Geospatial Analysis in the Great Plains

Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the 1996 Annual Meeting

Edited by James S. Aber (
Earth Science, Emporia State University
Emporia, Kansas 66801

Rapid development has occurred during the past decade in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing of the Earth. In combination with dramatic advances in computer hardware and software, these developments have led to a revolution in handling and analysis of geospatial data about the Earth's surface and environment. A new scientific paradigm, earth-system science, has arisen. The basis of earth-system science is the ability to collect and analyze large, complex datasets, both spatially and temporally, in order to better understand and predict how the Earth's environment functions. This approach is strongly interdisciplinary, as it depends upon physical, biological, and cultural aspects of the environment, all of which interact and are subject to change.

To recognize these scientific trends, a special symposium was held at the 1996 annual meeting of the Kansas Academy of Science. The general theme was geospatial analysis in natural and cultural sciences of the Great Plains region. Invited speakers came from academic, governmental, and commercial settings. They represented specialties in biology, cartography, ecology, geology, geomorphology, land-use management, and water resources, as well as archiving and distribution of geospatial information. They described GIS, remote sensing, and related technologies applied to various research and development projects. The following presentations were given at the symposium.

  • Application of Landsat imagery in the Great Plains, by James S. Aber, Laura L. Rand, Michael P. Webster (Emporia State University); and Everett E. Spellman (Kansas Dept. Health and Environment).

  • Use of remotely sensed data on phenological activity and heterogeneity to detect changes in grassland species composition in response to stress, by John M. Briggs, Donna Riech, Clarence L. Turner, Geoffrey M. Henebry, Douglas G. Goodin, and M. Duane Nellis (Kansas State University).

  • Data mining in the Great Plains, by Ed Crane (M.J. Harden Associates).

  • Geospatial analysis of water quality in Great Plains rerservoirs, by John Harrington, Jr., Douglas Goodin, and M. Duane Nellis (Kansas State University); and Frank Schiebe (Site-Specific Technology Development Group, Inc.).

  • Digital orthophotography quarter quadrangle (DOQQ) data and products, by Thomas D. Mettille, Kenneth A. Nelson, David F. Hogben, and Erik Patton (Kansas Geological Survey--DASC).

  • Modeling spatial dimensions of bison impact on the Konza Prairie landscape ecology, by M. Duane Nellis and John M. Briggs (Kansas State University).

  • Developing a land cover modeling procedure for the High Plains using multidate Thematic Mapper imagery, by Kevin P. Price, Stephen L. Egbert (University of Kansas); Duane Nellis (Kansas State University); and Re-Yang Lee (University of Kansas).

  • Butler County geologic map: Case study of map production at the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS), by Jorgina A. Ross (Kansas Geological Survey).

  • Landscape and climate variability and change on the southern Canadian Interior Plains, by David J. Sauchyn (University of Regina, Canada).

Symposium Abstracts

Symposium articles

We are pleased to have six articles derived from the symposium, which have been published in the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, vol. 100, no. 1/2 (1997). These articles are provided here in recognition of the increasing importance of interdisciplinary studies based on geospatial analysis in the Great Plains region. Case studies from Kansas, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta are included in these six articles.

return to Transactions page