IGISc Research Projects

Active Projects

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Benefit Monitoring at the Clover Valley Ranch Meadow Restoration Project

Map of fast food environment around California schools

The IGISc is working with the Sierra Fund and collaborators in SFSU's Geography & Environment (Drs. Baguskas, Blesius, Davis, Nanus, Oliphant) and Biology (Dr. Simonin) departments on geospatial data storage and documentation supporting greenhouse gas (GHG) benefit monitoring for the Clover Valley Ranch Meadow Restoration Project. This research is multifaceted, with related studies of geomorphic, hydrologic, biologic, micrometeorologic, and biogeochemical changes resulting in the meadows being restored by innovative method incorporating the assistance of beavers. The IGISc is assisting field data collection and leading drone and satellite multispectral imaging, and is organizing the storage of diverse geospatial vector data in shapefiles, geodatabases, and imagery, as well as online feature and image services.  Geospatial data will be documented with metadata in accordance with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Minimum Data Standards and augmented to include FGDC metadata standards. All the data will be uploaded into the UC Davis Clearinghouse, and the data will be used as part of a regional meadows restoration prioritization framework (SM-WRAMP). 

Funding to support this research comes from the CDFW's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program (funded by Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds from the Greenhouse Reduction Fund), a part of the California Climate Investment program. The IGISc would also like to acknowledge other project partners, landowners and funder that have supported or contributed to the ongoing work in Red Clover Valley including the Wildlife Conservation Board, Red Clover LLC, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. FIsh and Wildlife Service, Point Blue Conservation Science, Plumas Corporation, University of Nevada Reno, CSU Chico, Maidu Summit Consortium, and Swift Water Design.

Project Lead: Jerry Davis

Project Staff: Anna Studwell, Quentin Clark

City to Cell (C2C) Project

Map of fast food environment around California schools

The IGISc is working in collaboration with Dr. Lara Cushing as a part of her JPB Environmental Health Fellows Program on a project to assign estimates of exposure to greenspace to pregnant women study participants part of a larger research question examining disparities in infant health that disproportionately affect racial/ethnic minorities. Estimates of exposure have been developed from existing secondary spatial datasets including the NLCD land cover classifications as well as MODIS and Sentinel-2 imagery (to derive NDVI) and based on the address of study participants and the dates during which they were pregnant. Summary exposure metrics have been created using several different buffer distances from each participant’s home. Additional geospatial exposure metrics include average nitrogen dioxide concentrations (NO2, a marker of traffic-related air pollution) as well as a static noise metric. The project involves a subset of study participants delivering in San Francisco. 

Image above: Schematic of  workflow to develop 'green space'  metric. *Address points are fictitious. Credit: Ana Pelegrini

Project Lead: Anna Studwell
Graduate Student Researcher(s): Ana Pelegrini Guimares

Measuring the Fast Food Environment of California Schools

Map of fast food environment around California schoolsThe IGISc is working with Dr. Emma Sanchez (SFSU) on a project to map the fast food environment of public schools in California. Using network analysis, service areas were created for each school and fast food locations were tallied. This work will support research examining the link between the rate of change in the fast food environment of a school and socioeconomic characteristics of the surrounding neighborhoods as part of a larger study on population-level childhood obesity disparities over time.

Current Project Lead: Anna Studwell
Current Project Staff: Ana Pelegrini Guimares

Previous Project Leads: Aiko Weverka and Seth Hiatt
Previous Project Staff: Karina Fastovsky, Franklin Dingemans, and Biniam Mengisteab

2D & 3D Mapping with Drones

False-color image of Knuthson MeadowThe IGISc is developing methods for mapping meadows, wetlands, streams and gullies using drone-mounted multispectral cameras.  Wetland mapping is in cooperation with the SF Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the San Francisco Estuary Institute.


Project Personnel: Jerry Davis, Leonhard Blesius, Michael Vasey, Quentin Clark, Kevin Physioc, Anna Studwell

Sears Point sample image

Sample image from Sears Point, August 2017. False color with band 3 (red) as red, band 4 (NIR) as green, and band 5 (red-edge) as blue.



