Proposal

Annual Report Unavailable

Introduction

Proposal ID 2006-104-1
Submitted December 2, 2005
Owner Please contact techfee@uw.edu to access this proposal
Department Biology
Category Unknown
Funding Status Fully Funded
Metric Score None

Contacts

Primary
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Haldre Rogers
  • Graduate Student
  • haldre@u.washington.edu
  • 508-826-5372
  • Box 351800
Budget
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Sue Bartroff
  • State Budgets Manager
  • bartroff@u.washington.edu
  • 206-543-1639
  • Box 351800
Dean
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • David Hodge
  • Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • hodge@u.washington.edu
  • 206-543-5340
  • Box 353765

Descriptions

Abstract

Students in the Department of Biology, College of Forest Resources and School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, along with several associated programs such as UW Worldwide, International IGERT and Urban Ecology IGERT are requesting 10 high-accuracy Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS). These are essential tools for students conducting field research, yet few units are currently available to students in these programs.

Category Justification

This section is empty.

Background

The research being conducted by undergraduate and graduate students in the natural sciences at the University of Washington is global in scope. We are requesting STF funds to support high-accuracy GPS units to aid in student research throughout the world. High-quality, handheld GPS units are a new product – this type of accuracy was previously only available with large back-pack GPS units (see the School of Forest Resources STF proposal 2002-490-1). Unlike the backpack GPS units, which are much larger and require their own separate data-recorders, the GeoXT units we are requesting are compact, hand-held, and Windows-based. These units allow integrated data storage and collection, and seamless integration with windows based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programs, such as ArcGIS. The University of Washington maintains a site license for ArcGIS, making this state-of-the-art program available free for all students. These units will greatly enhance student use of this valuable computer program.

Most importantly, these GPS systems will allow students to collect location information at sub-meter accuracy anywhere in the world. This level of precision is critical for a wide range of research topics, whether it is tracking the survival of endangered plants or mapping the location of oyster beds, but few students need this accuracy for more than a few weeks out of a given year. Rather than list all of the possible uses of this technology for our students, I refer the reviewers to the student and faculty responses below. As they attest, such equipment can be used in a wide range of research settings and could expand the capabilities of our students in a large number of ways.

The cost of these units (~$4500 each) is prohibitive for most individual student projects and most students need the use of these units for 3 to 6 weeks out of the year. This makes them a particularly efficient shared resource for students. In addition, this technology is targeted toward research. Unlike purchasing laptops for student use, which may be used for scholastic or non-scholastic activities, high accuracy GPS units are research tools that add explicit value to student research, with no ambiguity over the use.

Benefits to Students and the University

We are requesting 10 Trimble GeoXT handheld GPS units, cables, required software, and carrying cases. GPS technology has recently advanced a tremendous amount, expanding what is possible for remote data collection, and the Trimble GeoXT exemplifies these advances. These units combine sub-meter accuracy with integrated WAAS/EGNOS, dramatically increasing accuracy. They feature EVEREST™, a multipath rejection technology that will allow students to work under canopy, in urban canyons, or anywhere where accuracy is crucial and clear-skies are difficult to find.

These units would benefit graduate and undergraduate students in three departments– Biology, Fisheries, and School of Forest Resources- and two Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) programs – the International IGERT, run through UW Worldwide, and the Urban Ecology IGERT. Many students in each of these groups do research in the field that would benefit from high-accuracy GPS units, as shown by the comments from students and faculty below.

Departmental Endorsements

This is a joint proposal between the Department of Biology, College of Forest Resources and School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences as well as the IGERT and UW Worldwide groups.
***************************
This proposal for high-accuracy handheld GPS units is exceptional. Technology in this field is advancing at a very fast pace, and our students are working all over the world, gathering data on the ecology, evolution, and conservation of species from microbes to whales. ALL of these students need accurate positional data on the locations of their study-subjects. Space, and the accurate depiction of spatial data, is one of the most tangible frontiers in ecology, conservation, and evolution, and this grant would allow our students to record spatial interactions with unprecedented accuracy.

