Fall 2016 Semester Summary ?>

Fall 2016 Semester Summary

By Jason Winik and Amanda Speciale


The Fall 2016 semester was a busy time for the Environmental Decision Support Science Lab! We had six undergraduate research assistants, four returning undergraduate students and two new undergraduate students, working on a number of exciting projects. After a productive semester, we have highlighted our work below to reflect on our accomplishments. 


Annotated Bibliography for Technical Input Report to the 4th National Climate Assessment

Under Faculty Research Assistant Felix Wolfinger’s instruction, mathematics major Dean Sproul and environmental science and policy majors Amanda Speciale, Jason Winik, Julia Bell, and Natalia Jaffee created an extensive literature review of several scientific papers that related to graphic and data visualization techniques and previous studies of how graphs and data visuals can be changed for better user understandability. The annotated bibliography was included as an appendix in a Technical Input Report for the 4th National Climate Assessment. Related project: National Climate Indicator System & Understandability


Climate/Environmental Scientist Expertise Sheet

The climate scientists data sheet will be used to help collaborate with other climate experts throughout the University of Maryland. Students compiled information about climate experts at the University of Maryland, including their contact information, research, and area(s) of expertise. This data sheet will make communication on climate related studies easier and more efficient among the University of Maryland community. Jason Winik, Amanda Speciale, Dean Sproul, Julia Bell, and Natalia Jaffee contributed to this effort. 


INFORMS 2016 Presentation

Students assisted Dr. Melissa Kenney construct a Powerpoint presentation for presented the INFORMS 2016 conference. The presentation outlined the changes that may impact climate and environmental policies with the new Presidential administration. Amanda Speciale, Dean Sproul, and Jason Winik contributed to the presentation.


Sustainable Adaptive Gradients in the Coastal Environment (SAGE) Living Shore Case Study and Coding Schema

Julia Bell, Jason Winik, and Natalia Jaffee, and geography major Meg Cavanagh performed preliminary research on wetlands and living shorelines in the Norfolk, Virginia area for research related to the SAGE project. They researched several types of shorelines developed by the military, local governments, and other nongovernmental organizations. Their research informed Dr. Kenney and Dr. Michelle Covi‘s (Virginia Sea Grant) decision to develop a case study for the Virginia Beach boardwalk/seawall and beach renourishment. The students also created a coding schema in the qualitative analysis software NVivo. This coding schema will be used by researchers at other universities for case studies in the SAGE database. Related Project: Living Shorelines 


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