Previous Projects

Vegetation Mapping on the Farallon Islands

Research Associate Quentin Clark using GPS to map non-native vegetation on SE Farallon IslandThe IGISc is working with Dr. Barbara Holzman (SFSU Professor Emeritus) on developing methods for monitoring and mapping non-native vegetation on the Farallon Islands.

Project Lead: Quentin Clark



Measures of Residential Segregation

Measures of Residential SegregationThe IGISc is working with Dr. David Rebanal (Assistant Professor of Community Health Education) to create an index to measure the ethnic/racial absolute clustering dimension of residential segregation. Dr. Rebanal is studying the effect of racial residential segregation and immigrant political participation on the mental health status of Asian Americans in California.

Project Lead: Anna Studwell
Project Staff: Sally Shatford

Two-dimensional discrete Fourier transform analysis of karst and coral reef morphologies

Top 4 waveforms contributing to cockpit karst morphology, Utuado, Puerto RicoThis research focuses on applications of 2D discrete Fourier transforms for karst and spur & groove coral reefs, using ArcGIS geoprocessing tools extended with numerical methods in the NumPy Python module. Ten-meter digital elevation data from Puerto Rico and Kentucky holokarst landscapes and five-meter bathymetry from more unidirectional spur and groove coral reefs at Midway Atoll were analyzed. The method identifies the dominant contributing waves in frequency space, and analyzed power contributions by 5° and 15° azimuth bins. Simulated karst and spur & groove landscapes were used to evaluate the grain of waveform orientation solutions.

Project Leads: Jerry Davis and Joseph Chojnacki


Migratory Bird Mapping

Ruddy Duck Annual Spatial Temporal Model ResultsIn support of The Nature Conservancy's Migratory Bird Program, the IGISc recently developed R and Python scripts to automate the conversion of the Cornell Bird Lab's Spatio-Temporal Exploratory Model eBird observation data into maps focusing on California's central valley. These maps were then converted into gifs to display observation probability of different species over a calendar year. The example shown here shows the relative probability of observing a ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). The darker the hue, the lower the probability of observation.

Project Lead: Aiko Weverka
Project Staff: Seth Hiatt and Biniam Mengisteab


LIIF Geomap

Low Income Investement Fund Geomap The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) of San Francisco is leveraging webmap technology to create more efficient management practices of child care facilities and encourage an open and collaborative process. The Child Care Internet Mapping Project was developed in response to this move towards the development of effective management strategies for the hundreds of child care facilities throughout the City and County of San Francisco. An ArcGIS Server-powered website provides LIIF and its partners with the ability to spatially query, identify, and generate reports on child care facilities in relation to specific cultural, demographic, and physical features of the City and County of San Francisco. Department/Affiliate: Geography, Low Income Investment Fund (CCSF)

Project Lead: Seth Hiatt
Project Staff: Barry Nickel and Jesse Cohen


Campus Web Map

SFSU Campusmap In order to improve campus planning, accessability, safety, and maintenance operations, the IGISc has partnered with campus Facilities and Accesibility Offices to develop an interactive map for use by campus students, employees, and visitors. The interface will allow users to query, for instance, building and room locations, event venues, tree species, entrances, or select the most efficient routes between locations. A demo version is currently available. For more information contact Seth Hiatt.

Project Lead: Seth Hiatt
Project Staff: Anne McTavish

COSMIC Database

COSMIC COSMIC is a constellation of satellites used to measure climate variables such as temperature and water vapor at different altitudes. In order to make the data easier to access and analyze, the IGISc is using Python and PostGIS to store and deliver the data to users via an internet mapping application. Users will be able to select data sets based on location, time, and altitude, and download the data in a format that is easily read in a GIS or statistical package such as R.

Impact of Light Diffusion on Ecosystem Productivity

Amazon Changes in climate impact the frequency and quality of cloud coverage, and in turn the amount and quality of sunlight reaching the surface of the earth. Equations derived from observerd data collected at carbon flux towers are being applied to gridded global datasets derived from MODIS satellite imagery in order to investigate how the global carbon budget might be effected by changes in cloud coverage associated with anthropogenic climate change.
Project Lead: Andrew Oliphant
Project Staff: William Goedecke