I already use low-end GPS units to train undergraduates in my conservation biology class, and I have seen huge rewards from introducing this technology. I have anywhere from 3 to 6 undergraduates working in my lab at any one time, and I currently have 5 graduate students, all of whom would benefit from the use of this equipment. My students are doing research in Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Jordan, Canada, Alaska, Arizona, California, and Washington. In all of these locations, use of these units would be important – from tracking the survival of fruiting plants in Bolivia to monitoring the movements and locations of Dung beetles in Ecuador and Arizona, or tracing the location and shape of habitat patches in Jordan. Our graduate students in Biology currently do not have access to this technology. This application would ad value to a large number of thesis projects in our department. In addition, as a faculty advisor for the UW Worldwide International IGERT program, I know that the 15+ graduate students in this program would use these GPS units in a wide range of countries spread throughout the world.

I fully support this application.

Josh Tewksbury – Assistant Professor, Biology

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 16:45:38 -0800 From: Dave Hurley <dhurl@u.washington.edu>
To: Haldre Rogers haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: GPS checkout

As Director of the Biology Study Area I'd be happy to assume responsibility for
storing, scheduling, checking out and tracking the use of the GPS units funded
by this proposal.

Dave Hurley
Manager of Departmental Computing
Biology Department

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 10:09:55 -0800 From: Billie J. Swalla bjswalla@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Biodept] Could you use a high-accuracy GPS unit?

Hi Haldre,

Thanks for taking on this initiative!! I hope that my graduate student will
also send you messages supporting the proposal. I would like to support the proposal to purchase 10 Trimble GeoXTDS GPS units. Our lab does collecting of marine invertebrates and we note our collection sites in our notebooks, but it would obviously be very useful to be able to get exact locations of the populations we study. While this is an excellent and useful tool for students, our research is focused on identification and development of marine invertebrates, so I have no plans to purchase a GPS with grant funds. However, both undergraduate students and graduate students would benefit from using such a tool.

Thanks!
Dr. Billie J. Swalla

***************************
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 14:29:02 -0800 From: Richard Olmstead olmstead@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: GPS units through Student Technology Fee

Haldre-
We have an ongoing project in China that involves spatial assessment of cultural
and natural history components of an isolated, minority community. The goal of
the project is to study how the human community impacts the natural community
and conversely, how the natural community constrains the human community. A
long term goal is to try to come to some rough understanding of the
sustainability of such a community. We presently have one pretty high-end GPS
unit that we are using in that project. Access to one or more additional units
would be valuable, but this would entail having the unit be in China for
extended periods (students go to China for 9 months in this exchange program).

Please feel free to include mention of this in your proposal.

Another opportunity for use would be through the Herbarium Foray program, which
many students (under and grad) have participated. We need GIS information for
all collections. We have a couple units in the herbarium and some others
usually have personal units, but you could still mention this possible use.

Dick

***************************
Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 08:26:53 -0800 (PST) From: M. Groom groom@u.washington.edu To: Haldre haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: GPS units

Dear Haldre,

Thank you for applying for high accuracy GPS units from the STF fund. Students
of ecology and conservation biology need to learn how to use GPS technology, and
in any research application, accurate units are an absolute necessity. All of
my graduate students, and students in all the courses that I teach would highly
benefit from this addition to the departmental resources.

I think this is one of the best ideas for use of these funds I've heard in the
past 8 years at UW.

Regards,

Martha Groom
Associate Professor
Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

***************************
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 15:09:43 -0800 From: P. Dee Boersma boersma@u.washington.edu To: Haldre haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: 10 Trimble Geo XT

There is no doubt that 10 of these units would be important for undergraduate
teaching. They would be used in fall quarter by students in Conservation Biology
476 when students are looking at invasive weeds in parks and examining how the
cover changes over time. They would be used in Biology 480 in the spring by
students mapping ant mounds and I'm sure they would find uses in a variety of
other classes. Moreover, this would be a wonderful help for many graduate
students and undergraduates engaged in research that need to be able to find and
return to a specific spot and find it under dense canopy. Another example of a
research project that could have used one of these units is Amy Van Buren who is
mapping seabirds in the Falkland Islands. This is a resource that will be well
used and should be something the department has available.

