Professional Statement

I am Prosper Yaw Adiku and I graduated from the University of Ghana in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography & Fisheries. I had no idea of what marine sciences or oceanography were like back in my high school days. When I got into the University however, I opted for oceanography for no obvious reasons. During my undergraduate research, I was motivated by my mentor Dr. George Wiafe and thus began developing interest in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Thus I used Remote Sensing and GIS applications in erosion studies during my undergraduate research. The objective of the study was to set up a baseline which can be used as a reference in future studies of erosion trends at the Mukwe beach. The research also focused on the integration of shoreline data into already existing map formats that ensures easy update through the use of the remote sensing and GPS techniques. Shoreline data was collected with the use of GPS equipment employing the Real Time Kinematic Survey (RTK) and Static Survey techniques and the data was process in the GIS application software ArcGIS.

Last year, I attended the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society 2009 Symposium in South Africa, this further exposed me to many applications of GIS and remote sensing. Back in Ghana, I am part of a research team led by Dr. George Wiafe (Principal Investigator) that is working to investigate the actual causes and possible solutions to the erosion problems along our coasts. Other aspects of this program include assessments of biological and economic effects of sea level rise in Ghana. Equally, it is important to understand the relationship between the melting ice sheets and how our coastlines would respond to such changes in sea level. Wide gaps in knowledge and expertise exist in these areas in my country, therefore, I decided to pursue a Masters program that intends to investigate how the coastline, coastal ecosystems and humans would respond to current and predicted changes in sea level using Remote sensing and GIS applications. My specific interest is in the use of remote sensing techniques in detecting and predicting change with a focus on coastal vulnerability assessment.

This year, I am participating in a summer research program organized by Elizabeth City State and Kansas universities. Interestingly, this research area is in line with my project area since it has to do with melting ice and sea level rise. I am a member of the ''Autonomous GPS Guided Watercraft'' team under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Akers. At the end of this ECSU/KU program, I expect to have a better understanding of the application of GIS in environmental assessment. I hope thes experiences would enable me pursue my Masters program with a greater success and ultimately develop myself into a researcher and secure an academic career in higher institutions of learning and research after my Doctorate degree. Additionally, this program would enable me to interact and get to know a number of professionals and experts that I can look up to during my research and other academic collaborations.