Collaborative Efforts in Natural Resources

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WWETAC's Forest Threat Mapper - A virtual globe application

Forests and rangelands of the western United States are vulnerable to environmental stresses and disturbances such as fire, insect infestation, disease, invasive species, drought, and development. These stresses can have significant and long-lasting effects on ecological and socioeconomic values. Land managers need state-of-the-art information and tools that help them anticipate and solve problems. Many geospatial datasets describing these threats to wildlands have been created; what is lacking is comprehensive viewing application displaying and summarizing these threats and their spatial co-occurrence with highly valued resources. This presentation will describe a cooperative effort by the Western Wildlands Environmental Threat Assessment Center (WWETAC) and the Remote Sensing Applications Center to develop a Threat Mapper that will serve as a decision support tool for land managers.

Charlie Schrader-Patton and Alan Ager
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The Oregon Incident Response Information System (OR-IRIS)

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), funded by the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, and in partnership with the Oregon Public Health Division and Portland State University’s Center for Spatial Analysis and Research, has created a response tool aimed at providing key geographic information needed to guide response efforts to emergency response personnel – the Oregon Incident Response Information System (OR-IRIS). Affectionately nicknamed the Oregon Map of Everything, OR-IRIS leverages existing GIS datasets useful to understanding the natural, physical and jurisdictional setting of a hazardous release so that a safe, appropriate and efficient response can be conducted. OR-IRIS consists of pre-packaged GIS layers within a common projection, in an ordered group/sequence designed to provide critical information first, and in a format that allows for exploration and analysis by those without advanced GIS skills. Through collaboration with Portland State University’s Center for Spatial Analysis and Research, the cost for the first generation of the project has been kept impressively low. The impact of the project is not yet known, but promises to increase public safety and the quality of Oregon’s environment well beyond its modest costs to develop.

Steven Jett, Oregon DEQ Land Quality Division GIS Coordinator

Steven Jett is GIS Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Land Quality Division. Steven graduated from University of Oregon in 1998 with a Master’s in Geography, focusing on fluvial geomorphology. Starting as a summer GIS intern at the EPA Western Ecology Division Laboratory in Corvallis, Steven spent 10 years at the EPA Lab before starting with DEQ in 2008. At DEQ, Steven has worked on projects ranging from creating a new interactive Portland Harbor cleanup site map to developing mapping tools for first responders to use to identify critical resources at emergency sites.

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Cultural Resources GIS Implementation at Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is currently developing a Cultural Resources GIS (CR-GIS) database based on National Park Service (NPS) standards. This effort requires collaboration between multiple divisions at the park and coordination with regional and national offices with the NPS. Challenges include linking existing digital data, such as building footprints, to external databases such as FMSS; digitizing archaeological data that exists only on paper; and of course getting all participants to speak the same language.

Practical benefits apply to many park programs beyond cultural resources, such as accessibility for visitors with disabilities, building and facilities management, structural fire, and trail upgrades. Additionally, there is some interesting background behind the development of the NPS standards, including an intense but successful field-test of the draft standards following Hurricane Katrina.

***NOTE*** This could also fit into the Natural Resources Track. I am flexible either way. ***

Chris Wayne

Chris Wayne is the GIS Analyst at Crater Lake National Park, where he manages all aspects of park GIS and GPS operations. He has been with the NPS for 6 years, including 3 years as a volunteer. In addition to his GIS duties, he serves on the volunteer Ski Patrol. In his 12 years of GIS-ing he has worked for ESRI, the U. of Washington, as an independent consultant, and for various local and regional governments. Prior to settling into a respectable GIS career, Chris the roamed the USA for 7 years as an archaeologist, but got tired of all the mud and went back to school.

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