GIS for Species Modeling Session at the 2009 ESRI International User Conference

10:15 a.m.  – 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Room 32 B, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California USA

Lisa LaCivita (GMU), Tony McKinney (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Dawn Lemke (Alabama A&M University)

GIS is increasingly important for advanced scientific techniques involving species survival and management, with predictive models for understanding and managing ecosystems. These papers show how GIS is being used at the cutting edge of scientific and analytical techniques.


Geo-referencing Primary Type Mollusks for the Smithsonian Institution
Lisa LaCivita, GMU

This unique opportunity to contribute to science, contains great geography lessons, context and complexities. What are best practices for geo-referencing? Can they be applied to legacy data? Why geo-reference Primary Type Mollusks and what is involved? How does our current suite of techno-tools change the dynamic of geo-referencing? Can projects of this type be brought to the “classroom” to further ecological and geographic education? The presenter believes that there exists tremendous potential for supporting educational initiatives, such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and SOL (standards of learning), by utilizing the Smithsonian’s collections. This session will explain the geo-referencing initiative, explore the possibilities and seek dialogue and involvement from the GIS community.

Monitoring a Rare Desert Sand Dune Species: A Success Story
Tony McKinney, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

We utilized ArcInfo and ArcMAP for project design and analysis and GPS for field mapping and navigation to assess the density, abundance, and distribution of Peirson’s milk-vetch (Astragalus magdalenae var. peirsonii), a threatened plant in the Algodones Dunes of Imperial County, California, that has been the focus of Dune Use versus Dune Preservation litigation for the past few years. Our focus was to asses the status of this plant which has a life history that overlaps peak OHV use in the dunes, and to use this information to build a management program covering the dunes. We sampled 123,488 cells as the base to select 750 seed bank cells. Sample plots were re-visited to predict distribution and trend analysis. We present our overall results, discuss the importance of GPS to collect field data in this barren landscape, and the utility of spatial analysis to support land management decisions.

Integrating GIS and Statistical Modeling in Assessing Invasive Plants
Dawn Lemke, Alabama A&M University
Jennifer Brown , Biomathematics Research Centre, Canterbury UniversityPrivate Bag 4800
Philip Hulme , National Centre for Advanced Bio-Protection Technologies, Lincoln University
Wubishet Tadesse , Alabama A&M University

As our impacts on the landscape changes the composition of ‘natural’ areas, it is important that we integrate spatial technology to assist in active management. This research explores the integration of GIS and remote sensing with statistical analysis to assist in species distribution modeling. It is applicable to both native and non native communities and has the ability to assist land managers in identifying both areas of importance and areas of threat. It has been suggested that Maximum Entropy models can better assess possible species distribution, while logistic regression is more representative of the current species distribution. This presentation discusses the application of these models in association with GIS in application to modeling non native species in the Cumberland Plateau and Mountain Region.

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