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Ecotope Final Project Draft 1 - Essay Example

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Ellis defines ecotopes “as the smallest ecologically distinct landscapefeatures in a landscape mapping and classification system. As such, they represent relatively homogenous, spatially explicit landscape functional units that are useful for stratifying landscape into…
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Ecotope Final Project Draft 1
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Intrroduction Dr. Ellis defines ecotopes “as the smallest ecologically distinct landscapefeatures in a landscape mapping and ification system. As such, they represent relatively homogenous, spatially explicit landscape functional units that are useful for stratifying landscape into ecologically distinct features for the measurement and mapping of the landscape structure, function and change.” The ecotope classification of UMBC area was a historical map that is important in helping the UMB Campus in understanding and evaluating the changes that have occurred in the area between 1947 and 2011.The objective of this project was to develop a high resolution ECOTOPE MAP for the UMBC Campus for comparing current and historical mapping of ecological sites. To achieve this, I hypothesised that as time goes by, ecological changes of the landscape are prominent and the heterogeneous ecological density increases.
Method
To test this hypothesis required use of research and search of historical data. First, I conducted intensive fieldwork to determine and obtain current data. I then sampled the data I had obtained in the field into required sizes and interpreting the data procedurally. In addition, I did scale classification and digitalization to a scale of 1: 0000. I then used Ms Mary’s primary information to draw insights and do relative comparisons. Finally, I classified the ecotopes as verified by field evaluations and first hand- accounts
Plan
Even more important to my study was an invaluable account of a 94 year old lady, Ms Mary. She was a resident of Catonsville around late 1940’s through early 50’s. She exponentially enriched our study by giving us a surprisingly vivid account of events as well as greatly helping in identifying the features in the map. This primary data was particularly crucial in identifying the hayfield, row crop, planted, woodlot in the 1947 map.
Comparative analysis
In a nutshell, there were profound differences between these generationally distant maps.
The 1947 Map
The map in 1947 depicted a hayfield, row crops, planted crops and woodlot. There were very few visible small houses and most of the land was fenced into large portions of almost predominantly used agriculturally. Moreover, there were foot paths across the fields. The interpretation therefore is that there were very limited household due to sparse population. Most land was used agriculturally, evidence for agricultural dependency and the fact most of the land lies unused indicates small scale land use. The footpaths pointed to very limited technology.
The 2011 Map
There were state of the art urban buildings,roads, a man made garden, a university among other advanced facilities. These translate into very advanced technology evidenced by the buildings and roads, education system and recreational diversity evidenced by the garden. Population is also very high owing to the large number of buildings.
Comparing the two maps, it is perfectly logical to note that over the time, population has risen sharply. Moreover, technological advances have occurred and land use has been maximised due to the large population. This therefore confirmed as true my hypothesis that as time goes by the ecological changes of the landscape are prominent and the heterogeneous ecological density increases. Read More
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