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Parks & Reserves Papers 1

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(ECP and CTSP grantees, reports, and other sites of interest for conservation geograpy, mapping and GIS. Grantees are coded by program and year of grant at the end of their name/state, i.e. e91 means ECP grant in 1991. c=cstp, cm=ctsp-mac, cs=ctsp-software)

Scholarly papers and ESRI Conference Proceedings

An Example of GIS Applications in Public Policy: Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site Management Zoning Scheme As Defined in the Site’s General Management Plan () "..Areas with historic resource values related to the battle of Palo Alto were identified through research of historic maps and brought into the geographic information system. The different stages of the battle were mapped and then superimposed on one another to establish areas with historic resource values. Identifying the viewshed from the high historic value area was accomplished by selecting a set of random sample points, then creating an elevation model based on a digital elevation model with consideration of vegetation height. Finally, a viewshed was created using the model, which resides in the GRID module of ArcInfo GIS software. The resulting viewshed represents views from multiple points within the high historic value area... "

Applications of GIS Analysis for Natural Resource Management at the National Biological Service's Southern Science Center (1995 Paper, James B. Johnston, Marcia E. McNiff, William R. Jones, Wei Ji, Lawrence R. Handley, John Barras, and Pierre Bourgeois) ...The SSC develops databases and provides support for a wide variety of spatial analysis projects for numerous Federal, state, local, and private entities using ArcInfo GIS software...SSC's support for this project includes planning and monitoring restoration projects and co-chairing the wetlands monitoring Technical Advisory Group. Support for other projects includes providing data to assess Hurricane Andrew damage to Louisiana's natural resources, assisting in the development of GIS capabilities and digital databases for resource management personnel, and providing GIS and data management support to monitor the status and trends of wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico area.

Approaching the Virtual Landscape of Yellowstone National Park: Integrating Spatial Analysis with the Process of Scientific Discovery to Create a Soils Resource Inventory (1996 Abstract, Henry Shovick, Ann Rodman, and Eric Compas)...The two million pristine acres of Yellowstone National Park are the backdrop for an unusual and ground breaking effort. We are building an integrated landscape model, based on digital spatial data and the concepts of the science of landscape ecology. We recently completed the last major resource theme for this model....Because of limited accessibility, availability of a wealth of digital biologic and physical information, and need for a strong scientific basis we chose to replace the entire delineation process with electronic methods of spatial analysis.

The Computer Automation of Land Status within the National Wildlife Refuges of Alaska (1995 Paper, Douglas L. Vandegraft)...Beginning in August 1989, the Division has been digitizing all of the small parcels (down to .001 acre) within townships inside refuge boundaries. Using Master Title Plats, which are produced manually by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), land status has been "automated" within 8 of the 16 refuges thus far. This report was written to document and detail the processes necessary to automate land status on a township level. The evolution of refuge mapping that led to Realty's land status GIS is documented in the Appendix.

Enhancing Natural and Cultural Resources Management by Integrating GIS Capabilities with Park Operations (1996 Paper, Anthony Gareau)...To effectively manage park resources, managers need accurate information to recognize changes in ecosystems and to link trends with causes so that natural and anthropogenic threats may be distinguished....In this paper, we demonstrate the functions of a user-friendly computer interface being developed for CVNRA to make access to information timely and easier for managers, researchers, staff, and visitors. The interface consolidates a vast amount of existing natural and cultural resources digital data into a single system supporting park operations in CVNRA.

Geographic Information System Approach to Trails Management in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. (Dan Hurlbert, GIS Specialist) "The park’s GIS assisted with trails damage assessment following two significant events; Hurricane Fran in September, 1996 and a major ice storm in January, 1998...Feature data collection using satellite-mapping technology (GPS), students hiked and mapped each trail and associated trail features including 463 sections along 331 miles of trail (534 km). Also mapped were 152 culverts, 71 retaining walls and 18 bridges. Other information gathered included low-water stream crossings, trail intersections and numbers of water control features (WCF). Water control is important, especially along trails. Often, a trail will act as a conduit for water during storm events of the type mentioned. Channels result as erosion carries the structural integrity of the trail bed down slope. Water control features such as checkdams, waterbars and culverts are important impediments to this process. "

GIS and a New National Park: The Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar (1995 Abstract, Andrew D. Weiss, Claire Kremen) ...TOPOGRID (Arc v.7) converted the vector hypsography to a 100m DEM, which was used to derive slope, aspect, insolation, and topographic position (ridge, slope, valley, flat). Forest cover in 1957 and 1991 was determined by interpreting aerial photography and SPOT imagery, giving us the opportunity for evaluating land use changes. Global positioning systems were used by survey teams recording both biological and socioeconomic data such as village age and population.

