Track 1: Conservation and Community
Sunday Session 1: Plenary Session
Sunday Session 2: GIS in Conservation Education: These 4 papers present different ways that GIS is used to help educate practitioners and the public about conservation, and by so doing to obtain greater acceptance and success of conservation projects.
1712 Crossing Boundaries in Secondary Science Curricula: GIS and information technologies as tools for teaching about biodiversity
Crossing Boundaries is an innovative professional development program in New York State for middle- and high school teachers. With a focus on international environmental conservation issues in Brazil, Mexico, and Kenya, teachers are trained to use GIS, along with information and communication technologies (podcasts, wikis, and blogs), to engage students in inquiry-based explorations. Students use both ArcGIS and Google Earth to investigate conservation issues abroad, and contrast and compare these topics with local and regional environmental concerns. In addition, students learn about the work of conservation professionals world-wide to discover how people in careers that utilize these technologies are playing key roles in protecting biodiversity. Crossing Boundaries is a collaborative effort between Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY) and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (Ithaca, NY).
Finger Lakes Institute
1732 Lessons learned from teaching Tanzanians
As part of a CEPF grant amendment , I went to Morogoro, Tanzania in February 2009 to teach a one-week cartography course to our partners at Sokoine University of Agriculture. They were comfortable with ArcView 3.3 , but needed to transition to ArcGIS 9.2 to make quality cartographic products. This presentation will discuss the challenges in building cartographic and GIS capacity with conservation partners in the field.
1745 Community Based Conservation: Using GIS to Save Two Birds with One Strategy
The Grange Insurance Audubon Center is currently in development near downtown Columbus, Ohio. It is housed in a an Important Bird Area that includes a brownfield under remediation with a history of ecological and industry disturbance. The center is slated to open in September 2009 and has been offering education programs as a means to meet measurable conservation outcomes at both the site and MS River regional level. This approach to programming, community based conservation, is effective in meeting both short and long term goals for conservation. Primarily, habitat restoration in the short term, and inspiring a new generation of conservationists in the long term. During the spring of 2009 six highschool students participated in a center GPS training program. Students learned GIS theory, GPS protocals for checking data out and in, worked as GPS technicians in the field, differentially corrected and exported the data. Using Trimble Juno SBs students created vegetation layers from a 1.5 acre habitat restoration site to be used in a temporal analysis of restoration efforts to understand the timing of emergence of new invasive species during restoration. The analysis resulted in conservation action. It was used to create a calendar for invasive species management that was adopted by the resource management team on site. This project saved two birds with one strategy by filling a need in our resource managment and effort to reduce and control invasive species, it also gave at-risk highschool students comprehensive training in acquiring spatial data using GPS and applying spatial analysis to conservation.
Grange Insurance Audubon Center
1741 Transcending boundaries through e-learning: A new course on GIS for conservation
Over the past 20 years, geographic information systems have gained increasing appeal as tools for supporting decisions on biodiversity conservation, natural resources management and land use. The use of GIS for conservation has, however, been limited in part by the number of people trained to use the tool. Indeed, traditional training methods in instructor-led environments have been restrictive for the conservation community in terms of expense and time. Moreover, courses often limit participation according to geographic location. In an effort to transcend boundaries inherent in these traditional methods, we are developing an e-learning course for beginning GIS students working in conservation. Developed by the TNC Technology Learning Center and content experts at WCS, WWF, and TNC, this course has several distinct features to enhance learning, including animation, audio, demos and simulations, videos, take home exercises, and assessments. The course will be made available via the internet or download to students located anywhere in the world. To further connect students and experienced GIS staff globally, we are building a network of mentors to support students through the course. The goal of this course is to increase the capacity of GIS practitioners across the conservation community.
World Wildlife Fund
Sunday Session 3: GIS in Protected Areas: These 3 papers show how GIS is used to inventory and understand national networks of protected areas, and how it is used within a unique linear protected area to manage a nontraditional protected area.
