Learning experience as an intern at GeoPsy Research

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Learning experience as an intern at GeoPsy Research

Category: Internship
Author: Alvin Otieno

I am a final year student at the Technical University of Kenya, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree course in Surveying Technology. From February 2021, I have been on industrial attachment at GeoPsy Multidisciplinary Research. Under the guidance and supervision of the head of Spatial Data Analysis at the company, Dr. Francis Oloo, I mainly used my time in the company to carry out land use and land cover mapping for Yala Swamp in Kenya.

In executing the project, I mainly learnt and used tools and methods in GIS and Remote Sensing. In particular, I explored several datasets and practically learnt to implement methods such as layer stacking and image classification. The internship opportunity allowed me to firm up the theoretical knowledge that I had gained from class with practical examples and applications.

Interactions with peers

Apart from my supervisor, I also interacted and worked with other colleagues including Timothy, Godwin, and Evans. Whenever anyone presented, the team objectively critiqued various aspects of presentations to enhance comprehension and to act as a bridge for a follow-up presentation at a later date.

Upon completing a task, we displayed results in such a way that others find the choice of display relatable and comprehensible, like the LULC change maps of Yala Swamp as seen above. The images show a time series analysis of the study area depicts a rural setting where the intensity of agricultural activities and built up areas have augmented over the years, thus diminishing the area under natural vegetation.

Additional training opportunities

Notably, GeoPsy partnered with Mindful African Initiative Company in March of 2021 to facilitate ten hours of online Intermediate Level GIS Training. Half of those five-two hour sessions entailed a practical session where the trainer (Dr. Oloo) demonstrated QGIS capabilities. The attendees later worked on a related practical assignment by themselves to deliver a map, alongside a report.

I got exposed to various GIS tools used for manipulating raster and vector data, carrying suitability analysis and designing maps. This knowledge proves handy when applied in the real world. Proper application undoubtedly requires consistent practice and exposure to GIS functionalities, and listening to critiques of one’s results from others. This way, there’s a significant reduction of the learners’ dependence on tutorials. Nevertheless, one has to stay tuned to new developments in GIS that may require acquisition of new skills.

Key lessons

One of the important lessons that I got was embracing a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving. More often than not, arriving to the best solution requires application of principles from various fields. Consequently, collaborating with specialists from these fields during research gives more insight of coming up with an innovative and useful product. 

Another lesson learnt is performing statistical computations to establish facts. With the numerous data collected from GIS applications, statistics reveal the trends and patterns of a phenomenon in a geolocation which helps further in decision making and establishing effective mitigation measures.

Finally, clear communication is vital with any project undertaken. Despite the technical aspects of a scientific study, the results ought to have an artistic touch to the extent of making sense to others who have not specialized in that area. This way, one can reach a large audience.



*** David ,says: Very fantastic work!

*** Evans ,says: Nice work

*** Ben ,says: Awesome

*** Nicky ,says: Superb

*** Conrad Orori ,says: Good work Alvo...the writing is also superb. I enjoyed reading the blog post 👏

*** Jaymoh ,says: Kudos broman. Once I read somewhere that the real best learner is the one who appreciates an experience. Go on!

*** Jonah ,says: Hii article si mbaaaaya🙂

*** Lyle ,says: Damn bro, the article is mind blowing. So we'll written 👌👌👌👌👌

*** Mom ,says: The write up displays that you gained a lot. Apply the knowledge where needed. All the best.

*** Aunt ,says: Good job son. I am proud of you. Sky is the limit