an Indicator of Climate Change

Student(s):Nicole Winhover, Jessica Shearer, Nichole Szymanski, Nicholas Buhrow
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Educator(s):Jodi J. Haney
Report Type(s):
Protocols:Land Cover Classification
Date Submitted:04/26/2013
Screen capture from presentation
Using the GLOBE Program protocols for Land Cover and Climate, we set out to investigate three research questions: 1) What covers our land in the 15 km by 15 km area surrounding the BGSU Campus? 2) How has the BGSU land cover changed over time? and 3) Is the iPhone supporting the Simple GPS application as accurate as two other GLOBE certified GPS devices? Using satellite and aerial imagery, field observations, land cover classifications, global positioning system devices, photography, and thematic mapping techniques, we collected and analyzed our data. Our findings show that the region is predominately agricultural but the region has experienced a shift towards urbanization between 1994 and 2011. Shifts in land cover impact the climate and these climate changes will further influence land cover. iPhone devices running the Simple GPS application were found to be accurate as GLOBE certified devices.


What made you decide to compare the GPS application on the iPhone to the Globe certified GPS devices?
You guys put together a great project! I look forward to seeing your future students participating in GLOBE too emoticon

Now for the questions -

1. How do you see changing land cover impacting climate and even the microclimate of your school? I know you mentioned precipitation and temperature in your report, but what kinds of examples can you give?

2. Besides improving the quality of the images with the launch of Landsat 8, what other research could you do to continue this study?

And, thank you for sending such a nice project!
Hello Nicole, Jessica, Nick, and Niki, Thanks for submitting your project. I'd like to ask you about the title of your project: "Land Cover as an Indicator of Climate Change". Were you able to determine whether any of the land cover changes identified in the BGSU area over the 1994-2011 time period could be attributed to changes in climate? What additional data might be useful to include if you were to conduct this investigation again?
Based on your research, do you think that changes in land cover type (e.g. decrease in large vegetated areas able to store carbon and increase in urban and transportation land cover types) could ultimately affect climate and climate change mitigation actions?
Thank you for such thorough work. Your GPS results should help GLOBE allow smart phone app GPS determinations. I would love to have seen your maps of the different types of land cover in your area.