APCG: Getting the Grant

During the summer of 2015 after my first year of graduate school, I received an email from my newly chosen thesis advisor.  Fortunately this turned out to be a very good email.  My thesis advisor had nominated me for the Women’s Network Travel Grant given out by the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers.  The grant is an award of $200 and is used to highlight outstanding female undergraduate and graduate students and to support female attendance and participation in geography.  Each awardee also get one year free membership in APCG and a free lunch honoring the Women’s Network Grant recipients at the annual meeting.  That year’s meeting was at Palm Springs, which I was grateful for because then I didn’t have to travel too far to get there.  This year’s meeting is in Portland, OR, which even with a travel grant would have been much too far for me to attend.

Several other members of my graduate cohort attended the Palm Springs meeting as well and we traveled together.  One of them even gave a presentation on her thesis research.  This meeting had paper presentations as well as map displays.  The first day there I enjoyed looking at the map displays and speaking with the creators of the maps.  The second day was full of paper presentations.  I didn’t have time to attend all of them as some were occurring at the same time.

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Spatial Patterns of Crime in Long Beach

In November of 2015, the Los Angeles Geographical Society (LAGS), continued their lecture series with a presentation by Dr. Chris Carter, a professor at Long Beach City College.  His lecture was titled: “Spatial Patterns of Crime in Long Beach Using ArcGIS Spatial Statistics Tools”.

He started off by discussing Long Beach demographics for 2015.  The population at that time was 471,210 with a diversity index of 87.8%.  The per capita income was $25,807, which matches 86% of California’s per capita income.  His crime data comes from the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) and ranges from 2010-2014.  This data includes crime type, crime location by address, arrestee in combination with city by address, and victim by address.

He examined patterns of assault and battery (not including domestic/family violence), robbery (not including commercial),  burglary (not including commercial), and murder.  With this data he performed geocoding, which is the act of transforming spatial, locationally-descriptive text into a valid spatial representation.  For this he used ESRI software, specifically ArcGIS Desktop, which was one of his first tips.  Another tip he gave was that with crimes and addresses of people you need to rename/re-code points from police station and police substations.

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