GEOG 858
Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

Writing Assignment


Based on this week's lesson, address the following:

1. As you read the three different worst-case scenarios, it should be apparent that a key challenge is simply developing a rapid picture of the spatial extent of a disaster. If you assume that a given disaster will disable local EOCs and their accompanying geospatial tools and data, describe at least two ways that emergency managers brought in from afield could quickly assemble data that describes the extent of the disaster. How would folks from the digital humanitarian community approach this problem?

2. What do you consider to be the one or two key challenges facing the application of Spatial Data Science to Emergency Management in (a) temporally short, geographically local event(s) versus (b) temporally extended, geographically regional events? Assume your audience is a group of emergency management planners considering incorporating geospatial data and analysis into their operations. They don't have a lot of time, so be direct and succinct in your analysis.   

Make clear how your response relates to the readings.

This response should be between 500 - 600 words in length.

This class is writing intensive. I'll be editing and commenting on your written work throughout the term. Penn State's Style for Students guide can be a huge help if it's been a while since you've written for a course like this.

Submission Instructions

It is important for you to save your files in the following format so that I can match each submission up with the correct student. 

L1_assign_firstinitialLastName.doc  For example, my file would be named "L1_assign_mBeaty.doc" 

Upload your assignment to the Writing Assignment (L1) dropbox. See the Course Calendar for specific due dates.

Grading Criteria

This assignment is worth 4% of your total course grade and will be graded out of 20 points using the following rubric.

Writing Assignment Rubric
Criteria Description Possible Points

Content and Impact

You make strong and logical arguments and provide analytical insights. Ideas are well organized, clearly communicated and relevant to the prompt. All criteria are accurately addressed. Supporting details are shared, elaborated upon and demonstrate understanding. Examples are provided, and your post includes images or other multimedia that support content. 15

Clarity and Mechanics

Evidence of editing and proofreading is evident. Writing is engaging and well-structured with excellent transitions between sentences and paragraphs. Concepts are integrated in an original manner. 5