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Mr Aubrey Miller

Aubrey Miller-Thumb
MSc (Colorado State University, USA)
BA (Hons)(The College of William and Mary, USA)
Email: aubrey.miller@otago.ac.nz
Phone: +64 3 479 7606
Location: School of Surveying, 310 Castle Street, Room 118

Profile

I am interested in improving our understanding of social, ecological and physical interactions through spatial data capture and analysis. I am especially interested in quantifying how people interact with the physical environment. I am also passionate about getting young people excited to learn about the world through the lens of geospatial science.

I am a Professional Practice Fellow in geospatial science in the School of Surveying. I have lecturing and lab coordination responsibilities for the geospatial papers and conduct research in the areas of GIS, natural hazards, outdoor recreation and spatial ecology. I also manage the spatial computer lab, provide research and technical support to students and staff, and manage the University’s ArcGIS software.

Teaching

SURV102 Geospatial Science (Contributor)
SURV208 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Contributor)
SURV309/SURV509 Introduction to Remote Sensing (Contributor)
SURV319/Surv519 Spatial Algorithms and Programming (Contributor)
SURV411/SURV511 Advanced Spatial Analysis and Modelling (Contributor)
OCEN301 Practical and Field Oceanography (Contributor)

GIS Software short-courses for Otago staff and postgraduates, offered annually in February: Intro to ArcGIS Desktop, Intro to ArcGIS Pro, Intro to QGIS (coordinator).
Email aubrey.miller@otago.ac.nz for more information.

Research and professional interests

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Spatial analysis
  • Natural hazards, in particular in alpine regions
  • Snow avalanches
  • Outdoor recreation modelling
  • Remote sensing
  • Photogrammetry and LiDAR
  • Terrain analysis and modelling
  • Spatial ecology
  • Geovisualisation
  • Volunteered Geographic Information / Participatory GIS

I am also a member of the Coastal People: Southern Skies collaboration that connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.
Coastal People: Southern Skies

Some current projects

Snow avalanche hazards in Aotearoa New Zealand: Using extreme events from the past to plan for the future (2020 – ongoing)

This project, a collaboration between Otago University and WSL-SLF in Switzerland, uses the latest advances in topographic mapping, remote sensing and modelling tools (e.g. RAMMS) to improve our understanding of snow avalanche hazards in New Zealand. Avalanche Hazard website

Matariki: Quantifying environmental resources through high-resolution, automated, satellite mapping of landscape change (2019 – ongoing)

The Matariki project is funded by MBIE Endeavour Smart Idea to transform environmental monitoring by quantifying environmental resources through high-resolution, automated, satellite mapping of landscape change. This project will develop a novel way to make 3D-change maps with unprecedented detail and sub-metre accuracy. Matariki website

Source to Sea: A scientific investigation of the local catchment for Dunedin region rural schools (2018 – ongoing)

This is a collaboration with the Halo Project, with funding from the Curious Minds Initiative, to help local students understand biodiversity, land use and water quality in their local catchment.
Halo Project website

Students embark on physical and virtual field trips to better understand their catchments, including with the use of a GIS. You can see examples of the webGIS students are using to study their catchments in the scene below or by visiting this site: Land Use Change Source to Sea

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Community mapping of historical land use on Mahu Whenua Covenants land, Central Otago, New Zealand (2017 – ongoing)

This is a Catchments Otago Project (PI Tony Moore) that aims to capture local knowledge of historic land use in the four farms that make up the Mahu Whenua Covenants land between Arrowtown and Wanaka. We have conducted interviews with farmers and locals with a connection to the land reaching back to the 1950s and captured the knowledge on a series of maps that will be combined in a GIS.
Catchments Otago website

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University of Otago Campus Mapping (2017 – 2019)

This is a collaboration between the University’s Property Services and Information Technology departments and the School of Surveying to transform the existing 3D building models the University manages into spatially-aware mapping products. This project has led to an updated map for a student app and a GIS the University now manages for all its building assets.
University of Otago campus map app

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Glaciers in the picture: How much have New Zealand glaciers changed over the last 30 years? (2017 – 2018)

This is a University of Otago Research Grant-funded project (PI Pascal Sirguey) measuring and mapping changes to NZ glaciers with recent satellite imagery and state-of-the-art photogrammetry techniques.