1759 Newly Updated and Revised Protected Areas Database of the US (PAD-US): Development and Application to Conservation
In April 2009, the USGS Gap Analysis Program (GAP) released the first version of PAD-US on behalf of the PAD-US Partnership, which includes USGS, BLM, USFS, Conservation Biology Institute, GreenInfo Network, and TNC. In addition to serving many uses in the US, these data were also incorporated into the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). These national and international linkages facilitate collaboration among and between conservation organizations and land managers by establishing a consistent understanding of protected lands status, whether the focus is global or local. Available information includes: geographic boundaries of public land ownership and voluntarily provided private conservation lands (e.g., TNC preserves); combination of land owner, manager, management designation, parcel name, IUCN category, and GAP status codes intended to provide a measurement of management commitment for long-term biodiversity protection. With over 700,000 records the dataset supports endless opportunities such as regional ecological assessments, land trust prioritization, and identification of gaps in the long-term protection of species and habitats. For more information and to view PAD-US: http://gapanalysis.nbii.gov/PADUS
USGS National Gap Analysis Program/University of Idaho
Development of Protected Areas Database of Russian Far Eastern Network
The paper will answer the following questions: why it is necessary to create such a database, what is the methodology of its creation and how it will help in planning, management and decision making. I will elaborate on these questions with a special emphasis on the planning of PAs.
Yulia Kalashnikova SCGIS SCHOLAR
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature)
1739 The Appalachian Trail Corridor Mapping Project: Effective Land Protection Through Boundary Management
After land has been effectively conserved, it must then be protected. The first line of defense is the boundary. The Appalachian Trail (AT) Boundary Program began the AT Corridor Mapping Project with the goal of effectively managing the 1365+ miles of surveyed boundaries that surround the 111,269 acres of land that make up the AT Corridor. This project seeks to merge the needs of managers, GIS staff, and field staff into one system that allows for effective management, planning, and above all protection. The methods of this project include incorporating the 1365+ miles of surveyed boundaries (208 surveys performed from 1979 thru 2004) into GIS, attributing those shapefiles, and combining them into a geodatabase. This Mapping Project will produce better management of information by creating one database for survey information, current and past field conditions, and land ownership. It will allow managers to better determine where to spend time and resources by making it possible to evaluate the areas most in need of maintenance or most threatened. Since the location information comes from surveys, it will provide the best available GIS representation of the AT Corridor. This will enable staff to share that information with neighbors and partners alike. This is especially vital when neighbors could present a serious encroachment threat and also utilize GIS, ex. timber companies. This project will allow staff to record condition information using a handheld data collector in the field. In addition, it will make it easier for volunteer monitors by leading to the creation of new user-friendly maps. With such a spread-out, narrow, and complicated resource as the AT Corridor, the integration of surveys and GIS is the only way to effectively manage it. Previously, the AT Boundary Program had location data only in survey form, which could not be used for effective management, and management data that could not be effectively analyzed because it was in multiple places and forms. The AT Corridor Mapping Project will incorporate both the location data and the management data into one centralized geodatabase, which will lead to effective protection and management of this unique and valuable resource.
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Sunday Session 4: National Conservation GIS: These 2 papers present US national scale work on developing standard GIS databases for parks and species, and the US national base map.
A Gap Analysis of the Western United States
The completion of consistent vegetation maps and update stewardship data for the Western United States by the Gap Analysis Program (GAP) makes possible for the first time a uniform Gap Analysis for this region. The Southwest regional Gap land cover completed in 2004, the California Gap land completed in 2008, and the Northwest regional Gap land cover completed in 2009 all used the 2001 Landsat imagery as a base layer and Classification and Regression Tree (CART) modeling approach. All three projects used the Ecological System classification system; developed by NatureServe, Ecological Systems represent a midscale vegetation classification system designed to be map-able with Landsat 30 meter resolution imagery. This resolution provides detailed information on vegetation pattern and allows for the capture of rare vegetation types. The similarities in land cover modeling techniques and the uniform classification system used enable analysis of vegetation patterns across the 11 States in the Western United States.
An updated stewardship layer documenting the location of protected areas across the U.S. was recently completed by GAP and their partners in PAD-US project. The stewardship layer contains data on the extent to which areas of land in the United States are managed for the protection of natural processes and the protection of wildlife habitat. Each land unit is assigned a Gap Status code ranging from Status 1 lands which have permanent protection and a mandated management plan to Status 4 lands which lack an irrevocable easement or mandate to prevent conversion of natural habitat.
