GeoLeague is a student challenge organized by the Student Advisory Council. Registration Form
The SECOND Annual ASPRS GeoLeague Challenge
To be held at the ASPRS 2012 Annual Conference sACRAMENTO, cALIFORNIA MaRCH 19-23, 2012
Request for Proposal:
Development of a Repeatable Cost and Time Efficient Remote Sensing Solution for Updating the National Coastal Wetlands Inventory
Registration has been extended until December 15th, 2011
Coastal environments are renowned for their dynamics and vulnerability to natural hazards of both extreme (hurricanes and nor’easters) and chronic nature (shoreline erosion and sea-level rise). As witnessed by remote sensing of land use/land cover change (LULCC), the rapid development of our coast is juxtaposed by the opposing forces of land development and coastal processes. Often, wetland ecosystems are being squeezed between the two. Coastal resource management agencies struggle to acquire and maintain up-to-date geospatial information for dynamic features, particularly coastal land use/land cover, shorelines, and wetlands. No single remote sensing system (platform, sensor, and image processing approach) can meet the demand. Professionals trained broadly in available data and their integration and spatial analysis are poised to meet these needs. These needs will become ever higher in the future as the inexorable process of sea-level rise and periodic coastal storms continue.
Challenge Scope & Objectives:
The application of remote sensing and GIS is necessary to solve vexing problems currently facing Federal, State, and non-profit natural resource managers who need timely information in order to develop policy and monitor the fate of our vital shore and coastal wetlands. Specifically, the main objective of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to recommend a “remote sensing remedy,” including sensors and spatial analytical techniques (in a cost- and time-efficient manner) to create coastal wetland inventories that can be efficiently updated at least every 5-10 years. Particular concern needs to be paid to the proliferation of invasive species populations in these coastal wetlands.
In the proposal, the following items must be addressed.
1. Sensors & Techniques
- What are current methodologies (literature review)? How might these be improved upon/synthesized?
- Incorporating emerging sensors and a variety of technology (airborne and space-borne sensors alike) may bear on your success (e.g., lidar, ifSAR, 3D digital surface modeling, and data fusion for multi-spectral satellite or synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery such as ALOS PALSAR.) However, your “remedy” should be a transferrable remote sensing solution, emphasizing accuracy, effectiveness, and efficiency over traditional approaches of aerial image interpretation and field survey.
2. Mapping Product Accuracy
- The thematic accuracy of the product should approach 90% overall.
- Users and producers accuracy meeting National Map Accuracy Standards, using a minimum mapping unit of approximately 1 ha
- How will these accuracy stipulations be addressed?
3. Regional Demonstration
An ideal approach will analyze a pilot study area & explain how methodology developed in a pilot study could be applied on a national scale. Examples include:
- Target mapping of specific invasive species as an additional thematic class, e.g., Phragmites australis, (“common reed”) an extensive, exotic species that is spectrally and ecologically similar to other intertidal marshes (e.g., Spartina spp.)
- For a West Coast context, Spartina is typically invasive and would be a target of high interest.
- The regional demonstration can be an analysis of current regional pilot studies with suggested process improvements. Even better, your proposal can improve upon other regional demonstrations in an experimental pilot study area of your own.
- Time. The wetland and invasive species maps should be updated coast-wide every 5-10 years. How will the proposed methodology be time efficient?
- Cost. With shrinking funding budgets, cost efficiency in both data acquisition and data analysis must be addressed. How will the proposed methodology be cost efficient?
Potential Data Sources:
Global Land Cover Facility - University of Maryland http://glcf.umiacs.umd.edu/
SAR Data Center – Alaska Satellite Facility http://www.asf.alaska.edu/program/sdc
GeoGratis – Natural Resources Canada Satellite Data http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/geogratis/en/download/raster.html
USGS Global Visualization Viewer (GLOVIS) http://glovis.usgs.gov/
The proposal format is modeled after various public funding agencies such as National Science Foundation (NSF), Transportation Research Board (TRB), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For the challenge, consider ASPRS to be the funding agency. Given the judges various geospatial specialties, the proposal audience should be non-technical or semi-technical. The proposal must include the following components:
1. Project Summary (1 page – not counted against word limit)
- Self-contained, third-person description of objectives, methods, significance.
2. Project Description
- Problem Statement - Description of the problem, scientific question and need for the methodology(s), who will care, and why
- Partners - Institutions, investigators, including contact information
- Work Plan - Including goals, methods, experimental design, etc. which addresses the above requirements and includes a general description of follow-on work to be continued if funding allows
- Deliverables - Proposed deliverables or outcome and timeline
- Transition to operations - A plan for transitioning the proposed methodology to operational system. The proposal must include an assessment of the financial and technical feasibility, and time frame, for transitioning the methodology(s) to operations in the future.
- Consideration of Funding – Provide solutions to minimize the costs for data acquisition, data analysis, etc. (e.g. using preexisting data)
- Communication Plan - Plan for communication within your team, to ASPRS, and with the media or other public entities if appropriate.