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Terrain selection by winter recreationists in hazardous avalanche terrain, Colorado, USA (2016 – ongoing)

This is a collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Research Station (USA) to quantify how recreationists move through terrain, especially with regard to hazardous avalanche-prone terrain. This project involves the use of small portable GPS units to capture movement patterns from thousands of winter recreationists, such as skiers and snowmobilers, to better predict how they move through terrain.

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Responsibilities

School

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Publications

Nava, L., Carr, N., Miller, A., & Coetzee, W. (2020). Redefining ‘freedom camping’ in New Zealand: The role of the Rugby World Cup. Annals of Leisure Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/11745398.2020.1818591

Moore, A., Johnson, M., Gbolagun, J., Miller, A., Rombouts, A., van der Ven, L., Lord, J., … Hall, G. B. (2018). Integrating agroecology and sustainable tourism: Applying geodesign to farm management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 26(9), 1543-1561. doi: 10.1080/09669582.2018.1484751

Miller, A. D., Squires, J. R., Olson, L. E., & Roberts, E. K. (2018). Acceptable risk for backcountry skiers and riders from avalanche hazards: Differences in uphill and downhill terrain selection. Proceedings of the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW). (pp. 1664-1668). Retrieved from https://arc.lib.montana.edu/snow-science

Miller, A. D., Squires, J. R., Olson, L. E., & Roberts, E. K. (2018). Terrain selection and forecasted avalanche danger: Do recreationists select safer terrain when the forecasted avalanche danger increases? Proceedings of the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW). (pp. 1640-1645). Retrieved from https://arc.lib.montana.edu/snow-science

Miller, A. D., Vaske, J. J., Squires, J. R., Olson, L. E., & Roberts, E. K. (2017). Does zoning winter recreationists reduce recreation conflict? Environmental Management, 59(1), 50-67. doi: 10.1007/s00267-016-0777-0

Journal - Research Article

Nava, L., Carr, N., Miller, A., & Coetzee, W. (2020). Redefining ‘freedom camping’ in New Zealand: The role of the Rugby World Cup. Annals of Leisure Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/11745398.2020.1818591

Moore, A., Johnson, M., Gbolagun, J., Miller, A., Rombouts, A., van der Ven, L., Lord, J., … Hall, G. B. (2018). Integrating agroecology and sustainable tourism: Applying geodesign to farm management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 26(9), 1543-1561. doi: 10.1080/09669582.2018.1484751

Miller, A. D., Vaske, J. J., Squires, J. R., Olson, L. E., & Roberts, E. K. (2017). Does zoning winter recreationists reduce recreation conflict? Environmental Management, 59(1), 50-67. doi: 10.1007/s00267-016-0777-0

Olson, L. E., Squires, J. R., Roberts, E. K., Miller, A. D., Ivan, J. S., & Hebblewhite, M. (2017). Modeling large-scale winter recreation terrain selection with implications for recreation management and wildlife. Applied Geography, 86, 66-91. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2017.06.023

Miller, A. D., & Vaske, J. J. (2016). Winter recreationist conflict and management approaches at Vail Pass, Colorado. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 34(2), 1-11. doi: 10.18666/JPRA-2016-V34-I2-6552

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Miller, A. D., Squires, J. R., Olson, L. E., & Roberts, E. K. (2018). Acceptable risk for backcountry skiers and riders from avalanche hazards: Differences in uphill and downhill terrain selection. Proceedings of the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW). (pp. 1664-1668). Retrieved from https://arc.lib.montana.edu/snow-science

Miller, A. D., Squires, J. R., Olson, L. E., & Roberts, E. K. (2018). Terrain selection and forecasted avalanche danger: Do recreationists select safer terrain when the forecasted avalanche danger increases? Proceedings of the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW). (pp. 1640-1645). Retrieved from https://arc.lib.montana.edu/snow-science

More publications...