The Western Gap Analysis intersected the land cover and stewardship layers calculating the Ecological Systems comprising each protected area. This allows for the tabulation of the area and percent of total extent of each Ecological System that occurs in each status category. This process allows for the identification of Ecological Systems that may be under protected in the existing protected lands and identifies potential conservation priorities. The Western Gap Analysis considers multiple scales, identifying potential conservation priorities at the scale of the Western United states as a whole, for each of the eleven western states separately, and at the scale of the Omernik level IV ecoregion.
Davidson, Anne, USGS
1740 The National Map in 2009
The National Map is the suite of products and datasets that comprise the nation’s topographic mapping strategy for the 21 st century. Updated mapping products built from digital base map datasets provide a collection of map services and products in different formats available through a number of sources.
The National Map is best illustrated as two complementary groups of components: (1) the source data layers and (2) the resulting map services and products. Digital versions of the source data layers have been available for several years through USGS data repositories and other data libraries accessible through the web. These layers include orthoimagery, elevation, hydrography, boundaries, land cover, geographic names, transportation, and structures. These data, in turn, will be integrated, vertically aligned, and continuously improved through stewardship; automated extraction procedures are used to create a versatile collection of new topographic maps.
This talk will focus on the processes currently in development for management and generation of products, with a specific look at the first edition of products for California.
Monday Session 1: GIS for Regional Conservation Planning
These papers describe how GIS is used for national and regional conservation planning around the world, with special emphasis on remote sensing techniques and the problems of mountainous regions.
Application of GIS for Conservation Awareness in the Protected Areas of Nepal
This paper is about the community GIS concepts to increase conservation awareness in the protected areas of Nepal. This is based on the application of GIS introduced by WBC Nepal with technical support form SCGIS Nepal to enhance the spatial thinking and geographical approaches of the local people with the help of colorful map, satellite imageries and group discussion. This paper has divided into three parts. First part is about the importance of community GIS in developing country. Second part describes the preparation of GIS database for community GIS and third part describe the handover of the map and imageries for the local community
We have experienced that because of the poverty and rapid population growth, protected areas of Nepal have get more pressure. People are extracting the resources form these areas with out considering its sustainable use To increase the conservation awareness for the local people we have started different income generating activities to reduce the pressure in conservation areas. We came to know that the Community mobilization is very essential for conservation awareness. For this we have prepared GIS database of protected areas and share with the local people. They are very interest when they saw their grazing areas, firewood collection areas, house and settlement in the map and satellite imageries. They also started to narrate the different event and activities which they found in their every day life. They add more information on the GIS map such as habitat assessment map, wildlife corridor map, vegetation type map and so on. With this experience we came to know that GIS and RS technology is very useful to increase the conservation awareness in the developing countries where local people have never seen the map and satellite imageries of their surrounding landscape. Considering this we have started community GIS concept to increase conservation awareness.
Ashok Pathak, SCGIS SCHOLAR
Society for Wetland and Biodiversity Conservation Nepal (WBC Nepal)
1679 Eco-tourism mountaineering map production, using GIS and remotely sensed data
One of the crucial issues in eco-tourism is recognition and mapping of the interested mountains ecosystems. Although an Ecosystem region could be world wide, regional, or local. In each category, mapping plays an important role. It shows main access to peaks or particular area, provide new information, gives important relation in terms of biodiversity, wild nature, water, and other natural resources.
Generally, mountainous regions are located in remote area with difficulty access and lack of updated map and information for interested eco-tourist, particularly in developing countries.
To govern of these deficiencies new technology such as satellite images and GIS helps very much. High capability of satellite image, and derive different layers from images such as geology, vegetation and so on could create valuable information and acts as an attributes to eco-tourist map. We examined this method in a pilot project in Alvand’s Mountainous area in Hamadan province, in Iran.
The Alvand’s mountainous region is located in Hamadan city in west part of Iran, 300Km. west of Tehran. This large mountain is one of the branches of massive of Zagros mountainous zone, with 1300 sq Km. This region consist of 16 high peaks (2000 m. to 3754m altitude ) with very beautiful landscapes, green valleys, fresh springs water and incredible sights-seeing. Due to high topography of mountainous region, terrestrial surveying and detail mapping was very difficult. Then we applied satellite image in high resolution and GIS layers, consequently we achieved to an accurate and gained updated maps, with access to peaks, vegetations, geology and other information factors in different layers of GIS. Therefore, present eco-tourist map, with the various layers in GIS format would supply all requirements, for normal visitors, experts, professional climber and even ecosystems researchers.
