HERO: Human-Environment Regional Observatory

Rachel Shmookler

HERO Biographies

Jenner Alpern, Undergraduate '09

Alpern

Research Interests:

I am a senior soon to be 5th-year in Environmental science. I am interested in a lot of different topics including Climate change, sustainability, low carbon energy, and water conservation. I became aware of GIS upon entering Clark and have become more and more interested ever since. I love solving problems and puzzles and to me GIS is like working with very intricate and meaningful puzzles. My interest in GIS, my affinity for the environment, and a desire to conduct meaningful research led me to apply to the HERO program my junior year. I have been working with HERO since the summer prior to my senior year.

HERO Experience:

As a member of the HOLMES (HERO Object-based Lawn Mapping Exploration of Suburbia) team I have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with great people and use some of the most sophisticated software in the business. I have been working on developing a method for classifying very high-resolution aerial photographs using object-oriented classification techniques. My teammates and I are in the process of using this method to create very detailed land-cover maps of 26 towns in Massachusetts. With HOLMES, I have had the opportunity to present my work to numerous parties, from classes and groups at Clark to anyone who was interested at the 2009 AAG conference in Las Vegas. I have even conducted training on the method we’ve developed in places as far away as Arizona State University. It has been great working with such an awesome team of students and professors as well as collaborating with others throughout the GIS community.

Personal:

Outside of HOLMES I am very active. I had the privilege of playing on the Clark University Men’s Soccer team for four years. In my senior season we qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in 21 years! I also love to snowboard, paint, go to concerts, and travel travel travel. I spent my second semester junior year in Europe at the University of East Anglia. It was truly a great experience to live in England and get a chance to travel around Europe.