New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Deforestation

Team: 154

School: The Masters Program

Area of Science: Environmental Science


Interim: Problem/Definition:
The problem that we are trying to face is the problem of deforestation. This is a problem that we face today, the clear cutting, and murder of the land. Our project is to see if we can come up with a stable cycle of logging and planting so that we don’t log entire areas, but portions at a time. In order to observe this, we will split space land into quarters. We will have all four quarters of space-land filled with trees, and then we will start to “log” one quarter of space land. After this area is logged we will plant new trees there. They will be planted in a 2-1 ratio. This means, that for every tree that is cut down, two trees will be planted. What we want to find out is, if by the time we log the other three quarters of land and come back around to the first quarter, will there be enough trees at maturity to log again. We will do this for all four quarters of space-land.

Problem Solution:
Our plan for completion is to see how long it takes trees to reach maturity. If the trees are being cut down at a rate that is too fast for the saplings to reach maturity, then we will have to make space-land into more quadrants to give the saplings more time to grow. We have a few steps in order to get to that point. First we must research the rate that trees are cut down against the rate that they grow after they are planted. Once we have that, we can start our modeling. First we must figure out how to get each quarter of space-land to act independently. Then we can decide how many trees to plant in each area. We will have to figure out a scale to do it on, possibly a 1-20 ratio. So for every 20 trees that are logged in real life, we will log one in our model. This will give us a moderate understanding of how many trees are logged, and how many trees are planted each year. We will have the tree shapes in Star-logo be used as trees, and adjust their size based on maturity or not.

Progress to date:
So far in the project we have gotten the information for how many trees are cut down each year. In America each year approximately 215,200 hectares of land are logged each year on average. Through deeper research and study, including a phone call to a logging company in Alaska we found out that for every tree they cut down, they plant 2 saplings in their place. We have come up with an outline for what space-land will look like, once it is programmed. To finish our project, we must begin the modeling of our project. We must come up with a suitable ratio so that we can have a better idea of how many trees to include into our model. Right now, we were thinking that 20 hectares would be equal to 1 tree in the model.

Expected Results:
My own personal expected results are that the trees will not be able to grow at a rate which is fast enough to support the cycle of logging. We will have to split space-land up into smaller quadrants in order for the trees to be logged and grown at a rate that is suitable for trees to reach maturity. We will have to study in depth the rate in which trees are grown after they are planted.
Team Members: Jesus Zavala, Tristan Sheffield, Karina Lira, and Jonathan Mackey.
Sponsoring Teacher: Scott Voorhi


Team Members:

  Jonathan Mackey
  Karina Lira-Velazquez
  Jesus Zavala
  Tristan Sheffield

Sponsoring Teacher: Scott Voorhies

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