Private company "ANERO"
1756 Multi-scale Digital Imagery Enhances Conservation Planning in Pennsylvania
To date most landscape level conservation planning in Pennsylvania has been conducted using course-scale LandSat derived land cover calibrated by expensive on-the-ground field surveys. The Pennsylvania Mapping Program (PAMAP) offers a new alternative. PAMAP, a new electronic map of Pennsylvania , is being created as a
seamless, consistent, high-resolution set of digital, geospatial data products.
The map is being compiled from new high-resolution aerial photography and elevation data, from LiDAR, as well as from existing digital map resources developed by state and federal agencies, counties, regional agencies, and municipalities.
As examples, Conservation Action Planning (CAP) of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Important Bird Area (IBA) program of Pennsylvania Audubon are being enhanced with these new resources. Using on-screen interpretation ecotones can be more accurately identified and threats, such as increasing impervious surfaces, can be mapped. Where previous data only identified larger land cover blocks the 1-foot resolution digital imagery also helps identify smaller conservation targets such as vernal pools, thickets, and tree snags. We are only beginning to imagine the conservation potential of these new resources.
Penn State University
1707 Catawba River, “The most endangered river in America”
In April 2008, American Rivers named the Catawba River the most endangered river in America , citing lack of planning and effects of urbanization as major threats. Mecklenburg County (NC) is the largest urban area along the course of the Catawba River , and is characterized by streams that are “impaired” or only “partially supporting” their designated uses. Degradation of these urban streams impacts recreational opportunities, property values, and public health. This analysis uses ENVI software and Landsat data to examine land cover changes in the Catawba River Watershed (1992-2001) and in tributary sub-watersheds originating within Mecklenburg County (2001-2007). This analysis demonstrates how Remote Sensing, GPS, and GIS may be integrated into a single analysis of urban land cover change and potential impacts on stream water quality.
Central Piedmont Community College
Monday Session 2: GIS for Awareness and Visualization:
These papers present 3 different ways that GIS helps citizens understand and visualize the complex problems and activities in conservation, ranging from cartographic and 3D simulation techniques to public information on conservation projects.
1733 TNC's Information Systems for Conservation Projects
TNC has a conservation projects database with associated web applications and map services that comprise a rich information system. The web applications that interface to this database, "ConPro" and "ConPro Spatial", have recently become publicly available, as have the associated map services. The ConPro application also provides data interchange with the Miradi application, a desktop tool for defining conservation projects developed jointly by the Conservation Measures Partnership and Benetech. The presentation will give a high-level demonstration of these various information system components, focusing on the publicly accessible portions and on the data interchange capabilites.
The Nature Conservancy
1749 Visualizing lost landscapes on the web: A case study from the Mannahatta Project
Presenting complex conservation GIS data to the public over the web can be challenging because of both technical and user-interface hurdles. This presentation will show how over 1900 data layers from the Mannahattan Project at the Wildlife Conservation Society were processed into navigable form using a customized combination of Python/Perl/Arc Macro Language programming and thenvisualized within a relatively easily implemented Google maps Flash API over the Internet (themannahattaproject.org). The GIS data layers represent various aspects of a pre-historical
landscape, including species distributions, as probability maps at 10 m resolution. These distributions were made user-friendly using two strategies: 1) ecological community data were rendered as a semi-realistic aerial "photo" of Manhattan island in1609, which was then "sliced" by a python script into transparent images corresponding to modern city block polygons; and 2) species probability distributions were aggregated into city-block probabilities and stored in a MySQL database using a second python script. When these data are presented using PHP and a Flash Google Maps instance, a user is able to see both what his/her block looked like four hundred years ago, a feature exploited for fundraising purposes, and the probability of seeing various species would have been. Non-spatial ecological relationships were visualized using the Java network visualization library prefuse.