P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D
Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science
Acting Chair
Department of Biology,

***************************
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 17:29:09 -0800 (PST) From: Clarissa Dirks cdirks@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: GPS units

Haldre,
With respect to the GPS units, our undergraduate educational programs would most
certainly benefit from them. We often do field research that requires us to
utilize GPS units, but have no funds in place for such equipment. Therefore, we
had to borrow GPS units from others outside of the university! It would be great
if our department owned a few of these units for shared use.

Thanks for looking into this.

Clarissa

Clarissa Dirks, Ph.D.
Lecturer
Department of Biology

***************************
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 20:17:19 -0800 From: Tom Hinckley hinckley@u.washington.edu To: Haldre haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: Re: GPS units through Student Technology Fee

Haldre,

The unit you are suggesting is a newer model of the unit we have had in
China since June 2002. It has been a robust, excellent unit, and has been
used extensively to map the study village, homes, fields, streams, plots,
trails, roads, etc.

Because it is relatively small, very powerful, programmable and carries a
versatile notebook (where you can add data and information easily to
way-points), it is an excellent choice for field work. Seeing through
canopies and performance in narrow valleys is indeed better than the 100 to
350 dollar models, but ...

Tom

***************************

Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 20:58:34 -0800 (PST) From: Stevan Harrell stevehar@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: GPS units through Student Technology Fee

I have experienced some trouble in narrow valleys in China with that unit. But
only in narrow valleys; otherwise it has been very reliable. It has been
wonderful to be able to just plug it in to a computer and upload everything into
arc software.

Steve

***************************

I wish to endorse this application for accurate Trimble handheld GPS units for student use. I teach a course in spatial analysis in ecology and frequently analysis of data by collected students has limited accuracy. Examples that I have seen include location heron of rookeries, positional data collected during animal tracking (flying squirrels), and location of piles of coarse woody debris. In these examples students, both undergraduate and graduate, were looking to correlate occurrence of biological and environmental characteristics but were limited by data accuracy.
E. David Ford, College of Forest Resources.

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 15:44:17 -0800 From: Roger del Moral moral@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: GPS

Dear Haldre,
These units would be very useful to my students, particularly for their
work on Mount St. Helens. Spatial factors are important to my research,
and both Rachel Sewell Nesteruk and Michael Fleming are likely to follow
in this tradition.

In addition, my course in plant ecology being taught for the first time
in five years will have need for such instruments, particularly in
locating sample plots accurately during class exercises.

Cheers,
Roger
***************************************************
Professor Roger del Moral
Department of Biology-Box 355325

Installation Timeline

Since storage details have already been worked out, this equipment can be used as soon as it is acquired.

Resources Provided by Department

ArcGIS is the primary Geographic Information System (GIS) program used to view and manipulate the data collected with the GPS units. The University has a site license for this program, which makes it free and accessible to all students.

Access Restrictions (if any)

This equipment will be available to all students in the Biology Department, College of Forest Resources, and School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences in addition to members of the UW Worldwide and IGERT programs. However, the responsibility for housing and checking out the units will be assumed by the Biology Department.

Storage: The computing lab in the Biology Study Area currently checks out projectors and laptops to students for educational and research uses. All GPS units will be kept in this same locked storage area alongside the other departmental resources. The Biology Study Area is open from 9-5 on weekdays, and the BSA maintains a scheduling database for equipment, allowing students to schedule use in advance.

Check-out and tracking: Dave Hurley, the manager of Departmental Computing for Biology, will be responsible for storing, scheduling, checking out and tracking the use of these units. Dave will teach each student how to care for the GPS units to prolong the life of the equipment. Students will be liable for upkeep, repairs and/or replacement of all units checked out to them. A maximum checkout time limit will be set to ensure all students have equal access to the equipment. If demand outpaces supply, a committee will be developed to handle requests in an equitable manner.

