Atlas of the Olympic Peninsula
We are embarking on creating an Atlas of the Olympic Peninsula with an emphasis on the physical geography (climate, landforms, biota), and the human imprint created by land ownership juxtaposed against the largest protected temperate forest in the world. We have the dual goals of general education of physical geography and landscape change as well as developing materials to aid in conservation planning. We have developed several prototype topic “page pairs” including Precipitation. The dramatic spatial variation of the peninsula’s precipitation was mapped monthly and presented alongside snow and cloud climatology. Logging history (since 1972) has been compiled from published sources and overlaid with old-growth forest, urban areas, and agriculture, revealing the magnitude of disturbance outside the park. Time series maps show how logging as shifted among landownership through several decades. Tree height was mapped from satellite data for the entire peninsula and from Lidar data for a study area on the Hoh River. A canopy profile from point cloud data reveals the multiple factors contributing to patterns in tree height. For many topics, we include a profile data-graphic and other perspectives to reveal patterns specific to those topics. The Atlas of the Olympic Peninsula project aims to tell the geographic story of the peninsula’s outstanding diversity in landscape, and its environmental importance and challenges.
This project is a collaboration with Daniel Gavin, Professor of Geography.