Techniques for Assessing the Effects of Urbanization


In this project we will focus on the development of the section of the Boulder Creek watershed that contains the Boulder campus. We are interested in:

    • How has campus growth changed the natural groundcover in the watershed?
    • What is the extent or magnitude of these modifications?
    • When did these changes occur?
    We have a very good digital map of campus that we can use as the base for our study. Each person will be responsible for selecting one section of campus for detailed investigation. The steps in our study are:

    1) Choose the section of campus that you wish to study.  If possible, pick an area that mixes new and old growth.

    2) Acquire a copy of the digital campus map from the download directory.  This is a compressed zip file for the CU campus in DXF format along with an Excel spreadsheet describing the contents of the layers of this file.

    3) Open or import this DXF file in Freehand and begin mapping changes.

    4) Survey your study area on foot to check your digital map and gather direct evidence of the timing and sequence of changes.

    5) Gather archival and historical sources including photographs and air photographs that allow you to track and date changes in groundcover. I ahve a set of air photographs from different decades in digital form that I will leave in KESDA.  We will try to localize changes to particular decades, rather than years, so good sources of information include local libraries and history collections.  CU's official building list is available from Facilities Management

    6) Develop a coding scheme for the information you have gathered. 

    7) Use the information you have gathered and the coding scheme to map the changes in your study area.

    8) Prepare a Web site that displays your results.

    Grading criterion for the this project.


    created 3/9/2002; last revised 2003.2.26.  KEF.