Student Endorsements

Hi Haldre,

Thanks for organizing this. I could definitely use high-accuracy GPS units for
my research. I study breeding birds in Seattle, and would like to be able to
develop accurate maps of their nest sites and territories. These birds nest in
dense shrubs, often right in the midst of large buildings, so getting an
accurate reading with an inexpensive handheld unit is often near impossible. I
have supported all of my research with my own funds and small grants, because my
work is quite different from my advisor's, so I can't afford to purchase a
high-accuracy GPS unit myself. I'm sure many other students in our department
are in similar situations, so this would be a great use of the Student Tech Fee
funds!

thanks again,

Fran Bonier
5th year grad student
Wingfield Lab Biology Department

***************************
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 15:52:45 -0800 (PST) From: drewdogy@u.washington.edu
To: Haldre haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: Re: [Biodept] Could you use a high-accuracy GPS unit?

Haldre,

As a PhD student in biology, I am asking questions about how the size and
location of forests impact small mammal populations. As a result, I require
accurate information about the location of my study sites within each forest and
in relation to one another. Unfortunately, my study has been crippled and
dramatically hindered because neither my department (Biology) nor I possess a
sophisticated and highly precise GPS unit (equipment used to mark positions) due
to the absorbent cost. In short, a Trimble GeoXT GPS unit would function as a
capstone within my work and would elevate my findings to a standard commensurate
with all the premier institutions in the United States.

Andrew

***************************
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 16:45:16 -0800 From: Aaron Clark ascaphus@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Biodept] Could you use a high-accuracy GPS unit?

Hi Haldre.
Great idea!

I would certainly be able to use GPS units, and the high level of accuracy as
well as robustness in canopy or canyony habitats would be a real boost. For my
field work with bird populations and distributions I would love to use such a
tool. Often I will be using geographic location as a variable, but because birds
sampled are often in adjacent territories (only a few meters apart) coarse
grained GPS data is less useful to distinguish habitat use or to define a
territory. Because my research requires funds for travel, sample processing and
analysis (hormones and DNA) which can be very expensive I do not usually have
room in my budget to add a whole new piece of equipment such as this, especially
since it would only be used by me for a few weeks to a couple of months each
year.

Thanks again for proposing this use of STF funds.

Aaron D. Clark
University of Washington
Department of Biology
Box 351800, Kincaid 534

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 00:26:52 -0800 (PST) From: Megan Elizabeth Hoane mhoane@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: High-accuracy GPS unit

A GPS unit would be very helpful for a pollination study I am currently
conducting for my Biology 356 course. Were a GPS unit available, I could expand
my experiment by mapping flower locations in order to assess whether
experimental results vary between several sites. I would not be able to afford
this technology on a student budget.

Sincerely,
Megan Hoane

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 10:16:46 -0800 (PST) From: ptownsen@u.washington.edu
To: Haldre haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: Re: [Biodept] Could you use a high-accuracy GPS unit?

Hi Haldre,
Thank you for taking the initiative on this. I work with Martha Groom and study
tropical could forest succession and regeneration in Costa Rica. A large part
of my project is to examine changes in forest cover over time with aerial
photographs. To do this I need to do A LOT of ground truthing with a GPS unit.
I have been borrowing a GPS at a local institute where I am a research
associate. This is not ideal because it is not always available and because
they are going to start charging me a fee to borrow equipment.

After I finish my imagine analysis, I hope to be in the field for several months
in winter 2007 doing of ground truthing. The priority for my funding is for
travel, field assistants, and for purchasing aerial photographs. Unlimited
access to a high tech GPS would surely make my work go more smoothly.

All the best,
Patricia

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 10:36:59 -0800 (PST) From: Cristina L Walcher clw6@u.washington.edu To: Haldre haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: Re: [Bio_newgrads] GPS units

Haldre,

I support the STF proposal for the purchase of this GPS unit. Access to this
technology will enable students to futher their research in the field and use of
the unit will assist in teaching and training.

