Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Work at SNAP

This week we would like to introduce our work place and what we really do during our internship.

As many people know, we work at SNAP, which is an acronym for Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic planning. It's a part of University of Alaska Fairbanks launched in 2007 and does collaboration with several organization and bureaus in Alaska. SNAP, as it is descriped in the website, develops "plausible scenarios of future conditions through a diverse and varied network of people and organizations, which allow better planning for the uncertain future of Alaska and Arctic". So basically the aim is to provide as reliable and updated climate data as possible and be part of many planning and conservation projects. People who work at SNAP are all very talented and, we have come to learn, very friendly and helpful.
As they say here, Alaska is treating us well, also at work! :D


I have worked as a part of several projects, a GIS-specialist as my title. It basically means analyzing spatial data and creating maps.

One of the projects I work with is called Chugach Climate Change Scenarios Planning. In that project I'm creating GIS-data, creating maps and climate summaries about climate variables in Chugach National Forest area. With maps you can compare temperature, precipitation and other related variables in different time periods which gives tools for future planning and conservation.

Here's Nancy, my supervisor and SNAP network coordinator.

Other project, called Climate Change Scenario Planning for Alaska Region National Park System Units, gathered many people from different organizations and also remote communities to workshops and helped people to build different climate scenarios and possible futures that national parks and native communities might have to deal with in years to come. It was very interesting to hear native people talking about their primitive lifestyle and how changes can already be seen in their everyday life. They are dependent on wildlife, like salmon, caribou, berries and so on, and it seems the future might bring them many challenges. This project was more about connecting with people than GIS-work, but very interesting indeed.

I worked closely with Lena (here) and Nancy in Scenario Planning project.
Lena is a climate science analyst.

Work here has been very interesting and I have been able to use the skills I've already got and also learn new skills like scripting. Working with climate change related issues has been kind of a dream for me for a long time, so finding an internship at SNAP was a dream come true!


I'm in SNAP as an intern to complete my master degree. Because of that I'm basically just working on my own project which is about finding a methodology to detect deforestation from a kind of satellite sensor named SAR for synthetic aperture radar. I have been working a bit as well on other project like a project named Broadband project in which I was responsible of finding a lot of data about Alaska and especially the small community around here.

My specialty is remote sensing and GIS, I really enjoy working here because it gives me the opportunity to work on something totally new, this kind of sensor is new for me and I try to use as much as possible some open source software to work on this project, the aim is for me to learn as much as I can here. The people here are higly qualified and there is always someone who have answer to your question, it's pretty nice and really good for learning new stuff.

Alaska was a dream for me, I sent about 200 emails around the arctic area to find a good place for my internship, my biggest dream was to be accepted here in Alaska but seriously... Alaska I didn't believe it could happen. It seems I got lucky, we are now here since more than 3 months and it has been already so great...

I did the final oral presentation for my master in Monday, it went pretty well so I basically just have to keep working on my project and I should be graduated in September.

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