RGIS - Great Plains Site Objectives
University of North Dakota
Regional Weather Information Center
Surface Transportation Weather Research Center
Objective 1: Geospatial Characterization of Roadway Blowing Snow
North Dakota has been a national leader in the development of traveler information systems and its location within the upper Midwest offers an excellent opportunity for RGIS-GP to assist rural America with traveler safety. Blowing snow models are currently being developed that would benefit greatly from real-time validation.
The goal of this objective is to use a video-GPS unit to
collect and compare real-time blowing snow data with the model projections for evaluating the efficiency of the
blowing snow model. These validation procedures will also consider the effect of vegetation along and
adjacent to the roadway environment and the mitigation or promotion of blowing snow.
Example blowing snow video and geospatially coorisponding vegetation video. Please turn volume off.
Objective 2: Fire Weather Data
RGIS-GP will use weather data assimilation tools in combination with first responder resources, communications,
and transportation networks to evaluate the use of GIS ina rural setting for the purpose of mitigating the threat
of range fires on rural residents. Work will research improved methods of incorporation weather as a decision
support tool. The decision support will be facilitated through the use of geospatial tools. The focus of this
objective is to indentify local "hot spots" based on weather variables and responder times and locations.
Objective 3: Local Responder Data
In conjunction with the fire weather study, RGIS-GP will be doing an inventory of the local fire response resources. These resources will include data such as location of reponse centers and time of response to the surrounding areas.
Objective 4: Develop Geospatial Education Programs
An underlying goal that is a steppingstone of RGIS-GP is support of the technical growth of geospatial technologies within the community. this effort will be accomplished through geospatial education of K-12 and college level students. The geospatial education program at the college level will be the continued integration of GIS in the curricula of surface transportation weather.
In the past geospatial technologies have had a limited but
successful use within the surface transportation weather courses at the
University of North Dakota. This objective will expand on that
success and allow students to gain a better understanding of the
capabilities of geospatial technologies when applied to this
discipline. The high school focus will be a week-long summer
geospatial methods awareness course. Introducing high school
level students to geospatial methods and technologies will improve GIS
awareness and help develop a skill for the use in all scientific
disciplines. The K-12 and public interaction will be conducted in
conjunction with a local non-profit science learning and discovery
program known as the Dakota Science Center.