Cristy

***************************

Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 10:39:07 -0800 (PST) From: hallka@u.washington.edu
To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: STF application

Hello Haldre-
I am a first year grad student in the IPhD program. I am split between Biology
and the College of Education. I do not think we have met before. Thank you for
writing the proposal, it must be a huge task. I will simply state, as my plans
for study are not completely engraved in stone (are they really ever????), I
would be able to use the GPS devices in my studies. I have chosen to study a
relatively difficult to catch animal (Phenacomys intermedius). I will need to
make many trips over multiple years (probably) to catch enough of this species
of rodent to evaluate its alpine populations. Accuracy will be key. Once I find
a spot where I am successful at trapping it, I will need to return. It is found
at high elevations in patches of Heather. A hand-held GPS device will be crucial
to my success for this daunting task. Is this enough information? Let me know if
you need anything else. Look forward to meeting you.
Kathy Hall
(Jim Kenagy's Lab)

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 10:46:39 -0800 (PST) From: Nicholas J Brazee nbrazee@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: GIS units

Haldre,

I strongly support the use of STF funds to purchase GPS units for student use.
I'm currently using GIS to help understand how forest pathogens create canopy
gaps in Olympic National Park. Because my project is unfunded, there is no way I
would have been able to afford this type of high resolution equipment. Without
GIS as a component of my project, I would be missing out on, what is today, an
essential tool in forest ecology research.

Thank you,
Nicholas J. Brazee
M.S. Student (Forest Pathology)
College of Forest Resources

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 11:05:09 -0800 (PST) From: Liyun Zeng lyzeng@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu
Subject: Support the GPS proposal

Hi Haldre,

I am a graduate student in Dr. Billie J. Swalla's lab, and I think it is very
useful to buy GPS units for Biology Department. I am focus on the Evolution and
Developmental Biology, and I also need to do some reseach such as the invasive
of marine vertebrate in the ocean. GPS is a very useful tool for identify the
exact location of each populations of marine vertebrate in the ocean. So it is
very important for my research. I think we should buy these GPS units because it
really benefit us. I hope this information is useful for you. Thanks!

Best,
Liyun Zeng
Department of Biology

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 11:28:38 -0800 (PST) From: Daniel M Evans dmevans@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Bio_newgrads] GPS units

Hey Haldre. I've looked at the specs for the GPS units you're hoping to
purchase. I think they could be very useful for our research in the penguin
lab. Specifically, I'd like to use them to map penguin colony locations and
determine population densities in colony sample regions. This would permit us
to estimate total colony size in known areas where there are simply too many
penguins to count accurately (N>100,000). This information is important for
monitoring population dynamics over time.

Daniel M. Evans
Department of Biology

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 11:38:08 -0800 From: Jevin West <jevinw@u.washington.edu>
To: 'Haldre' haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: RE: [Bio_newgrads] GPS units

Haldre,

I, Jevin West, support the use of STF funds for the purchasing for GPS
equipment for graduate students. Any sort of field work conducted by a
graduate student invariably requires the use of a GPS system. The systems
being used presently are insufficient for much of the work being done, so
this purchase would be a great use of the money.

Jevin

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 11:38:43 -0800 (PST) From: Emily Elaine Doubt emdoubt@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu
Subject: GPS

I heard that you are trying to get GPS units for biology classes to use. I
think that is a great idea. I could have really used one for my honors biology
project this quarter in ecology. I am doing a bird richness project in urban
areas and a GPS unit would have really helped locate birds where birds where
with respect to other birds of that kind and the resources that these birds need
to survive.
Thanks,
Emily Doubt

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 12:10:10 -0800 (PST) From: Cathy Chen csc723@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: GPS units

I support the proposal to purchase ten GPS units. I believe these units would be
very useful for students participating in field research. This past summer I
went on a UW sponsored trip to Ecuador, where I studied how species richness and
abundance changed with elevation. We worked primarily in rainforest, where
canopy cover can be dense, and it is often misty and cloudy. Although we did
have GPS units, they were not accurate or precise enough. High-quality GPS units
are essential to obtaining accurate data, especially for an elevational study.
It's also important for student to have experience working with GPS units
because they are being used with increasing frequency in field work. Having such
equipment available to students would be a great benefit to their research
experience.

