7.4 Assignment – conservation and fire risk

This final section of the unit provides you with an opportunity to use the techniques learned into the preceding units. As further ideas for tackling the assignment below, we recommend that you work through this practical handout, which introduces how spatio-temporal data concerning natural hazards can be analysed using space-time data mining techniques in ArcGIS Pro (Note: much the same functionality is also available in ArcGIS Desktop from version 10.3 onwards).


This assignment looks at tiger conservation areas in Nepal and the spatio-temporal patterns in the risk to these areas from fire hazard. In this assignment, your task is to investigate the historical relationship between fire occurrence and environmental factors likely to influence its occurrence. You should also examine the impact of fire on tiger habitat from 2000-2013. You should use the tools in ArcGIS spatial analyst to aid your analysis. You may find it helpful to divide the fire data set into separate map layers for different sub-periods, and then for each sub-period look at the pattern of fire relative to tiger habitat and landscape characteristics that could influence its occurrence.

You may wish to further your ArcGIS skillset and explore using the spatial statistics tools given that fire time-series data have been provided, e.g. have fire events become more or less clustered over time? Once you have explored the temporal and spatial characteristics of fire occurrence between 2000 and 2013, you should discuss the implications of your findings for management of the tiger population in relation to fire risk.


Background to the assignment, comprehensive instructions, marking criteria and the data for this assignment are provided in the following zip files. You can either work with data for the whole of Nepal, or a regional subset (the latter is useful if your connection speed is slow):

  1. Full Nepal Dataset zip file (365mb);
  2. Subset Nepal Dataset zip file (25mb).

Your assignment must answer the assessment questions and be no longer than 2000 words (and conform to Geography word count policy). Detail on what is expected regarding assessment criteria are provided in the zip file above.

References (Essential reading for this learning object indicated by *)

Full details on data sources and background literature are provided in the assignment outline in the zip file above.

The data for the practical exercise come from the US Storm Prediction Centre: https://www.spc.noaa.gov/gis/svrgis/.

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