The CSR is pleased to report the recent publication featuring the work of our very own
Nathan Mosurinjohn, along with Calvin’s Professor of Geography, Jason VanHorn. Professor VanHorn’s specialty is terrorism geography, and in the summer of 2008 he began working with Nathan on a methodology for safeguarding politicians and other VIP’s from sniper fire using 3D modeling.
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are frequently used in crime prevention strategies, but many approaches only make use of 2D data. In this paper, Professor Van Horn and Nathan examined 3D modeling possibilities using the tools available in GIS and Google Sketch-Up. Their goal was to be able to calculate every position sniper fire could potentially come from a given particular VIP location.
To test this methodology, the burial site of President Ford, found at the Gerald R. Ford Museum, was selected, being a location that has hosted many prominent people in the past, including Vice President Dick Cheney at President Ford’s burial. Nathan first built a digital 3D model of downtown Grand Rapids using Google Sketch-Up. He researched aerial photographs, maps, and records containing specific heights of buildings to aid him in this task. Click here to see a video of this 3D model. Do you recognize downtown Grand Rapids?
Using this model, Professor VanHorn and Nathan were then able to construct a viewshed which shows all of the places from which a person could be seen if they were to be standing at a specific location. Nathan and Professor VanHorn also researched the maximum firing ranges of different weapons and built a model which demonstrated the maximum distance that a weapon would have to fire to reach a designated area (see image below).
This instrumental research gives an example of how 3D modeling capabilities can be used in terrorism research and personnel protection, and how useful it is to conduct these analysis in 3D instead of 2D maps.
One of the most common questions we get from people inquiring about the CSR is “How can the CSR benefit me?” As part one of this explanation, and, because we are always looking for excuses to talk with past CSR employees, we thought we would share with you what our former employees are up to! Note: If you are a past employee and have something to share, please tell us what you are doing and we’ll make another post.
|(Hover your mouse over the pictures to see who they are!)|
|Sara Achauer: Sara is currently working full-time as a Research Technician Senior at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) in the Child Care and Early Education Archive (CCEERC). She plans to start graduate school part-time in the Fall at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. She will be working towards her Master’s in Health Behavior and Health Education with a focus on childbearing and maternal health. Sara is also training to become a doula (labor support person for women during the childbearing year) this summer. On a more personal note, she is engaged to a computer science engineer, Maxwell Lazaroff, who works for Barracuda Networks. They plan to get married next year on July 7th and buy a house around Ann Arbor.|
|Kirsten Anderson: Kirsten is currently working as an Evaluation Consultant for Hanssen Consulting in Eastown, Grand Rapids. Hanssen Consulting is a company that specializes in professional development and program evaluation. She performs such duties as creating questionnaires, collecting data, conducting data analyses, and assisting with the development of new proposals.|
|Jordan Bruxvoort: Jordan has been working as a church-based community organizer for the Michigan Organizing Project, a non-profit group. The focus of his work is building relationships with congregations in the Grand Rapids area and inviting them to be a part of a coalition of churches that works together on issues of social justice. They are currently focused on the National Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and they hope to have the capability to take on another social justice issue soon. Jordan tells us that his experience with the Kent County Congregational Study (KCCS) while working at the CSR has proven to be very valuable for the work that he is doing in his new position!|
|Brian Odegaard: Brian is currently a graduate student in the UCLA Psychology Department, specializing in behavioral neuroscience and computational cognition. Brian just finished up his first year of classes and will be focusing full-time on research this summer, investigating the influence of attention on multi-sensory processing.|
|Amanda Stek: Amanda is currently living in Indonesia with her husband, Joel Berends. During this past year she worked for Universitas Pelita Harapan doing international accreditation, volunteered with World Vision Indonesia on their Child Health Now campaign, and did consultant work with International Relief and Development (IRD). She also studied the Indonesian language and hopes to be fluent by the end of her second year in Indonesia. This coming year, she will be applying to graduate school for the year of 2011 in the field of International Relations and Policy.|
|Michael Sullivan: is working as a Law Associate in the Corporate department of Simpson Thacher and Bartlett. He helps big companies buy and sell other companies, and also helps companies buy and sell their stocks and bonds.|
|Leia Vos: After Leia left CSR, she went on to complete her final Calvin semester in Chicago working in the University of Illinois at Chicago’s psychiatric center on Mental Health Research and Policy. She has commented to us that while working there, she was able to use a lot of the skills she learned at the CSR and generally had a great experience. She is planning to continue her studies in the Fall at Wayne State University, working towards her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Leia is also getting married at the end of July!|
|Nikole Voss: Nikole has been working as a family advocate at the YWCA West Central Michigan. She does case management in the 2-year supportive housing program with women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. She plans on beginning grad school part time, working towards a Master’s in Social Work over the next one or two years. Nikole is getting married at the end of July, and as a matter of fact, Leia and Nikole are getting married on the same day! The CSR is happy to hear that Nikole, as we remember of her, still enjoys games, colored pens and movie nights.|
As the end of the school year approaches, the CSR staff is making plans for the future.
Several Research Assistants are leaving CSR to start new chapters in their lives. Here is what they are up to!
|CSR is pleased to be a co-sponsor with other Calvin College Centers and Institutes of the 2010 Reformed Mission in an Age of World Christianity conference; follow this link to read more about it. Open to all, the June 15-17, 2010 conference immediately precedes the inaugural meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) on Calvin's campus. Register now! Then read on for more about CSR's plans for a focus group research project at the conference.|
Using data from the Kent County Congregations Study, CSR staff will showcase emerging tools and methods for visual data analysis.
Please join us:
Thursday April 8, 2010|
3:30 p.m., Meeter Center Lecture Hall