Cathy Chen
Undergraduate
General Biology Major

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 12:10:15 -0800 (PST) From: fishmael@u.washington.edu
To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: GPS units

Hello Haldre~

What a timely coincidence, I was just wondering where and how I would access a
high-accuracy GPS unit for my PhD research! I am working on evaluating the
ecological impacts of small scale, intense disturbance thorughout low elevation
riparian forests in the North Cascades and will have study sites scattered
throughout the North Unit of the North Cascades National Park Complex. I need a
GPS unit to map and locate multiple sampling and monitoring transects where I
will gather vegetation, soils and macroinvertebrate data. I also hope to be able
to overlay GPS coordiantes with satellite images and DEMs in order to confirm
canopy cover, slope and elevation at my sites. Since the National PArk service
'strongly discourages' conspicuous marking of experimental sites, I may need to
rely on a GPS unit over time to relocate those sites. I would most likely use a
GPS unit for three to five days at a time as frequently as very two weeks or so
in the summer.

Thanks for taking on this endeavor!

Rodney Pond
PhD Student ~ Restoration Ecology
Center for Urban Horticulture - University of Washington

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 12:40:05 -0800 (PST) From: Arden Thomas ardent@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu
Subject: [Cfrgrads] Fw: [Faccfr] FW: Need a high-accuracy GPS unit? (fwd)

Hi Haldre,

Thank you for submitting this proposal. I am an incoming master's student who
has participated in research and monitoring projects that have both included and
excluded gathering GPS data. I find geo-referencing study sites very valuable,
both to help ensure that these same sites can be sampled again and to facilitate
spatial analysis. I hope to integrate GPS and GIS into my thesis, but do not
have funds for GPS units at this time.

Arden

***************************

Yeah, that would be awesome! Here's my endorsement:

I, Claire Muerdter, strongly support the proposal to use the STF funds to buy
high-end handheld GPS units for use by the Biology, Forest Resources and
Fisheries Departments. Besides being useful for numerous local applications,
the units would also be very useful for international research projects.
Last summer I took part in the Hughes Leadership Program in Ecuador, which
involved using GPS units to determine the exact location and elevation of our
study sites. However, it was difficult to get the GPS units to work
properly, especially under canopy cover. High-end GPS units like the ones
suggested in this proposal would have been extremely useful. STF funds are
needed to make these kinds of applications possible. I fully support this
proposal.

-Claire Muerdter
Undergraduate, Senior
Department of Biology

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 13:05:44 -0800 From: Elizabeth Skewes skewes@u.washington.edu To: 'Haldre' <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: RE: [Biodept] Could you use a high-accuracy GPS unit?

I would find such units very useful for my research in Chile. I study
penguins and being able to locate nests from year to year using accurate GPS
positions would be very helpful, since I am not permitted to make any marks
at the reserve where I work. I do not have funding that would cover these
units, so being able to borrow them from the department for the weeks of my
trip would be wonderful!

***************************

To: Student Technology Fee personal

I am writing to inform you the usefulness of providing high-end GPS system. I would be very interested in checking them out if they were available. I had experience using GPS systems in my research over in Ecuador last summer and the use of the GPS provided us critical elevation data. An even more precise GPS would prove handy in many ways as our experimental data out in the field would be more reliable. We needed the information the GPS provided in finding a correlation between elevational gradients and species diversity so it was very critical to get an accurate reading. I would appreciate it much if high-end GPS systems were provided to students. Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely ,
Jason Daza
Undergraduate Student
Department of Biology

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 14:48:05 -0800 (PST) From: S. Yang <sy3@u.washington.edu>
To: Haldre haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: Re: [Biodept] Could you use a high-accuracy GPS unit?

