RCI Student Operator Develops CanopyApp

RCI Student Operator Develops CanopyApp

Jan 15, 2014

RCI recognizes student operator and Junior Computer Science major Dexter Richards for his outstanding work in developing, designing, and testing CanopyApp.  Sponsored by Annette Schloss of the UNH Earth Systems Research Center, CanopyApp is a multi-platform app that measures forest canopy cover in photographs taken by users.  The application works by masking colors specified by the user and then generating a percentage of canopy cover.  Designed for use by foresters, or anyone interested in canopy density, the app serves as a digital substitute for, or supplement to, a hand-held device called a densiometer.

Dexter was encouraged by Annette and his RCI staff mentor, Philip Collins, to present CanopyApp in Washington, DC January 7-10, 2014 at the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Federation Winter Meeting.  Meeting attendees were primarily representatives from government agencies such as NASA and NOAA.  View Dexter’s CanopyApp poster by clicking here.

Here’s how Dexter describes his time in Washington:

“My experience was very positive, as many people were impressed by CanopyApp and my work in creating it. I learned that the app can be used for more than just canopy cover, and in the process of talking to people and answering questions, I came up with several new ideas for the app and how to make it better. I got a lot of compliments for my poster's design and how eye-catching it was, compared to the other posters. In addition, there was a 9-year-old boy running around the room with his mother. I got star reviews among the people who knew him because I was the only one in the room that could explain what I was doing and what my app was to that 9-year-old. Overall, the experience was very, very rewarding and I learned a lot about presenting my app and the conference atmosphere in general.”

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