Friday, December 15, 2017

URSP Student Tirik Ford Creates a StoryMap of GMU’s Fairfax Campus

My name is Tirik Ford and I am a senior Geography major conducting research in the fields of climate change, hydrology, and cartography. This is my third semester with OSCAR and for the previous two semesters I conducted research, as a research assistant, under Celso Ferreira in the George Mason Flood Hazards Research Lab (FHRL). My research has always centered around climate change and sea level rise; and this semester I brought this critical research analysis closer to home at GMU’s Fairfax Campus.

As a Geography major I always strive to present data visually through maps or different types of infographics. Once I discovered the ESRI “StoryMap” platform, I realized that this kind of interdisciplinary analysis has not been performed on our Fairfax Campus. Watershed analysis has been performed on our campus, but a Watershed map with live action videos, pictures, and groundtruth had never been performed. This sparked my interest and subsequently led to me creating a Story map for the entire campus community.

A StoryMap is a GIS (Geographic Information Science) software that brings mapping and multimedia under one program. Throughout my research I conducted geographic surveys, while also taking photos and videos of the surrounding areas I was gathering data. This allows for a more realization for the people viewing my research.

While taking surveys and videos of the GMU watershed, I realized that the research I’m conducting could be used for many platforms including research, news, and other public awareness projects. This led me to believe that creating this StoryMap will better inform the surrounding public of our watershed and other hydrological influences that our campus houses. With my longterm goal being mitigating the effects of climate change, an informed public is key to achieving this goal!