- Additional Materials - Curriculum vitae of two pages maximum are required for each investigator, as well as letters of support from collaborating institutions. These will not be counted against the 4000 word limit. For privacy sake, the CVs will not be included in the winning proposals final Highlight article.
Form a group of at least 5 undergraduate and/or graduate students and a faculty advisor in your region (at least 3 students must be ASPRS student members by the registration deadline and remain student members through the Annual Conference). If you have trouble meeting this requirement, please feel free to contact us. You may also enlist the help of ASPRS members in your surrounding communities. However, the students must do all of the work; non-students can only provide guidance!
Your proposals will be presented in a session at the 2012 ASPRS Annual Conference in Sacramento, California. At least one representative from each team will be required to attend the conference to present the project. You will be required to present 2 deliverables at the conference:
1. A written research proposal following the format guidelines presented by Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS) for Highlight Articles online at http://www.asprs.org/PE-RS-Submissions-Policy-and-Guidelines/PE-RS-Instructions-for-Authors-of-Highlight-Articles.html describing all of the elements outlined in the previous sections of this challenge. The only exception to the Highlight Article guidelines is the word limit has changed from 2500 words to 4000 words. The new 4000 word limit and formatting guidelines will be strictly enforced. Lack of adherence to these guidelines will result in the proposal not being evaluated.
2. A 7-minute PowerPoint presentation to be made during the GeoLeague Challenge Session. The proposal presentation is each team’s opportunity to sell its research proposal to the judges. Presentations will be stopped at 7 minutes.
All materials must be submitted by February 27th, 2012.
Both your PowerPoint presentation and paper need to be uploaded to the ASPRS ftp site no later than 8:00pm EST on Monday, February 27, 2012. No late submissions will be evaluated.
FTP Site: ftp://birdseye.asprs.org
Login: ASPRS/FTP_USER (all caps)
Please place your materials in the GeoLeague folder with the name of your team in the heading (ex. teamname_paper.doc, teamname_presentation.ppt).
The solutions will be graded at the Annual Conference by judges from different sectors of ASPRS (Government Employees, Students, Private Sector Employees, Faculty, etc.). Judging of all proposals will be based on the following criteria adapted from this NOAA proposal (http://www.ioos.gov/library/fy10noaawidesensorshealthrfp.pdf).
Importance, relevance and applicability of proposed project to the RFP’s stated objectives – 25 pts
This metric assesses whether the proposal is responsive to the objectives and requirements stated in the RFP. Proposals should also address significance/possibilities of securing productive results.
• How does the proposal address an important problem? (i.e., how do invasive wetlands plant species impact on the health of the wetland ecosystem/humans both regionally and nationally? Why is a national wetlands inventory of critical concern?)
• If the aims of the proposal are achieved, how will the general public benefit?
• The creativity of the proposed remote sensing remedy will be specifically addressed by these questions: Will the proposed project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies? If so, what effect will the results have on concepts or methods that drive this field?
Technical/scientific merit – 30 pts
This metric assesses whether the approach is technically sound, whether the methods are appropriate, and whether there are clear project goals and objectives consistent with the RFP objectives. Proposals should address the approach/soundness of design and judges will consider the following questions:
• Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project?
• Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative approaches?
• Does the methodology seem realistic in its application (or future application)?
• Does the proposal contain a plan and intended end-user for testing and transitioning the methodology to operational capacity?
• Does the proposal indicate how the proposed methodology is an improvement over traditional field and aerial surveillance in terms of efficiency/cost or accuracy and timeliness?
• Does the solution present minimal, achievable costs (time and money) to personnel and available software/algorithms?
Funding Considerations – 10 pts
• This metric assesses whether the proposed methodology is creative in dealing with the reality of a reduced budget environment for funding agencies. Does the proposal effectively describe funding considerations necessary to implement the proposed methodology both now and in the future (software expenditures, data acquisition costs, labor intensiveness of data analysis, etc.)?
• Does the proposal adequately cite the source of the figures it uses in the funding considerations (i.e., National Bureau of Labor Statistics, etc.)?
Outreach, education, communication, and group participation – 10 pts
• How will communication within the team occur and be sustained?
• Does the proposal outline how group responsibilities were shared by all team members?
• How will the progress and outcomes of the project be communicated to and within ASPRS, project partners, the broader academic and geospatial science community, and the interested public to ensure it has met the project objectives over the short, medium or long term?
Presentation Content – 15 pts
• Does the PowerPoint presentation show the general process by which the methodology was created?
• Does the PowerPoint effectively convey why the team’s proposal should be funded?
• Is the PowerPoint presentation informative but understandable by a wide range of audiences?
Proposal Format– 10 pts
• Does the paper follow the PE&RS format guidelines for Highlight Articles?
• Are all proposal format items addressed clearly and concisely?
Recognition and a published Highlight Article in PE&RS, one year complimentary membership in ASPRS for all first place team members, $250 to the winning ASPRS student chapter, gift certificates to the ASPRS Bookstore, and many more prizes to be announced!
Please contact the ASPRS SAC Deputy Chair with any questions you may have!
ASPRS Student Advisory Council Deputy Chair