Download (723 KB)

Download Elk Infographic (7.9 MB)

Download Map and Elk Movements (49.1 MB)

Graduation Date

Spring 4-28-2017

Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism

School or Department



For the last 500,000 years, the world climate has been in transition from warm to cold and vice versa. However, recent human-caused climate change has increased the rate of change in extreme and average climate conditions. Globally, people are facing higher than average temperatures as well as accelerated rates of drought and flooding. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC,) natural systems around the globe are being affected by regional climate change, mainly temperature increases. They IPCC found that 20-30% of plant and animal species are likely to be at increased risk of extinction if global average temperatures rise by more than 1.5-2.5°C.

In recent years, scientific studies have provided valuable information that helps understand the effects of climate change on natural systems. Translating and simplifying the data through interactive maps and incorporating real-world examples will make these studies and their outcomes more meaningful and useful to policy makers and to the general public. I am using my GIS, remote sensing and my interest in understanding the effects of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems to make interactive web maps and infographic to show this effects for general public.

The three stories in this portfolio depict the effect of climate change on natural resources. Chapter one is a narrative outlining the stories, my reportage and plans for publication. Chapter two: Missing Migration: The Elk of Ya Ha Tinda. Chapter three: Drier, Hotter, Faster: How Climate Change and Drought Affect Wildfire. Chapter four: Roaring Lion Fire: Climate Change Hits Home.


Climate change, data visualization, map, wildfire, drought

Scene of a changing climate