I am very glad to have attended the Department of Geography graduate program at Michigan State University. The 2008 GeoCamp for incoming graduate students was a great way to discover Michigan and get to know people in the program. The Geography Graduate Group, or the “Triple G”, was very cohesive with elected officials and meetings for addressing any graduate student concerns. Also, the Triple G began a student-run colloquium which offered a venue for presenting our research for peer feedback as well as inviting faculty and researchers from other institutions. This was good preparation for giving conference papers in venues such as the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, Letters and the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting. A set of faculty Professional Development workshops rounded out our preparation for professional, research, or academic careers.
There were several degree tracks available and I selected the Master’s of Science degree which included a thesis. I’m very appreciative for the thoughtful guidance of my advisor, Dr. Ashton Shortridge, and my thesis committee members, Dr. Bruce Pigozzi and Dr. David Lusch. They all provided solid support for my progress as a Master’s student.
My thesis drew parallels between cartographic generalization and geographical ontology. Spatial and thematic variables allow for grouping data into regions representing higher-order features. Developing a spatial relationship variable, converting spectral values to alternative color spaces, and utilizing computer vision techniques in a geographical study were all helpful in finding groups of 3D points representing objects in terrestrial LiDAR scans. I am aiming to develop articles from my thesis as well as a LiDAR mapping project of an ancient Inca site in Ecuador.
After completing my Master’s at MSU, I received a Graduate Opportunity Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Now in the midst of my PhD program, I am studying geographical uncertainty and error My interests are more specifically positional and thematic uncertainty along with geostatistics and visualization.