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Hammond High senior competes in Nationals GIS contest

Hammond High senior competes in Nationals GIS contest
Posted: Jun 17, 2017
Categories: Front Page, Good News
Comments: 0
HAMMOND---A rising senior from Hammond High Magnet School has been selected for the National 4-H GIS/GPS Leadership Team.

Vibriyogn Epuri, 17, is the first student from Louisiana to compete at this national contest.

Epuri first studied GIS technology last summer at Clover College, an LSU AgCenter 4-H-based program. A member of HHMS’ 4-H Club, Epuri immediately grasped and excelled at the application of Remote Sensing and GIS technology. As a result, he was accepted to the national team which convenes in San Diego on July 6-12.

“Vibriyogn was by far one of the most impressive young students I’ve worked with,” said Fran Harvey, executive director of the Louisiana Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems Institute. “Finding students like him to cultivate is thrilling, and I know the has a great future in a GIS-related career.”

Epuri’s project for the team was to study the impact of Hurricane Katrina on crime in his hometown. Working with Hammond Police Chief James Stewart and City of Hammond Director of Administration Dr. Lacy Landrum, Epuri began the process of analyzing more than 322,000 data records from 2000 to 2010. The result is a 30-inch by 40-inch map showing longitudinal trends and the impact of the 2005 hurricane and the rapid population explosion that followed. Among the takeaways from his research, Epuri said, is evidence that burglaries and thefts in Hammond spiked in the aftermath of Katrina, but declined within the next six months to one year after people impacted by the storm began the recovery process.

“The data coincides with what I remember from the region post-Katrina,” said Stewart, who was on hand when Epuri unveiled the project at police headquarters for the chief and his detectives Friday morning.

“I think it’s outstanding, what he’s done with it so far,” Stewart said, congratulating the young man, whose research is now being considered for placement in the Library of Congress.

Epuri said he sees the project as something relevant for travelers, noting that people coming into an area may not be familiar with crime trends in that community.

Next month in San Diego, Epuri will collaborate on a GIS service project involving tidal pools in San Diego Bay and at the Cabrillo National Monument (US National Park Service). The national team will also participate in two back-to-back ESRI conferences, the International User Conference and the Education Conferences. ESRI’s Map Gallery will feature Epuri’s map and will explain his research and product. The International GIS User Conference will involve 16,000 GIS professionals from about 50 countries around the world.
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