Wildlife Conservation Society
1731 Considering your map audience
There’s no such thing as an “all purpose map” , yet we are often so distracted by what we can show that we forgot who we’re making
the map for and why. Using examples of maps produced by the Conservation Mapping Program in recent years , this presentation will examine the issues of designing a map to best reach your audience.
Monday Session 3: GIS for Community-based conservation: These 3 papers show how GIS is used in and around urban and rural landscapes to develop conservation plans and involve the public in understanding them and resolving typical conflicts with uses and economics.
1752 Modeling Population Growth: Understanding Land use, Natural Resource, and Economic Conflicts
While California land use decisions occur at the city and county levels, there has been a recent movement to build consensus among local entities so that they can view their choices within a larger regional context. The Regional Blueprints program helps foster consensus among community leaders, local governments, and stakeholders toward a vision for preferred growth and land-use for regions throughout the State. These Blueprints help people in the regions understand and address the impacts to their air quality, water quality, transportation and growth, affordable housing, and natural resources created by different development options.
To facilitate Regional Blueprints, the Information Center for the Environment (ICE) at the University of California, Davis has developed a simple GIS urban growth model called UPlan that is capable of running different growth scenarios for the future based on policy choices. This model is currently being applied in California to develop, adopt, and begin implementation of the Regional Blueprints. In this session I will present applications of the UPlan model in the San Joaquin Valley of California and in a region in southeastern Kenya.
University of California
1684 Web-based decision support system for conservation planning
Author(s): Candace Paulman, Clint Cabanero, Kristeen Penrod SC Wildlands' (SCW) mission is to protect and restore systems of connected wildlands that support native wildlife and the systems upon which they rely. SCW has worked closely with numerous partners to complete the South Coast Missing Linkages project, a highly collaborative inter-agency effort to identify and conserve the highest priority linkages in California’s South Coast Ecoregion. The South Coast Missing Linkages effort evaluated a taxonomically diverse group of focal species that are sensitive to habitat loss and fragmentation. The success of our science-driven technical approach, coupled with our inclusive and consensus-based planning approach, can best be judged by the fact that numerous partner agencies are currently institutionalizing and implementing the priority linkage conservation designs we produced. GIS has played a key role in the science-driven process that SCW used to delineate these regionally important linkages. To further the goal of conserving these priority linkages, SCW has developed a web-based decision support system to assist our project partners with land acquisition and conservation planning decisions in priority linkage areas. This ArcGIS Server 9.3 solution allows users to view and query parcel-level data (e.g., wildlife crossing structures, focal species models, species occurrences, critical habitat, vegetation, APN, etc.), and create and print custom maps. Many of the customizations were created using the .Net Web ADF. The system is designed to permit user transactions, so that pending or recent acquisitions can be accounted for in an up-to-date protected lands database that will not lose its utility over time. The data is centralized on a dedicated GIS web server which allows us to track the implementation of SCML, and help agencies and organizations strategically plan their next conservation targets.
1747 Visualising Community Values of Ecosystem Service
There is often a tension between the goals of biodiversity conservation and the needs of community development yet human well-being depends on a healthy environment. Economic and social evaluation of ecosystem services based on the functions that ecosystems provide is being heralded as a way forward to incorporate their true value into policy-making.
Ecosystem services have been mapped in various studies mainly at global, national or regional scales but these studies reduce and generalise the issues, and the sense of community values on the ground is masked. Mapping with stakeholders at a local level will aid policy-makers to understand the complex and often conflicting priorities and values attached to ecosystem services.
This interdisciplinary research was undertaken in collaboration with a Tugen community, Sandai, in the Rift Valley in Kenya. The Tugens are agropastoralist who communally graze livestock and grow subsistence crops on small farms with some development of cash crops. They rely heavily on different services of the environment, such as water supply, natural medicines and grazing. 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. The location is within the catchment area of Lake Bogoria National Reserve and is used by migratory wildlife. Understanding the use and human impacts on the environment is therefore a concern for the local residents and the local authority who manage the park and also to promote attention to wider levels of governance.
