The goal of the Central Park Climate Lab is to understand the multiple impacts of climate change on Central Park, including environmental, human health, economic and social impacts. In the first phase of the project, we will be focused primarily on measuring the effects of climate change on the Park’s vegetation, such as changes in park tree diversity, composition, crown, and canopy. These results will be used to assess the other effects of climate change, which can include: park management costs for vegetation removal or reseeding due to climate change effects, economic costs for businesses abutting Central Park with declining vegetation health, effects of lower park vegetation health on real estate values near the Park, human health costs associated with declining tree crown cover and less shade. Students will have an opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary team of practitioners, natural and social scientists, and stakeholders. The Tobin student will help the project examine different right-hand side variables that link to the changes in park vegetation cover that can be derived from the remote sensing analysis. The student will learn how to use high-resolution satellite images with advanced deep learning techniques.
RAs will develop expertise in analyzing satellite images, a pivotal skill in modern environmental and increasingly economic research. By participating in hands-on projects like evaluating city tree diversity and canopy conditions, RAs will not only enrich their academic adventure but also gain insights into potential careers in multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary problem-solving that involve economics, environmental science, geospatial analysis, and engaging with practitioners.
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Requisite Skills and Qualifications
Ideal candidates should have an understanding of GIS, proficiency in handling large datasets. Experience with python language and software like QGIS or MATLAB would be advantageous.