Esri Helps The National Audubon Society Build National Bird Map for Habitat Conservation

aud-logoEsri and the National Audubon Society are working on an initiative to provide geospatial data and map production abilities to Audubon’s 467 chapters, 47 education centers, and all 22 US state offices. Audubon will meld Esri’s cutting-edge GIS mapping technology with the latest scientific species data to study and reduce bird habitat losses.

Each Audubon state office, nature center and chapter will receive Esri’s ArcGIS software and access to a vast library of the latest authoritative data and scientific research via Esri’s GIS cloud platform, ArcGIS Online. Audubon will use the platform to study birds and other species by combining years of field data collected by Audubon scientists as well as government, academic, and wildlife protection nonprofits sources.

“Esri transformed the face – or rather, the map – of the conservation movement two years ago with its incredibly generous donation of licenses, training and software to Audubon,” said Audubon president and CEO David Yarnold. “We couldn’t do what we do without Esri’s tools and support. From winning protection of 11 million acres in Alaska’s national petroleum reserve area, to bringing partners together to protect Pennsylvania’s Kittatinny Ridge, we rely on Esri’s tools. ArcGIS helps us answer tough questions, democratize data, and create a culture of collaboration. And now, as we roll out this technology even more widely across the Audubon network, we know that conservation results are going to increase significantly, thanks to Esri’s partnership and generosity.”

All Audubon offices will be sorting through massive amounts of cloud-based data about bird and other species’ ranges, food sources, and shifts in bird demographics. GIS will enable them to combine this data with habitat, water, geology and land ownership data to study patterns and relationships. They can then assess changes and study environmental impacts on bird populations at local, national, and international levels.

“The end value of technology comes from people adopting it,” said Jack Dangermond, president of Esri. “Our work with the National Audubon Society allows chapters to be the principal consultants for the public, provide advice and show important bird information on web maps. They can work with other conservation organizations to forward science.”

The largest, longest-running animal census on the planet is the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Every winter, about 70,000 people join this famous citizen science project to compile and submit count data about local bird populations. This bird count has now been added to the National Audubon Society’s geodatabase. The 2013 count will be mapped with GIS and made available on an interactive website.

[Source: Esri press release]

Pairing Technology and Science to Map, Track Critical Services from Nature to Africa’s Farmers

Vital SignsVital Signs will use Esri technology to visually communicate data that shed new light on the benefits farmers receive from nature and agriculture in Africa

Vital Signs, a monitoring system for agriculture, ecosystems and human well-being, announced Esri as its first corporate partner today at the annual International User Conference for the geographic information systems (GIS) software developer. Vital Signs will use Esri applications and software to help policy-makers visualize outcomes of different agricultural decisions as part of the monitoring system’s online indicators of sustainability.

“Feeding the growing world population will require a 70-100% increase in food production through agricultural intensification, but no country can achieve this goal if it doesn’t also work to sustain nature – the healthy soils, pollinators, fresh water and forests on which farmers depend,” said Dr. Sandy Andelman, Vital Signs Executive Director and Senior Vice President of the Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans at Conservation International. “The foundation of Vital Signs is providing open-access information at all the scales that are relevant for agricultural decision-making – from a smallholder farmer household to a farm plot, landscape, region, and all the way to the globe.”

Esri will provide Vital Signs with landscape analysis tools and help design a dashboard for users to assess tradeoffs and monitor a decision’s impact on the land and farmer’s livelihoods. These tools will enable them to establish baselines, set targets, and monitor the progress of sustainable policies within the five countries that Vital Signs currently works – Etheopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.

Vital Signs“Monitoring the complexity of Earth’s many ecosystems requires active networks of people, science, data, and technology,” said Jack Dangermond, president and CEO of Esri. “However, actually living in sustainable relationships with these ecosystems requires people who are willing to collaborate and commit to a healthy planet. Conservation International is a standard of these values. It is an honor for Esri to work with its staff to build the Vital Signs system.”

Vital Signs was launched in 2012 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Conservation International (CI). The monitoring system is co-led by CI, the Earth Institute, Columbia University (EI), and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa (CSIR). Vital Signs will collaborate and partner with governments, other nongovernmental organizations, the academic community, the private sector and key international partners. Esri’s contributions of its GIS cloud services, software, and expertise to Vital Signs will help policy makers in Africa and around the world make informed decisions about pursuing agricultural intensification sustainably.

A longtime customer of Esri software, Conservation International uses ArcGIS to collect and map data for its many projects throughout the world.

[Source: Vital Signs press release]