The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, or Public Labs, provides support for local level environmental activists and scientists who wish to study their surroundings through low-cost DIY methods of data collection. For this project, Public Labs teamed up with an environmental group in Maine called Friends of Penobscot Bay. This group was interested in measuring the growth of residential, commercial, and industrial activities over the past twenty years to identify what kinds of impacts it has had on the deforestation and bay wildlife. To find these measurements, this project made extensive use of the National Land Cover Database which tracks different kinds of land cover for the entire United States such as developed land, forests, wetlands etc.
Using the land cover datasets from 1992 and 2011, Kevin was able to extract forest values and find the difference in forest between the two time periods to find exactly where deforestation has occurred. This deforestation data was then overlaid on the current land cover to identify what type of land cover the forests have transitioned into. Kevin found that Penobscot Bay has lost nearly a quarter of its forest in the past twenty years and has seen an 85% increase in developed land while the population has only risen by 2%. Kevin also created a large scale atlas of the area.
Nonprofit applications for Summer 2019 are open. Apply for a Geospatial Data Analysis Services Grant today!