30 September 2011

Entomology Seminar

Friday, October 7, 2011
Dr. Steven Handel, Honorary ASLA
Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources
Rutgers University

"Constraints on restoring insect populations to new urban habitats."

Blake Hall - Room 152
Seminar Begins at 11:00am

28 September 2011

Live Blog: Wansoo Im

2011 Environmental Geomatics  Lecture

Wansoo Im, Vertices, Inc.
PPGIS: Promoting Community Engagement

Lots of projects:

Using GIS for persons with disability in Korea
   with custom app for iPhone and Android

A middle school worked with Vertices to create their own map of deer sightings and accidents.

In Nashville they created a portal for crime and health issues.

Here in NJ he worked with CRSSA to create a stormwater mapping tool.
Their mapping application for rivers, IM Rivers, is used by organizations around the country working to improve the environment.
Their work on the Lower Columbia River help galvanize volunteer efforts.

Closer to home, members of the West Windsor community have used his tools to map walkability
In Woodbridge students contributed to a walkability audit

Current students might also want to check out other projects like:
His Mappler app was used to map Healthy Food Options in New Brunswick.
An interactive map of photos from along the Delaware and Raritan Canal
The Franklin Township SOCIO project mapped Safe Routes to School
In Garfield students mapped Healthy Assets and Walkability
New Brunswick students mapped bike racks and train stations

Save The Raritan River  (Look for our group photo!)

Current students might be particularly interested in the D&R Canal

27 September 2011

Meetings that no one cares about

There are plenty of small public meetings that go by with few or no members of the public in attendance.  But, in Georgia, a "big" public meeting was set up to present a proposed regional transportation plan before holding a vote on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST)to pay for it, and no one came.  The local paper got some fun quotes and great photos of the display that went unseen.

26 September 2011

Wansoo Im on PPGIS: Promoting Community Engagement

Fall 2011 Environmental Geomatics Lecture

Dr. Wansoo Im, Vertices, Inc.
Public Participatory GIS: Promoting Community Engagement
Wednesday, September 28 at 4pm
Cook-Douglass Lecture Hall Room 110

Recent innovation of information technology with interoperability has enabled community organizations to utilize GIS technology with few obstacles.  A brief overview of GIS technology and cases studies of community mapping will be presented to show how PPGIS can encourage community participation in environmental and health issues.

Dr. Wansoo Im is the founder of VERTICES, LLC, a geospatial information services company providing innovative and interactive map-based solutions.  In addition to VERTICES, he is an assistant professor at the department of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College.  He is an adjunct faculty at Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.    He specializes in developing decision support systems using a public participatory approach and interactive web-based geographical information systems. Dr. Im received his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Ph.D. from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Since 1991, Dr. Im has taught GIS courses for various schools including the Department of Urban Studies and Community Health at Rutgers University, and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering/Institute for Transportation Studies at New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Dr. Im is most proud of his web portal, http://www.imrivers.org, which is currently being used by multiple environmental organizations across the United States.  His work on community participatory internet mapping was featured in The New Yorker magazine in 2006 and The New York Times in 2008

23 September 2011

Twitter hot spots

Check out this incredible live heat map of Twitter use.  Early in the morning here, you can see New York starting to wake up while Tukey and Indonesia are already on fire.  I'm not so sure about those little water droplets.

20 September 2011

Lecture: Construction as Catalyst

Construction as Catalyst: Building Value through Hands-on Participation 
Andrew Fox, North Carolina State

Wednesday, 9/21 at 4:00 pm,
Cook/Douglas Lecture Hall;
3 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ

How are individuals and organizations that are unfamiliar with the technicalities of design, construction, and maintenance processes supposed to truly understand and value the holistic systems required to both develop and maintain sustainable sites? An inclusive, participatory approach to the design-construction cycle offers one solution. A community-based, hands-on approach helps synthesize beneficial relationships and promote innovation that exceed standard solutions by integrating creative, technical, financial, and managerial aspects into a framework of engagement and education. The strategic partnerships fostered through this site development model produce economical, innovative, and engaging public landscapes because their integrated assemblies nurture cooperation and collaboration, embrace localized environmental processes, and celebrate the deep connections between our social and physical environs. This lecture will describe an integrated design methodology that fuses practice, policy, place, and participation to achieve environmentally responsive and socially responsible solutions in the public realm. Examples from past, present, and future projects will be presented, and conclude with a discussion of how these principles are currently guiding the development and delivery of a Design/Build Initiative at North Carolina State University.

Andrew Fox, ASLA is a registered landscape architect and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at North Carolina State University. Fox specializes in the design of public landscapes with a strategic focus on low impact development (LID) practices and stakeholder engagement. His experience includes projects that range in scope from citywide transportation and urban design initiatives, to public parks and school sites, to landscape architectural education. During his career, Andrew’s work has been recognized by numerous professional organizations and agencies, including the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI), United States Green Building Council (USGBC), North Carolina State University and the City of Raleigh.

Wet and beautiful?

