High School GIS Analysis of Natural Disasters in National Parks

Discussion created by peril on May 2, 2011
Latest reply on May 3, 2011 by MStewart-esristaff
Hi all, my name is Paul Johnson and I'm a senior at my local High School. I'm taking a GIS course called Geospatial Tools and Techniques and am one of fourteen students currently enrolled.

Our final project is essentially open end, we make maps of anything we want, but analyze it in a way that can be useful for an organization or group

I'm working on natural disasters and national parks/forests. Because I haven't been able to find much data, I'm almost forced to narrow it down to three major National Parks, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Glacier. The problem I have there is that I only have fire data so far for Yellowstone. I have fire start points and where they spread as two separate shape files. I have shapefiles showing the three parks but no data to put in it.

Can anyone point me in the right direction to finding data?

I've attached my formal proposal, but it says this:

Short Introduction

I plan to create multiple maps showing the spread of natural disasters across the United States federal protected parks. The maps would show regions of the USA with federal parks and will show the natural disasters in those areas.


The purpose of this project is to create detailed maps of areas affected by natural disasters in US Federal Parks. The maps would have a ranking system showing the parks impacted by the most natural disasters per year; tourism would be factored in. An index or rating system will be created, ranking each state/park with a number that takes into account amount of disasters and area size. This index could be used to suggest improvements, analyze future trends of natural disasters and compare other parks to this one.


Spatial data will be required to show where parks are located in the USA. Attribute data will most likely be used for the natural disasters as well as when they happen. The data should be �??refreshed�?? on a yearly basis so the end result can analyze how many natural disasters occur annually in a given area.

Explanation of Project

When completed, my final project will have multiple data frames showing and comparing federal parks and their respective natural disasters. This information will be analyzed in  separate data frames. I estimate my project will include about five or six data frames showing very unique things. The natural disasters analyzed will include floods, fires, high winds/tornadoes/hurricanes, and avalanche danger. Perhaps the time of year these disasters are most prevalent can also be Incorporated into the analysis.