College of Science

Environmental Science MS

AMWS Graduate Students Receive Best Research Poster Award at GIS Day

December 5, 2018

Jessie Doyle and Arev Markarian, current Applied Marine and Watershed Science graduate students, recently received an award for ‘Best Research Poster’ at Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day. GIS Day is an annual event that invites GIS users from the local community to share their work, collaborate, and network. Sponsored by the Central Coast Joint Data Committee, this event was held on campus on November 14th.

Arev and Jessie’s research poster, titled ‘Utilizing the StreamCat Process in Remote Areas for Species Distribution Models’, was a part of the work they've been conducting in Dr. John Olson’s Watershed Environments and Ecology Lab. Student researchers in this lab have been contributing to Phase 2 of the System for Mapping and Predicting Species of Concern (SMAP-SOC) project since June 2017.

Ms. Markarian explained

The goal of this project is to predict the spatial distribution of 19 commercially important, endangered, and invasive fish species within the Northern Slope of Alaska, including chinook salmon, burbot, and whitefish. Our team utilized environmental DNA in conjunction with satellite-derived environmental data to predict the distribution of these fish along streams in Northern Alaska.

It is their hope that their research findings will help inform the location of future drilling projects within the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska (NPR-A), an area overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. In an area that is difficult to access, Arev and Jessie’s work provides insight into the value of utilizing GIS to characterize the environment.

Keep up the excellent work, Jessie and Arev!