Month: March 2016

Capstone: Variables Associated With Environmental Sustainability – A United Nations Millennium Development Goal

For those following my blog since the start of my Data Analysis and Interpretation Specialization by Wesleyan University through Coursera, this is the final course and the Capstone project. Unlike previous courses, I will move away from urbanization data and try to tackle one of the problems provided by the course’s industry partner. Below is our first assignment – the introduction to my final report. Variables Associated with Environmental Sustainability Using data provided by the World Bank, through DrivenData, this study looks to identify factors associated with the Environmental Sustainability Indicator defined as an United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG). Preliminary explanatory variables are Gross National Income, Forest Area, CO2 Emissions, Employment, Foreign Direct Investments, Household Final Consumption Expenditure, Adult Literacy Rate, Urban Population, Investments in Energy, and Energy Use. This mix of both economic and social factors will be examined for associations with the UN-MDG indicator of environmental sustainability. After the associated variables are identified, they will be used to create a model to predict data for the years 2008 and 2012. As a social/urban scientist interested …

GIS Specialization – Fundamentals of GIS

On February 22, 2016, I started the GIS Specialization Course with UC Davis through Coursera. Today, I completed the first course in the series. As I already have a couple years of GIS experience, the first course Fundamentals of GIS was more like a review of the basics. At the same time, I definitely learned new skills such as map package sharing and creating bookmarks. To complete the first course, I needed to create a map for the final assignment. The original data is at the precinct level. I had to aggregate the voting data for Proposition 37 and total votes to the county level. This is the map I created: I must say, this process took longer than I expected. I am definitely a bit rusty with the map-making. My spatial analysis skills are also rusty. At first, I used a different geoprocessing tool. Instead of directly using a spatial join with the intersect method, I took the long way around using Intersect, Merge, and then Dissolve. However, this presented issues because the data became more …

Short Post: Biology and Life

I have been looking for a steady job now for almost a year now and one of the questions I get asked the most is why? Why am I pursuing or want to pursue a career in such and such? People really want to know where you are coming from and what your vision of the future is. Honestly, even though I know my answers, sometimes I have to look back to the beginning and ask myself why? Why am I now fascinated by the use of space in cities and urban environments? Why am I pursuing a career in understanding the urban? Like most stories, there is a beginning. As a young child, I was always chasing after butterflies, digging up earthworms, and collecting fish. Their movements and their features fascinated me. Metamorphosis, the transformation from an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly, captivated my imagination and in many ways it is a metaphor for life. I never though much of it until high school, where I met a wonderful biology teacher by the …