A mixed methodology using a questionnaire, participatory mapping and participatory video was used to draw out knowledge and values attributed to the ecosystems used by the community. In order to facilitate communication and understanding between different stakeholders a number of visualisation strategies were employed including mapping of ecosystem service ‘values’, video maps to capture community perceptions of place and Google Earth for international visibility. The process of mapping ecosystem services has been of value to the community for internal discussion as well as external communication of the environmental challenges they face. However, it is noted that "the mere act of quantifying the value of ecosystem services cannot by itself change the incentives affecting their use or misuse"(MEA 2001). The challenge is to apply greater understanding of the functions of ecosystems into sustainable practices.
University of Leicester
Monday Session 4: GIS for Environmental Impacts: These 4 papers show how GIS is used to assess and mitigate environmental impacts such as water pollution and extractive industries like mining and oil/gas.
1744 Oil and Natural Gas Resource Analysis of the Rocky Mountain States
The potential for blocking access to oil and gas causes conflict during efforts to designate wilderness, monuments and many other protective land designations. To evaluate the potential impacts of wildland protection proposals on the availability of oil and natural gas throughout the Rocky Mountain States , The Wilderness Society compiled large quantities of US Geological Survey data spanning more than a dozen oil and gas basins. A series of Python scripts was developed to format the undiscovered oil and natural gas reserve data for automation, convert the resource volumes to densities (volume per unit area) and then summarize density values across overlapping hydrocarbon deposits. The final output of the scripts is a single data layer that represents resource density estimates for a combination of conventional and continuous (unconventional) accumulations of oil, natural gas, or natural gas liquids as a continuum across the entire region.
An additional Python script was written to evaluate specific protection proposals. The script requires a boundary layer as input and returns, in a matter of minutes, technically recoverable resources estimates for the volume of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids associated with the deposits underlying that boundary. The Wilderness Society has successfully applied these volume estimates to the debate for protection of the Wyoming Range and other landscapes contained within the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. Results were used successfully to persuade key legislators to advocate for permanent protective designations for these lands.
The Wilderness Society
1743 Building a Water Quality Management System
I have been retired for several years and have been working as a volunteer for conservation studies for the last two years in Ecuador . In this capacity I assisted the biology department at the University of Azuay to obtain a competitive grant of $75,000 to develop a water quality monitoring system for the province. Our proposal was to designate 100 collection sites, collect 400 samples and macro-invertebrate surveys, perform a variety of laboratory tests and deliver our results using a GIS database. One of the key differentiators of our proposal was to a deliver a geodatabase combining the ESRI standard Hidrological model and the Center for Water Studies framework for time series data.
Upon receiving the grant we applied for and received a grant from ESRI for ArcInfo and the Spatial extension. We assembled a team of 12 recent graduates from the university’s biology department to collect and perform the laboratory tests. ESRI software was used to identify the monitoring points and store, analyze and visualize the results. E. Zarate and A. Crespo, professors from the biology department, managed the project and wrote up the results.
The presentation will describe the role of GIS software in the project. ArcInfo was used to download the model, define the structure of the geodatabase and built a hydrological model. The spatial analyst and hydrological extension processed the grids and layers to populate the geodatabase. The monitoring points were selected based upon the sub-basins (an output of the hydrological model) and analysis of layers including area, kilometers of principle rivers, population centers and road networks to name a few of the factors. The field and laboratory measurements were collected over a six month period and time series data were input into the model. The Crystal reporting function was invaluable in the analysis of over 11,000 measurements to produce graphs and table summary data in conjunction with the visualization capability of our GIS software.
Several additional projects have resulted from this study. The university has upgraded their ARC GIS 8.x software to version 9. Time series data continues to be added to the model.
University of Azuay
Economic Valuation of Agricultural Production vis-á-vis Large-scale Mining in Bgy. Paquet, Kasibu Municipality, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines.
The policy of developing a large-scale mining industry in the Philippines assumes increased tax effort and real incomes from mining over existing modalities. Many have been sited in nature reserves and critical watersheds that sustain rice and agricultural production. The paper investigates the processes driving the watershed-farmland pattern in an area scheduled for conversion as an open-pit mine for gold and copper. It proposes to combine economic valuation approaches, participatory rural appraisal, and GIS analysis to determine the economic contributions of agricultural production vis-á-vis the Didipio Gold-Copper Project of Oceana Gold in Bgy. Paquet, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, the Philippines.
Kail Zingapan SCGIS SCHOLAR
Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Inc. (PAFID)