Weeks 4-6

Back to Class Notes

Back to Syllabus

Sep 9–The Importance of Scale in Coupled Natural-Human Systems Research

Notes from David Saah’s GIS guest lecture (Sep 11)


Notes from Carol Spector’s “Accessing Environmental Data” lecture

Session Date: Tuesday, September 16, 12:45-2:30 pm

Sample topic:  How social variables relate to physical variables; water use in Central Valley agriculture, wildlife management, urban waste management, urban agriculture/food production

Guides: “More Data and Statistics” webpage

  1. Intro to data/statistics 
  1. Very difficult to collect your own data and have it be statistically significant
  2. Consider looking at what data relating to your topic has already been collected
  3. Look broadly – you may not find the exact variable you want, but related variables may be useful
  4. Look for reliable sources of data – government agencies, widely recognized non-profit organizations
  5. Look at 2ndary sources – news and journal articles – for references to data. May lead you to a dataset or their own collection of data. Let the journalist or scholar do some legwork for you.
  6. Think about context: compare your location of interest to other locations; within a location, compare variables
  1. Environmental Data 
    1. EPA My Environment: search by county or state
      1. San Francisco  select icons from banner
      2. Mapping feature is a bit clunky, but website provides easy access to data.
      3. Try “My Maps” for best mapping: 94117  select “Air Emissions”  click on a site and see demographic data within one mile radius!
    2. Right to Know – easy access to Toxic Release Inventory and other info on waste and spills
      1. search all databases (beta): try San Francisco or California
      2. search TRI: good for comparison maps (state data); can also search by city or state
    3. Surf Your Watershed: use zip code  click on “Impaired Water for this watershed” for better map
    4. See online guide for additional recommended sources
  1. Socio-Economic Data – county level data (income, education, race)
  1. Local Labs – county and city level data
  2. American FactFinder
      1. Street address – 2130 fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117
      2. Select census tract –  157
      3. Select GeographiesMap and change boundaries/features to view tract boundaries
      4. Can visually select adjacent areas (and “add to selections”) using select tool and changing geography to tracts or blocks, or select all census tracts in SF, for comparison purposes
      5. Under topics  people  data profile or choose “selected social characteristics”
  1. See online guide for additional recommended sources
  1. Mapping – for visualizing and integrating data
  1. Census Explorer
  2. Policy Map (free version) – easy mapping!
  3. TOXMAP Beta  overlay health and census data
  1. Multi-disciplinary Sources
    1. Google: forest data  clunky results, doesn’t always find data
    2. Google Public data: forest  good for global data, country comparisons
    3. Statistical Abstract of the United States  forest
    4. Statista: forest  tends to be global and business oriented  limit by geography
  1. Searching for Articles (aka “The Hidden Web”!) Library Homepage
    1. Fusion: deforestation and statistics
    2. Access World News


Sep 23–Quiz 4

  1. Name one of the two reasons that an evaluation component might be required in a grant proposal.
  2. Describe what is meant by “dissemination” in writing grant proposals.
  3. What would be a fatal mistake one might make in a grant proposal’s budget?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s