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Science Modeling Challenge Winners Announced

Winners of the Esri Best Practices in Science Modeling Challenge competition were announced at the 2005 Esri International User Conference, July 25–29, 2005, in San Diego, California. Dr. Elvio Giasson of Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, won the $5,000 first prize for developing a nonpoint source assessment tool using ModelBuilder. Seven other winners shared the remaining $5,000 prize money.

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The winning entry was submitted by Dr. Elvio Giasson who developed a nonpoint source assessment tool.

The contest, open to higher education students and faculty from accredited educational institutions, encourages critical thinking skills through the use of ModelBuilder, a geoprocessing tool that is part of ArcGIS 9. ModelBuilder lets users represent and manipulate data and processes graphically. Complex geospatial processes can be visualized and modified without tedious coding because the graphic representation of the model is translated into Python script. The model can accept new datasets, parameters, processes, and relationships. It can be run as many times as needed and shared with others.

Entries were judged on innovation, usability, and functionality. Models entered in the contest had to deal with geospatial analysis and GIS technology or remote sensing. Submissions included a dataset, a description of the model and its objectives, suggestions for using the model, and a PowerPoint presentation that showed the model's results.

Contest judges were Dr. David Cowen, chair of the Department of Geography and codirector of the Center for GIS and Remote Sensing at the University of South Carolina; Dr. David Maidment, professor and specialist in hydrological GIS at the University of Texas, Austin; and Dr. Keith C. Clarke, professor and researcher in environmental and urban growth modeling at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

PrizeAmountEntryWinner and Institution
1st$5,000Nonpoint Source Assessment ToolDr. Elvio Giasson, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
2nd$1,000NOAH, an Automated GIS Tool for the Modeling, Reconstruction, and Impact Analyses of Floodwater Reservoirs on Urbanizing WatershedsSteven DiNaso, Eastern Illinois University
2nd$1,000Modeling Viticultural Landscapes: a GIS Analysis of the Viticultural Potential in the Rogue Valley, OregonDr. Gregory Jones and Andrew Duff, Southern Oregon University
2nd$1,000Soil Erosion Estimation Model for San TimoteoPeter Ndunda, University of Redlands
3rd$500Forecasting Harvesting Production Rates Using GIS: a Case StudyKarina Bohle, Oregon State University
3rd$500Building an Inventory of Contiguous Developable Parcels for the City of MilwaukeeDr. William Huxhold, Ahmed Abubaker, Marc Gelenian, Diana Hu, and Sutapa Chatterjee, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
3rd $500Disaster Relief Management, Modeling Impact on TransportationPhilip Goldstein, University of Colorado, Boulder
3rd$500Extracting Multileveled Buildings Using Lidar DataAdam Sobek, University of Utah
Esri Best Practices in Science Modeling Challenge winners

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