A combined Northern Virginia Community College-George Mason University (NOVA-GMU) team won the 4th Annual ASPRS SAC GeoLeague Challenge. Four teams entered this year’s competition, representing the University of South Carolina, Murray State University, Virginia Tech, and NOVA-GMU. Teams used remote sensing, GIS, and other tools to address this year’s challenge, Mapping Ecosystem Services in Coastal Belize Based on Landsat Data. The results of the analyses will assist planners in Belize in dealing with challenges including balancing tourism and habitat, a fragile fishery, and rising sea level.
The combined undergrad/grad student teams worked through a grueling two-step process. The first step required submitting a scientific paper following the guidelines used by the ASPRS refereed journal. In the paper, teams described their solution, including background on the project, methods (algorithm development & mapping techniques), and graphic illustrations. The second step of the challenge was a 10-minute presentation followed by Q&A with the judges and the audience attending the national ASPRS conference in Louisville.
The prize included $250 for the NOVA-GMU Student ASPRS chapters. The team is now busy revising their paper. After final peer review, the paper will be published in an upcoming issue of ASPRS’ scientific journal Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing.
NOVA-GMU team members are all current or former NOVA GIS students, and include: Matt O'Donnell, Charles Moser, Jessica Fayne, Melanie Feliciano, Helen Plattner, and Sunil Bharuchi.