After all of the recent floods, it is interesting to read about a town that had the opportunity to protect itself but instead chose to protect its aesthetic values.

Raritan River Festival

If communities are going to start treating the Raritan River better,  one of the first steps will be to get people back in touch with the river.

The Biology of Nowhere

"The Biology of Nowhere: the changing face of biodiversity in the wake of species invasions and extinctions"

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011

4:00 p.m.
Alampi Room, Marine and Coastal Sciences

Host: Dr. Henry John-Alder

Refreshments at 3:30

19 September 2011

The HighLine as a backdrop

This week some of our students will be getting a guided tour of the HighLine as part of a field trip. And, while I do hope they pay attention to it in that context and consider meaningful critiques of design and implementation issues, I also encourage them to look at the HighLine as a new landmark backdrop. If it hasn't happened already, it won't be long before the CSI team has to investigate a mysterious murder just above the meatpacking district. And this weekend's NY Times included a fashion feature shot there.  As it has quickly become a major city landmark, it now serves a different role and is interesting to view through that filter as well.

15 September 2011

Cool map tricks

No sooner do I mention the ESRI Mapping Center blog in class than they go and post a great explanation on how to create an embossed polygon map.

The next High Line?

Could this part of Jersey City be the next High Line?

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

On the map you see how 6th Street only has buildings on one side. The StreetMap view shows there is something more.

This is the Harsimus Stem Embankment in Jersey City and The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is enjoying a recent legal victory that improves the chances of an elevated park emerging through the center of the city. Jersey City is already a cool city, but this could really "elevate" that status.

14 September 2011

LiveBlog: Kate John-Alder

The Reality of Process/ The Permanence of Change

Larry Halprin - RSVP Cycles
Ian McHarg - Design with Nature

(look for a paper soon by John-Alder on Halprin in the Landscape Journal)

Richard Reynolds (also a motorcycle companion of JB Jackson) worked with Halprin at Sea Ranch, getting a sense for the site and capturing its ephemeral qualities.

Responses to the environment on site required looking to different sources for process and inspiration. Wind eddys and aerodynamics helped lead to dedsign forms that helped hide autos and shaped buildings that performed in specific ways. Even today the design is celebrated by many who aren't from design backgrounds.

In The RSVP Cycles Halprin kept referencing ecological processes as part of an emphasis on the predictive value of ecology. He seemed especially influenced by Odom and his diagrams of natural processes.
His EcoScore for Sea Ranch integrates his thinking about history, cultural influence, and ecology.

Form Follows Flow Studio taught with K Hill

Sand flows and new forms in the Netherlands inspired this look at Willoughby Spit.
The class graphics were enhanced by a TA who had experience in digital animation. Some of the designs emphasized sand processes, some on the faunal responses, and some on dynamic human access to these sand engines.

View Larger Map

And then we watched the videos.

Flood photos

Here are a few of my Hurricane Irene photos to go with the talk advertised below:

Hurricane Irene: Storm Planning, Impact and Aftermath in New Jersey

The Rutgers University Department of Geography is proud to announce an upcoming symposium entitled “Hurricane Irene: Storm Planning, Impact and Aftermath in New Jersey.”  The symposium will be held on September 16, 2011 at 2 pm in Lecture Hall B117 of Lucy Stone Hall on Livingston Campus in Piscataway, NJ (54 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854).  This event has been organized in collaboration with the Rutgers Climate and Society Initiative and the Rutgers Center for Environmental Prediction. Reception to follow.

 State Climatologist David A. Robinson and Natural Hazards Expert, James K. Mitchell, will address a series of challenges leading up to, and left in the wake of, Hurricane Irene. Drs. Robinson and Mitchell (both members of the faculty of the Department of Geography) will discuss Irene in the context of previous major storms in New Jersey.
 In a recent interview with LiveScience, the popular online science magazine, Dr. Robinson explained the pattern of extreme weather events in 2011: “A couple of extreme years could simply be a statistical anomaly....It's when events become persistently volatile over decades that these short-term explanations no longer work.  Ocean patterns can drive multi-decade weather patterns, . . but you also have to look to human impact [on the natural systems].”

 Dr. Mitchell noted after his recent survey of inland areas that were hard-hit by floods generated by Irene: “Although New Jerseyans worry a great deal about the prospect of catastrophic losses from extreme winds and massive inundations in shoreline communities, hurricane Irene demonstrated, once again, a different suite of problems that are typically experienced during the declining phase of hurricanes.”

13 September 2011

Speaker Series: Kate John-Alder

 LA Fall Lecture Series presents Kathleen John-Alder

Wednesday, 9/14 at 4:00 pm,
Cook/Douglas Lecture Hall;
3 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ

The Reality in Process / The Permanence in Change

Kathleen L. John –Alder is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University.  A registered landscape architect with over twenty years of professional experience, she holds undergraduate degrees from Oberlin College and Rutgers University, an M.S. from Pennsylvania State University, and an M.E.D. from Yale University. Kathleen is the author of  “The Garden, The Greenhouse, and The Picturesque View, which appears in Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment

Kathleen, reflecting her training in both biology and landscape architecture, situates her research at the nexus of art and science, as seen through the environmental dialogues of the 1960s.  Currently, she is working on a manuscript that critically explores Lawrence’s Halprin’s ecological analysis of The Sea Ranch, excerpts of which will be presented in the lecture The Reality of Process / the Permanence of Change.

