My name is Patrina L. Bly, and I am currently senior at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Math…I love math. It is the only thing that is guaranteed to give you an answer, even if that answer does not exist, and that is why I chose it to be my major. I believe it to be one of the most enjoyable things in the world, but only once you come unto its greater understanding. You need math for everything nowadays. It is always around you and I assure in its fidelity, because it will never leave your side. However, much of the world's populations absolutely detest the subject. From the simplest of arithmetic to the greater difficulties of linear algebra and advanced calculus the subject matter at hand boggles the minds of millions and most noticeably struggling in what I consider my specialty is my generation.


Majoring in mathematics with a minor in secondary education is a path that I thought I would never travel, yet now I find myself on route to seeking a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics Education. I fancy the notion of sharing my knowledge with those eager to learn as an educator and make goals for myself to one day do such. Math is what I have to offer to society and more than anything I want people to think of math as something enjoyable and not a burden upon their lives sharing with them what I enjoy so much and becoming a strong advocate of the subject.


As an undergraduate researcher for the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER), my main objectives were to acquire research and internship experiences that will contribute to my career in the field of mathematics. While in attendance at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) I have been extended countless opportunities to grow as a professional individual. Invitations to conferences, trips to NASA, and internships have all been allotted within my time at the University as well the ability to produce two publications.


During the summer of 2008 I had the privilege of participating in Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean Marine and Polar Sciences. While there I was assigned to the Polar Grid Team. Using Adobe Dreamweaver as the development tool our team created individual portlets and Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that were created using iGoogle as a portal. GeoRSS namespaces were used to generate points into Google maps. Within Google Maps each point displayed information using HTML tags for designated students including name, location, and an image. In correlation to the Polar Grid Project, a joint effort between dual universities and the Center of Excellence for Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER), the tags created would have included the radar data, a transformed image, the coordinate locations of taken data, the date, and other various attributes concerning the research of the Antarctic and Greenland Regions.


As part of an academic year research team for 2008 and 2009 at ECSU I worked on implementing a Digital Learning Network (DLN) based on workings from the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASA). At the conclusion of the project participants reviewed results of faculty and student research projects to identify sources used in the mathematics preparation of children at the third grade level. Corresponding educational lessons were then produced, which incorporated mathematical concepts from the data collected. Thus, the project is designed to build on the curiosity and enthusiasm of children as it related to the study of mathematics. Appropriate mathematical experiences were designed to challenge young children to explore ideas related to data analysis and probability, measurement, mathematical connections, algebraic concepts, and numerical operations.


As a recipient of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Educational Partnership Program (EPP) scholarship, I was provided with the opportunity to intern at NOAA headquarters during the summer of 2009. Working with the National Ocean Service. While there I further developed existing works through utilizing tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing data assessments. With this work, a successful attempt was made to identify possible releasers of effluent waste into the major coastal watershed regions. The categorization of possible contaminating locations was made available through spatial data verification development. Utilizing platforms such as ESRI® ArcMap™ software, spatially referenced locations, via point data, vector data, line data, and polygons depicting points and sites of interest were created using latitude and longitude information. Points and areas of interest (AOI) were verified using Remote Sensing imagery. Using this data, present and future researchers will be more able to identify possible sources of contributors to the present contaminant areas.


During the 2009 and 2010 fall and spring semesters I utilized my skills in temporal and spatial reasoning working with GIS. A hydrophyte of high relevance, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is of great importance to estuarine environments. Currently, state programs work to protect and restore existing wetlands, however, increasing development and population pressure continue to degrade and destroy both tidal and non-tidal wetlands and hinder overall development of SAV growth. Thus the focus of this research utilized spatial referencing software in the mapping of healthy submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) habitats. In cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), students from Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) developed and applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills to evaluate the distribution and abundance of SAV in North Carolina’s estuarine environments. Utilizing ESRI ArcGIS, which includes ArcView, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox, and the applications of on-screen digitizing, an assessment of vegetation cover was made through the delineation of observable SAV beds in Core Sound, North Carolina. Aerial photography of the identified coastal water bodies was taken at 12,000 feet above mean terrain (AMT) scale 1:24,000. The georeferenced aerial photographs were assessed for obscurities and the SAV beds were digitized. Through the adoption of NOAA guidelines and criteria for benthic habitat mapping using aerial photography for image acquisition and analysis, students delineated SAV beds and developed a GIS spatial database relevant to desired results. The newly created database yielded products in the form of usable shapefiles of SAV polygons, as well as attribute information with location information, area in hectares, and percent coverage of SAV.


A continuance of My NOAA EPP scholarship I spent the 2010 summer in Miami, Florida working with the Southeast Fisheries Science Center. On April 22, 2010, British Petroleum operated Deepwater Horizon sank 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. In a span of weeks the event led to the largest ecological disaster in United States history. To date, no definite numbers exists for the amounts of oil that were released into the Gulf of Mexico however, estimates exceed well past the million marks. Through the development of a spatial application, an assessment using GIS was made to view the extents of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Data concerning environmental factors were collected from the NOAA and displayed. Daily imagery of the oil extents were provided on a weekly basis from an independent source, georeferenced, projected, and digitized using ArcMap. Using Oracle SQL developer, benthic permitted fisheries were identified within the vessel monitoring system (VMS) database, exported, integrated within Microsoft Access, and then imported into ArcMap to be projected to show locations of fishing grounds. In addition, the series of current fishery closures were adopted the from NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, incorporated into the GIS application and viewed simultaneously as major component of the assessment. Other identifiable components include point location of the Deepwater Horizon incident, visible shoreline for the impacted regions, and bathymetric contours. In light of the Deepwater Horizon incident, the implementation of the assessment is to be utilized as an aid in viewing potentially at risk coral communities, fishing industry, and associated incident impact.


Once I graduate from Elizabeth City State University I plan to eagerly pursue a Master's degree in Mathematics and Remotes Sensing, while at the same time sharing what I enjoy so much as an educator and later on in life seek my Doctorial Degree, inevitably doing something that I am strongly passionate in, willingly able and happy doing. The importance of education is vital to my future goals as wee as aspirations in the next ten years. By furthering my education this leads me to successful growth and development in my future academic and research careers.




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