Hey Haldre,

Being able to use high-accuracy GPS units would be extremely helpful to me. In
my potential dissertation research, I plan to map dispersal patterns of fungal
spores in the field to study how aerodynamics in different habitat types affects
dispersal. These different habitat types include heavily forested areas, in
which regular GPS units are often inadequate. Furthermore, I am interested in
local distribution of spores, at a scale more fine than cheaper GPS units can
handle. Presently, I do not have personal research funds to be able to purchase
a high-accuracy unit, so departmental funding for these devices would assist my
potential research greatly.

***************************
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 15:33:02 -0800 (PST) From: Ursula Valdez uvaldez@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu
Subject: Re: STF application by Haldre Rogers (fwd)

Hi Haldre:

I am one of Martha Groom's graduate students and currently conducting field work
in Peru. Thanks so much for your effort putting up this STF proposal together, I
really hope we get the equipment. My research is on the ecology and habitat use of Forest-falcons in the amazon rainforest of southeast Peru. I trap birds and fit them with radio-transmitters and conduct telemetry to monitor their movements. When using my GPS units to determine locations for my telemetry points and the birds that we can find, we always run with some problems caused by the canopy and cloud cover. Having the equipment that you are describing would be extremely useful to achieve my research goals and to obtain more accurate data and definitely less frustration when taking location data. In addition, the availabity of those units for students from the department will solve a big problem of those of us who work with reduced research budgets that make basically impossible to obtain such great pieces of field equipment.

Thanks again for working on this proposal and I wish you success in obtaining
the GPS units.
Best,
Ursula Valdez
Box 351800,Department of Biology University of Washington

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Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 18:19:46 -0800 (PST) From: elizaw@u.washington.edu
To: Haldre haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: Re: [Bio_newgrads] GPS units

I will be doing a research project on the migration patterns of migratory shrimp
in the Talamanca mountains of Costa Rica. These shrimp are an exploited
resource. They act ecosystem engineers and megaonmivores; they change the types
of particulate matter available to other macroinvertebrates and fish in many
tropical rivers. However, very little is known about their migratory patterns.
Without knowledge of their life history very little can be done to effectively
conserve the populations that remain. This research is preformed in very remote
mountainous regions. To date, no GPS device has been strong enough to help us
map the location of shrimp populations.

Having access to a Trimble XTDS GPS unit would allow us to map shrimp population
boundaries onto existing GIS maps for the area. Creating maps of populations
will better help us understand the population dynamics and migratory patterns of
these threatened tropical shrimp.

Beth

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Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 18:28:34 -0800 (PST) From: mmathias@u.washington.edu
To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: [Cfrgrads] Fw: [Faccfr] FW: Need a high-accuracy GPS unit? (fwd)

I am a MS student in the College of Forest Resources. For my thesis, I will need
to use a high-accuracy GPS unit to collect my data. My project will involve
landscape ecology and spatial analysis which depends on accurate GPS locations.
I do not have access to a GPS of any sort, and do not have funds to purchase
one. A pool of high-accuracy GPS units that students from CFR, Fisheries, and
Biology could check out would be incredibly helpful to me.

Sincerely,

Molly Mathias

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Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 08:50:27 -0800 From: Dave Oleyar doleyar@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: stf proposal for gps units

Hello Haldre,

Research in our lab focuses on songbird ecology in urbanized and
urbanizing areas. A key component of this work involves spatial data of
movements, nest locations, foraging locations, and key habitat features.
I use GPS equipment in the field daily and also train undergraduate field
techs and volunteers that work for us to use this equipment. This is a
valuable and essential skill for anyone considering a career that
involves ecological fieldwork. Any technology that reduces error of our
field observations would be an incredibly useful tool so the student
technology fund provinding support to obtain this technology would be a
great service to the work of all graduate students, who would likely not
be able to fund the purchase of this equipment individually.

Dave Oleyar
Doctoral Student
College of Forest Resources

***************************
Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 10:04:12 -0800 (PST) From: Andrew M Mountcastle mtcastle@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Biodept] Could you use a high-accuracy GPS unit?