Who doesn't like bikes and trails?

Maybe Tom Coburn.

09 September 2011

Not there you were going to swim in it anyway

But that water in many of the streets in the Northeast is grosser than you thought. Infrastructure matters.

Restoration Project Coordinator


American Littoral Society www.littoralsociety.org

American Littoral Society
Northeast Chapter Headquarters
Queens, NY

Restoration Project Coordinator

Reports to
Habitat Restoration Program Director in Highlands, NJ

More after the jump...

VGI gone astray

One of the great things about volunteered geographic informatin is how quickly it can be updated to reflect changes.  For instance, Google Maps makes it easy for users to flag a business that has closec and then map users can be spared the agony of a trip there.  But what if the business is really open? Fixing it isn't always as easy.

06 September 2011

Bike Trails in NJ

While a drive up the Turnpike may focus your attention on the less pleasant aspects of our state's industrial heritage, one of the nicer aspects of that heritage is turning the industrial features into something new.  One example is turning old railroad tracks into bike trails, as is often done by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.  If you look at their list of bike trails in NJ you'll see that several use old train corridors that wouldn't be accessible otherwise.

Sussex County alone has several.  The train trestle becomes a great stop on the trail and the right-of-way is the perfect size for a trail and a buffer on each side. 

04 September 2011

Special Projects GIS Internship

New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Internship Program

Special Projects GIS Internship

The special projects group of the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) supports and assists the Commissioner with special projects.
The group uses maps and geographic analysis on a variety of projects throughout New Jersey. The unit is developing its GIS capabilities at this time. As an intern, you will actively contribute to this project, gaining useful experience of GIS in a range of planning, research and data management work.

A good understanding of ArcGIS 10 software is required. Demonstrated competence with cartographic work is also appreciated. Potential interns with skills or interest in contributing in any of the following areas are especially encouraged to apply: ArcObjects, metadata, data management, raster catalogs, excel and attribute joins and Arch GIS mapping.

Internships are part-time. For example, a typical internship could last for the fall semester, working one or two days per week at our Trenton Office. Internships are unpaid, but offer great opportunity for experience, networking and practical training.

To apply, please send your resume, cover letter and a map you prepared using ArcGIS as well as any additional supporting materials to rtessier@dca.state.nj.us. Please make the subject of your email your full name and the position for which you are applying. We kindly request no phone calls regarding this position.

GIS Intern w/ Growing Engineering & Planning Firm

GIS Intern w/ Growing Engineering & Planning Firm

Stonefield Engineering & Design, a full-service Professional Engineering and Consulting Firm based in Rutherford, NJ, is recruiting a GIS Intern to provide technical expertise to drive our growing GIS service.  A core firm objective is to employ technology to provide better, faster, and more easily comprehensible information to meet the needs of our clients.

The position would be unpaid for a period of 60-90 days, at which time we would evaluate candidates for a paid position.  A position with Stonefield would provide both an opportunity to apply your GIS expertise on a wide range of projects and to provide significant input on the direction of our GIS services.

The right candidate will bring a strong technical background, intellectual curiosity, and a desire for continued growth and learning.  The GIS Specialist will work within a team to determine big-picture goals, but will spend significant time working and solving problems independently, so self-motivation is critical.

The GIS Specialist will lead in the design, development, maintenance and enhancement of geographic information systems and geodatabases.  Candidate will utilize ArcGIS to digitize, edit, and maintain spatial data layers, validate data for accuracy and completeness, and produce maps and figures.  Among other activities, candidate will link asset maps or orthophotos with asset attributes, transportation data, and other related information.
Candidates will be required to exhibit significant GIS experience and proficiency using ArcGIS products including ArcMap and ArcCatalog.   Excellent communication and organizational skills and the ability to work within a team environment are also important for a successful candidate.  GIS Certification and experience with AutoCAD are preferred, but not required.

Proficiency with the following is desired: MS Windows, ESRI ArcGIS 10, ArcView Desktop, ArcCatalog, creating/editing geodatabases, Feature Classes and shapefiles, GeoProcessing, importing/exporting shapefiles, and converting CADD data-sets to shapefiles.

Our core office is located in the transit-oriented village of Rutherford, NJ with easy access to the Rutherford NJ Transit train station.  New York Penn Station is a 30-minute train ride.  We also have an office in the Soho area of New York City.  Interested candidates should submit a short cover letter, resume, and PDF of work product(s) to: cleary@stonefieldeng.com.  Please reference “GIS Intern” in subject line.

03 September 2011

Bike Map of Middlesex County

While we aren't there yet, it is getting to the point that a county without a bike map is a clear laggard.  Here is Middlesex County's.  No laggards are we!

02 September 2011