New And Precise Environmental Modelling In QGIS

New And Precise Environmental Modelling In QGIS

GIS Assessment – Geography and Planning UWA

 

 

Full Report: Environmental Modelling in QGIS Introduction This is your second piece of assessment for the unit. It tests the skills and knowledge you have acquired in the unit within all weeks of the unit (particularly the applied skills from labs 5-8). This second assignment provides a reflection on your ability to demonstrate comprehensive spatial analysis and cartographic skills using QGIS. The assignment will tailor your spatial analysis appropriate for answering a specific geographical issue which can benefit from using spatial research to support more effective environmental decision-making. The assignment will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge around map algebra and analysis, data compatibility and standardisation, environmental modelling and the use of QGIS spatial analytics. It is worth 40% of the unit assessment. Requirements

 Word limit: 2000 words maximum

 Submission format: Word document only

 Word file size: less than 20mb (compress your maps in Word)

 There is a limit to the number of maps (see below)

 Please note there are strict penalties for infringing these requirements – full guidelines are in the unit outline document for you to refer to. These include what is included in the word count, penalties for exceeding the word count and/or incorrect file submission (and size), late submissions and plagiarism.

Marking criteria A full marking criteria matrix can be found in the assessment folder on Blackboard. Please check this to ensure you meet all the higher level criteria for producing an outstanding assignment. In addition, you need to provide sufficient response to the assignment brief as detailed below. Assignment brief For this assignment you will generate a report which analyses the spatial data provided to you for processing within QGIS. Similar to your first assignment, you will need to be both precise and concise for reporting your findings. You will need to write your report as if it is being presented to the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy. You are acting on behalf of a local conservation agency to undertake analysis to spatially investigate the wildfire threats to a selected native species. To complete the assignment you are provided with the following information:

 Spatial data for your chosen geography (select ONE of the three options)

 Guidelines on what to include in your report

 A grading matrix on how you will be assessed

 

 

GIS Assessment – Geography and Planning UWA

 

 

To complete your assignment, you will have to use the QGIS skills you have learnt in the labs to process the data provided and produce the required outputs. If you cannot remember how to undertake these analyses, then you will need to refer to the lab instructions and apply them to the new data you have selected to use. Geography topics First, select ONE of the following three topics. Download the corresponding data folder from LMS for your chosen topic. You will need to do all the same things we covered in the labs to set up your QGIS project, add the data, process and analyse the data, and produce the mapped outputs. However, be careful to ensure you are answering the required tasks for the assignment (below), as you are not required to undertake all of the processing you completed for the lab data.

 Topic 1: This topic will investigate the environmental threats to the native species of your choice in the state of Tasmania

 

 Topic 2: This topic will investigate the environmental threats to the native species of your choice in the Far North region of Queensland

 

 Topic 3: This topic will investigate the environmental threats to the native species of your choice in the Hunter River Catchment in New South Wales

The following eleven datasets are provided for each of the topics for their respective geographies:

Dataset Description Data type

Source

Boundary Tasmania – State Far North – Region Hunter River – Catchment

Polygon ABS & data.gov.au

Elevation Altitude height (metre) Raster Geoscience Australia

Land use 18 land use types Raster ABARES

Land cover Varies by region Raster TERN

Native vegetation

Areas of native vegetation Polygon Dep. of Environment & Energy

Temperature Annual maximum temperature (°C) Raster BOM

Wind speed Annual mean wind speed (m/s) Raster Global Wind Atlas

State roads State road network Line Geoscience Australia

Fire stations proximity

Distance to fire stations (metre) Raster data.gov.au

Water hydrants proximity

Distance to water hydrants (metre) Raster data.gov.au

 

 

 

GIS Assessment – Geography and Planning UWA

 

 

