Settling into a Jungle of Data on Trees.

It took our ENVS 220 lab group – Georgia Reid, Marissa Weileder and I – a little while to figure out where we wanted to focus.  Did we want to look at Ireland?  Did we want to look at Scotland?  What specific region of one of those countries?  We still have not decided.  It took a little bit of time for us to figure out what our focus would be.  First we were thinking of diving into linguistics, but then we turned to Woodlands.  For a while the list of topics to research  within woodland were muddled and we were having trouble making connections.  We all had a strong interest in looking at culture, specifically through folklore and poetry (especially Yeats for me), but we also wanted to look at what types of trees existed in Ireland, what land patterns were there, and what Forestry looked like in the country.  Today in class we finally came to a conclusion that our best route was to examine forestry and see how cultural aspects such as folklore and literature has influenced contemporary practices.


We accumulated a large amount of data in the past week and have created a few charts.  Georgia Reid has been working quite a bit on spatial data.  I have been looking at some spatial data too, but have mostly been reading Yeats poems and research articles on the cultural ties to Forestry, as well as analyzing UNEP data.  Below are a few graphs I put together this week.

image (1)

image (2)

image (3)

Further analyses is needed.  The second two graphs only have data from six years, but it is a good starting point.  Today Marissa I found a lot of data and sources directly from the Irish Forestry Programme and government and Marissa found some very good foundational sources.  By the end of class our group was in a much better place research and topic wise.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jessica Kleiss says:

    Looks like some good initial work! I have some thoughts about your graphics. In general, it would be nice to include a caption beneath your figures indicating for example “Figure 1” so you can refer to them in your text!

    Figure 1 (pink): Very interesting! Seems like fractional forest area in Ireland has been steadily increasing over the period of 1990-2013!

    Figure 2 (Forest Harvest Rate) What are the units of “forest harvest rate”? You say that there is data from 6 years, but it looks to me like there are just 4 data points. If you could include a symbol (like a star, circle or square) where the data lies, that would make it more readable.

    Figure 3 (Ireland total forest extent) Again – what are the units? How can this graph be consistent with Figure 1? This shows a constant forest cover 1990-2005, and then a decrease in 2010 and 2015! I would guess that careful attention to the meta data would solve this problem: what are each of these data sources counting as “forest”? Is there any chance that the “per 1000 hectares” changes over time?

    Keep up the good work!


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