Project Description

Vegetative strategies (such as green roofs, urban forests, and urban agriculture) have been shown to be a very effective way to lower local temperatures in cities during periods of extreme heat. This research project has two aims. The first aim is to map green infrastructure throughout the city of Bloomington. The student will create a comprehensive map of Bloomington’s green infrastructure which will include urban agriculture, bioswales, retention and detention ponds, and general greenspace. The students will also create a map of edible vegetation and edible trees which will be integrated into online system to be used by Bloomington residents. You will be taught how to conduct field observations, use geotagged photos, and create a database with descriptive information to house the data you capture/generate. The second aim is to monitor vegetation in Bloomington using an environmental sensing network on the IU campus in order to better understand how vegetation functions during extreme heat conditions. Temperature, relative humidity, and soil moisture sensors will be deployed in a variety of urban form environments (i.e. along streets, in parking lots, and in parks) in order to measure how these environmental variables change during heat waves. Students will work with researchers affiliated with the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge’s Urban Green Infrastructure team to further both aims.

Technology or Computational Component

The accepted student will work with geospatial software to map the local food network around Bloomington and Indianapolis. The student will map the local agricultural farms around Bloomington and urban agriculture around Indianapolis. The student will learn ArcGIS software in order to spatially map the location of farms as well as to create the backend database taken from farm surveys. Additionally, the student working on this project will help to monitor and grow the sensor network as well as work with the backend database for analysis and visualization purposes.