Hi Haldre,

I have employed GPS units for tracking migratory lobsters in the Gulf of Maine
and integrating the data with GIS mapping software as part of a long-term
scientific research project. As a first year graduate student in the Department
of Biology, there is strong potential that I will continue investigating
migratory movements of marine crustaceans as part of my doctoral research.
Having access to highly portable and accurate GPS units would be a great asset
to such a project by facilitating field research efforts.

Andrew Mountcastle
Doctoral Student
Department of Biology

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Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 11:02:27 -0800 (PST) From: John Withey jwithey@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: Re: [Birdlab] Fw: STF proposal by Haldre Rogers

These units would be very helpful for my research on crow populations in urban
areas. I currently use Garmin XL units that are only accurate to 10-30 m and do
not take any readings in heavily forested areas. The improved accuracy would
make my GIS analysis much easier and save time with ground truthing. I
definitely cannot afford the units through existing funding sources.

Thank you,
John Withey
College of Forest Resources.

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Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 11:03:27 -0800 From: Melanie Frazier mfrazier@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: GPS

Haldre:

I would be able to use the GPS units to study microclimate along altitudinal
gradients. This would allow us to begin quantifying the body temperatures of
ectothermic organisms in the field. This information would help us understand
the conditions that ectotherms experience at high altitudes. These GPS units
would give us the opportunity to collect data that we would otherwise be unable
to collect.

Melanie

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Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 11:23:52 -0800 (PST) From: Thomas M Unfried tunfried@u.washington.edu To: haldre@u.washington.edu Subject: Re: [Birdlab] Fw: STF proposal by Haldre Rogers

Hi Haldre,

These new GPS units would be a great addition to my research of forest songbird
population structure and dispersal in urban areas. Currently, I use
non-differential GPS to determine locations of birds, their nests, capture
locations, and landscape features, and accuracy in urban forests is typically
~20-70 m, and frequently as poor as >100 m. Having sub-meter accuracy locations
of birds and features in urban forest fragments would be a tremendous
improvement, adding precision, reducing the need for subjective assessments of
GPS data, and allowing a broader range of analyses. Unfortunately, units with
these capabilities are prohibitively expensive for my low budget dissertation
research, so I would not be able to gain access to them except for from a
program such as the Student Technology Fee.

Good luck,

Thomas Unfried
Urban Ecology Program
College of Forest Resources

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Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 13:17:15 -0800 (PST) From: Katherine L Ayres kla5@u.washington.edu To: Haldre <haldre@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Biodept] Could you use a high-accuracy GPS unit?

I, Katherine Ayres, support using STF funds for the 10 Trimble GeoXTDS GPS
units. These units would be really helpful for getting accurate readings on
locations when I am doing my killer whale project out in the water. Location is
important in my study because we want to know how close the whales are to
particular salmon runs. These devices are crucial for my research.

Sincerely,
Katherine
(Biology graduate student)

Items

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
None

GeoXT GPS units

$4,295.00 10 $42,950.00
Description

Each GPS unit comes with:
Microsoft® Windows Mobile™5.0 software for Pocket PCs; 416 MHz Intel X-Scale processor; 512 MB non-volatile Flash data storage; Advanced color TFT display with backlight, 240 × 320 pixels; All-day internally rechargeable battery; Bluetooth; 802.11b Wireless LAN; Sealed SD card slot; Rugged design: water-resistant, shock-resistant, and dustproof.

Justification

These Global Positioning Systems (GPS) record geographic coordinates anywhere in the world with sub-meter accuracy.

Tax

$591.36 10 $5,913.60
Description

Tax

Justification

Shipping and handling

$250.00 1 $250.00
Description

Shipping and Handling

Justification

Software

$2,425.00 10 $24,250.00
Description

ArcAnalyst software allows post-processing of data coordinates to differentially correct and attain greater accuracy. ArcPad software enables ArcGIS files to be used in the field.

Justification

ArcAnalyst software will allow students to differentially correct data and gain greater accuracy than possible through the units alone. ArcPad will enable students to create files in ArcGIS and then view and edit those files in the field.

Total requested: $73,363.60

Total funded: $73,363.60

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