From Small Scale to a Global Model
Lea and I have been progressing on our landslide research, where most recently we have focused on learning QGIS, the software we will be using to map out landslides that occur in Costa Rica. We were given a tutorial on how to upload satellite images into the software, how to trace certain areas where landslides have visibly occurred, and how to calculate things like the area and volume of the landslides themselves. We focused on a relatively small area at first for a tutorial, which was a single volcano where landslides had occurred as a result of a past earthquake. This actual data is then used to compare with the model that predicts where landslides will occur so we can improve the model to better and more accurately predict where landslides will occur to minimize damage. I have never been a part of a research project like this before, however I am super excited to be a part of this because once we have the model accurately predicting landslides in Costa Rica, it can also be applied to the rest of the world in areas where landslides are likely to occur as well! It is the start of something that I hope will be very beneficial to the global population.
One thing that has surprised me the most about our research so far is the amount of unknowns. There isn't a set answer that we're looking for or something specific that we're expected to find. It's just us working on a project that can hopefully be used by others once the project is complete. We have to find our own answers and draw conclusions based on the data that we get that may not necessarily be exactly what we're looking for. It's a lot of hard work and using what we know to try to better understand what we don't to try to come up with our own answers. It's a very exciting prospect, and I look forward to learning even more about the project and what we will be doing in the coming weeks!