Alicia Tyson

  • Biographical Description

    • Building on a previous career in communications and journalism, I came to the field of geography with an interest in and field training/volunteer experience in ecology, environmental education, geology, and conservation issues. Though I grew up in north Alabama and a few years ago spent a few years in Auburn, AL, I have called Colorado home since 1999 when I moved to Estes Park to work at Trail Ridge Store in Rocky Mountain National Park. Growing up in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic extended family dynamic combined with my own Hispanic heritage, instilled in me a desire to discover a path both meaningful and solution oriented in socio-economic stressed regions.

      Currently, I am completing research conducted in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), Peru where I spent 6 weeks exploring the region, collecting GPS data, and conducting interviews. It is my goal to use skills gained thus far in the MS GIS program along with the skills of investigation, communication, and education to assist me in addressing issues in natural resource management, erosion control/land use and historic conservation in Peru.

      In my spare time (which is admittedly not always easily found), I enjoy volunteering as a naturalist with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, bouldering and sport climbing, cooking/baking cupcakes, hiking, and photography.

  • Curriculum Vitae


      Alicia F. Tyson (Green), M.A.
      MS, GIS student
      University of Denver, Geography Department
      Boettcher West, Room 136
      2050 E. Iliff Ave.
      Denver, CO 80208-0710;
  • Field Work - Gallery

    • 2012: Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), Peru
    • 2011: Peru
    • 2011: RMA National Wildlife Refuge
  • Field Projects

    • July - August 2012

      GIS Modeling of Landslide Susceptibility and Risk Perception - Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), Peru

      Situated in the southwest region of Peru, Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) experienced a surge of urban development as a result of a 1998 initiative approved by UNESCO to support the growing tourism industry centered on the UNESCO World Heritage site, Machu Picchu. In addition to its unique perch on a delta at the confluence of the Alcamayo, Aguas Calientes, and Urubamba rivers, Aguas Calientes lies in a watershed with high return intervals for flooding and mass wasting in the form of landslides and debris flows. These mass erosion events originate at higher elevations within the Urubamba watershed and cascade down from slopes measuring over 4000 m with slope gradients as much as 70 degrees overlooking perennial rivers with high carrying capacities (Bulmer & Farquhar 2010, Carreno & Kalafatovich 2006).

      Using a landslide susceptibility model expanded to analyze exposure and risk perception, this research illustrates the relationship between risk perception and measured physical variations in landscape. The placement of perceptions of risk within the larger framework of the fundamental hierarchy of needs exposes facets of the growth management problem currently unaddressed.

      The results of this examination suggest the need for re-evaluation of the extent and classification of hazard zones for use in resource management and land use planning. Furthermore, the spatial representation of risk perception highlights the opportunity for public education, the inclusion of cooperation and assistance by the local population, and the development of an urban management plan that accounts for public perception of risk.

      Field work conducted to inform the risk perception element of the analysis included:

      • Collection of GPS data and line points using a Garmin GPSMAP C60X
      • Conducted 25 semi-structed interviews (including use of participatory sketch mapping method) to assess risk perception
      • Recorded ethnographic observations of physical, cultural geography of location
    • December 2011 - October 2012

      Geospatial Surveying at Machu Picchu, Peru

      GPS  and Image data was collected at the following sites in Peru:

      • Inca Trail (Km 82 to UNESCO World Heritage site, Machu Picchu)
      • Machu Picchu
      • Along railway line Cusco to Puno
      • Trail across Taquile, an island in Lake Titkaka.

      Data collected included: Line data, Point data (points of interest, archaeological features, biogeographical features, cultural features, physical features), and Images (using a GPS camera and a Nikon camera). The data collected will be used in the development of GIS labs taught by Dr. Trigoso.

    • November 2011 - Present

      Analyzing Abandoned Trail Viability and Proposed Pathways Using GPS and Least Cost Path Analysis, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

      The concepts for this project were initially developed as part of completion of a final project for the class, GPS for GIS. During the course of the development of the scope of the project, data gathering process, and analysis and in discussion with US Fish and Wildlife personnal, additional components and needs were identified. The analysis of the line and point trails data gathered will be used to assist US FWS in assessing the financial and labor feasibility of restoring an abandoned section of trail in the SE corner of the Refuge as well as establishment of a trail connecting the wetlands within the abandoned section with the Rod and Gun Club Pond. In addition, data gathered along two newly established trails will be added to existing trails data and used to provide a new trails map for public use. A final analysis will include an assessment of signage along all trails within the system at the Refuge. The purpose of this assessment will be to inform management and budgetary decisions regarding signage through the Refuge. This work is being completed solely on a volunteer basis.

  • Data Links

    • World Data Center for Human Interactions in the Environment
    • EOSDIS Near Real-Time Data

      ESDIS provides access to near real-time products from the MODIS, OMI, AIRS, and MLS instruments in less than 2.5 hours from observation from the Land and Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). The system supports application users who are interested in monitoring and analyzing a wide variety of natural and man-made phenomena. Data are freely available after registration.straton

    • Global Land Cover Facility

      The GLCF is a center for land cover science with a focus on research using remotely sensed satellite data and products to access land cover change for local to global systems.

  • Photos - Personal

    • MP_Family.jpg

      Field Work Trip, June-August 2012: My Machu Picchu Pueblo Peruvian Family ... such wonderful memories and support!

    • ACupriver.jpg

      Field Work Trip, June-August 2012: Looking upriver along the Urubamba (Vilcanota) River, examining evidences of past debris flows

    • Aguas_Calientes_River.jpg

      Field Work Trip, June-August 2012: Taken during my explorations of the town and the ways the town is both adapting to the natural hazards common in the Andes and to the persistent urban growth, itself a partial response to the booming tourism industry

    • Swimming in the Pacific
      Swimming in the Pacific

      Trip to Peru, December 2011: Before flying to Cuzco, we spent a day in Lima. A few of the undergraduate students and I decided to take a quick dip in the quite chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean in an area along the shore known for its surfing about a mile down the coast from the shopping district of Larcomar. The tide made standing on the smooth rocks covering the ocean floor a bit difficult - more challenging...walking the mile or so back to the hotel in wet jeans!

    • Arrived

      Trip to Peru, December 2011: After 4 hard days hiking and collecting data, I arrived at Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Pictures do not even begin to do justice to the overwhelming magnificance of the architecture, enginnering, beautiful landscape, and sheer weight of the historic and cultural significance of this magical place.

    • Peru
This portfolio last updated: Mar 27, 2013 1:29:19 PM