Dr. Gibbes is currently continuing research which explores climate, land use and vegetation patterns in southern Africa. This research project on develops a temporally and spatially multi-scaled understanding of the relationships between land-cover and land-use change (LCLUC), and precipitation in the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) region of southern Africa. The work examines the use of land use land cover modeling and remote sensing applications to improving our understanding of vegetation dynamics in this semi-arid region and the corresponding ecological and social implications of change in precipitation and vegetation patterns. Additionally, Dr. Gibbes has just begun a project which studies the dynamics of land use and land cover in the Fountain Creek watershed in Colorado. This region, is similar to Dr. Gibbes' study region in southern Africa in that it is water limited and local population are/will be drastically impacted by climate changes. However, it presents an interesting context for the study of increasing urbanization with specific consideration for the role of local land and resource management practices in addressing current and future climate change challenges in this water limited environment.
Dr. Paddington Hodza is currently working on two research projects. In the first, Dr. Hodza has developed the concept of a new and inspiring form of GIS that is grounded in the affirmative premise that every community however challenged is gifted with things that are right and work. This form of GIS is being tested with Colorado Springs communities involved in crime prevention specifically to identify, build upon and expand those things that are working exceedingly well. In the second project, Dr. Hodza is working collaboratively with Dr. Cerian Gibbes to exploit the fusion of optical and radar satellite in detecting and geovisualizing vegetation changes following the recent and devastating Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The project will also evaluate the users' experience (UX) of a geospatial web application that is aimed at helping users appreciate the effects of the fire primarily on vegetation.
Brandon J. Vogt
Dr. Vogt's primary research interest lies in understanding physical processes as characterized through the precise measurement and analysis of physical landscape texture (geomorphometry). In spring 2013, Dr. Vogt is focusing on two research projects. The first uses historical cloud-to-ground lightning activity as a proxy to understand the influences of Colorado's mountainous topography on thunderstorm patterns. This work expands on two of Dr. Vogt's recently published papers: one tested whether or not lightning favors topographic highpoint attachment and if striking distance increases with peak current while the other focused on lightning avoidance while on Colorado Fourteeners. The second research project currently underway uses centimeter to sub-centimeter spatial resolution digital surface model data collected with a terrestrial 3D laser scanner (TLS) to characterize weathered sandstone surfaces. The goals of this research are to estimate a weathering rate and to explore process dominance by controlling for aspect. This project expands on Dr. Vogt's dissertation work, which used TLS data to map sandstone rock weathering forms.