GIS Solutions Creating and Managing Metadata in an ArcView GIS Environment (by Peter Budde, MWSO-GIS) "The metadata challenge is consistent for every type of GIS configuration. Perhaps, however, the typical small-park setting faces the greatest number of obstacles: only one person is familiar with the GIS data and software operation; the GIS responsibilities are one of many collateral duties; there is frequent turnover in this position; and by the way, lack of time. Yet with the increasing capabilities of desktop GIS, e.g., ArcView, many more parks are integrating spatial information and tools in their routine operations, and we are all capable of creating data with much less angst...One possible tool our small-park GIS offices could use is called the Metadata Management System (MMS) -->. MMS provides a framework for documenting each layer in the GIS and maintains the information in an Access database format. The greatest strength of MMS is its seamless integration with ArcView 3.0x GIS, an interface to the metadata is provided via an ArcView extension. "

Georeferencing Field Data with only 2 GPS points: (Colonial National Historical Park, P.O. Box 210,Yorktown, Virginia 23690-0210) "Normally hardcopy maps are digitized with a minimum of four geo-referenced points. But the park had only two geo-referenced points that could be found on the ground and correlated with the Caywood map. The following procedure, using ArcInfo and ArcView, gives an additional option for referencing digitized maps with less than four points...The archaeological and historic maps of Green Spring were digitized using ArcView 3.0 as line themes (shapefiles). " The SHAPEARC command was used to create an ArcInfo coverage from the shapefile, followed by BUILD and CLEAN then ARCDXF to make a .dxf format file which is opened up in ArcView. The .wld "world" file can then be created by hand by entering the 2 known GPS coordinates using any text editor.

Interactive Application of GIS During the Vision Wildfire At Point Reyes National Seashore (1996 ESRI Conf. Paper, Sarah G. Allen, Ph.D.; David Kehrlein; David Shreve; and Richard Krause) (see under ECP Fire section)

Landscape and Fire Ecology Studies at Bandelier National Monument and the Jemez Mountains (by Craig Allen, 505-672-3861 Ext. 541, USGS-Biological Resources Division, Jemez Mountains Field Station, HCR1, Box 1, Suite 15 Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544. ) "This project involves reconstruction of environmental histories and determination of the landscape-level ecological effects of fire in the Jemez and other southwestern mountains, including follow-up studies within Bandelier on the 1977 La Mesa Fire and the park's ongoing prescribed burn program. Studies include assessment of tree growth, nitrogen-cycle/fire interactions, and wildlife implications (spotted owl occupancy and reproductive success as a function of landscape-scale fire history)."

Landscape Changes in the Southwestern United States: Techniques, Long-term Data Sets, and Trends . (by Craig D. Allen U.S. Geological Survey Midcontinent Ecological Science Center Jemez Mountains Field Station Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544 505/672-3861 ext. 541 Julio L. Betancourt U.S. Geological Survey Desert Laboratory Tucson, Arizona 85745 520/670-6821 ext. 112 Thomas W. Swetnam Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona 85721 520/621-2112 "The great ecological diversity of landscapes in the American Southwest results from combinations of the underlying patterns of topographic complexity, climatic variability, and environmental histories. This chapter illustrates some high-resolution and long-term data sets and approaches for reconstructing landscape change in the Southwest, including the paleobotanical record, repeat photography, and fire-scar histories from tree rings. We explore the effectiveness of collecting historical data at multiple locations to build networks that allow analyses to be scaled up from localities to regions and the use of historical data to discriminate between natural and cultural causes of environmental change. "


All text by the respective organizations, January 2, 1997

Compilation & web design: Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program, April 2, 1996


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