You will need to select a native species of your choice for the geographical area you have selected by sourcing and downloading the data from ALA (see Lab 8 for instructions how to use the web databased). All data, except your downloaded species data (you will need to download, import and project these data), have been projected using EPSG:3577 – GDA94 / Australian Albers. For raster layers, the data are at 1km resolution. You should run your analyses at this resolution for your selected topic to produce the required outputs. Some of the data have already been preprocessed for you following the same processes you undertook in the labs (e.g. proximity to fire stations and water hydrants), whilst others will require you undertaking all the processing steps yourself (as per what you did in the associated lab using the data for a different location). Use the same size hex grids as in the labs. You will need to think about reclass values yourself and determine what is appropriate. You’ll use the same weighting approach we used in the labs to combine data layers. You can use the map layout templates from the labs as a starting point if you wish, but remember that what you need to produce for your assignment requires different map outputs, so you can’t directly use the templates as they are (see below). Your assignment analyses For your chosen topic’s species and geography you will need to complete the following analyses in QGIS:

 Kernel density distribution of the native species

 Use of hex grids to summarise species counts

 Identify the core territory and total home ranges of the native species

 Using ruggedness, proximity to native vegetation and state roads, and appropriate land uses construct a standardised cost surface to use for calculating one habitat corridor between a selected source and the closest destination core territory. You will need to provide the rationale for why you selected these in your report.

 Using elevation, slope, aspect, land cover, temperature and wind speed generate a weighted spatial distribution of potential fire hazard.

 Determine the potential fire emergency response (adaptive capacity) by calculating a weighted spatial distribution combining road, fire station and hydrant proximities.

 Calculate the population exposure for your native species, and then the vulnerability of this species by weighting with the adaptive capacity.

 Using weights generate the spatial distribution of fire risk through combining your hazard and vulnerability outputs to determine the overall fire risk to the native species.

What you need to include in your written report Once you have undertaken the above analysis steps you will need to write a report to present your findings. Your report should be structured using the following sections – make sure you include a suitable and informative title for each sub- heading. Your report should include the following text and three map layouts only.

 

 

GIS Assessment – Geography and Planning UWA

 

 

 Title of report

 Executive summary (50-100 words) – Summarise what is in your report and the key findings

 Background information to the species and geography – context to the topic; why is it important and of interest to study spatially? Reference the literature to cite where you obtain your facts.

 Species interactions – Brief summary of data, methods and rationale – Map layout 1: To include maps of species raster density, home range and wildlife corridor – Describe your results and interpret findings

 Wildfire hazard – Brief summary of data, methods and rationale – Map layout 2: To include raster maps of fire hazard and contributing factors – Describe your results and interpret findings

 Environmental risk – Brief summary of data, methods and rationale – Map layout 3: To include maps of hex grid fire hazard, vulnerability, and overall risk – Describe your results and interpret findings

 Overall discussion – Link up the findings from your three analysis sections to identify some good story threads which are interesting for you to discuss given the data findings you produce. Talk about any uncertainty you have with outputs that you wish to communicate to the conservation agency. Reference literature to help you support your interpretations

 Final recommendation – Based on all of your results provide a firm statement to your conservation agency as to what you strongly recommend they should tell the government ministry in terms of what environmental decisions should be supported from your findings (max 50 words)

 Reference list – Full reference list using Harvard citation style (quality over quantity is preferred on references – think about using peer-reviewed academic sources which are very relevant to the discussion of your topic and spatial approach used)

You will need to undertake some reading to help you write the content of your report. Ensure that you reference the literature properly and follow the Harvard citation style (see the library website if you need help on this). You can only include the maps in the three layouts as stated above – any others submitted will not be considered for grading. Remember your report needs to be less than 2000 words including all words except your reference list. Structuring your report into clear subsections is good practice for technical report writing. Top tips Here are some issues you might like to reflect upon from what you have learned in the lecture-tutorials and how these issues may relate to the application of GIS you have undertaken in this assignment:

 

 

GIS Assessment – Geography and Planning UWA

 

 

 

 Standardisation of data

 Appropriate scale of application

 Data quality

 Assumptions, error and validation Submission Submit your assignment by the submission deadline (see the unit outline document) via the assignment submission link on Blackboard in the assessments folder.

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