Distribution and Abundance of Rippled Scour Depressions along the California Coast

CSRContinental Shelf Research, Published Online 23 September 2013

By Alexandra C.D. Davis, Rikk G. Kvitek, Craig B.A. Mueller, Mary A. Young, Curt D. Storlazzi, and Eleyne L. Phillips

“Highlights:

  • We quantify the patterns of RSD distribution along California’s 1200 km coast.
  • GIS tools can be used with multibeam bathymetry data for auto-classification of RSD features.
  • RSDs cover nearly as much of the California shelf (4%) as does rocky reef (8%).
  • 8% of RSD substrate occurs in the 20–80 m depth range.
  • RSD cover generally increases with proximity to bedrock reef.

“Rippled scour depressions (RSDs) are prominent sediment features found on continental shelves worldwide. RSDs are generally characterized as elongate nearshore deposits of coarser-grained sediment with long-wavelength bedforms depressed 0.4–1.0 m below the surrounding finer-grained sediment plateau, thereby adding complexity and patchiness to relatively homogeneous unconsolidated sedimentary substrates on the inner continental shelf. Most research corroborates the hypothesis that RSDs are formed and maintained by currents and wave interaction with the seafloor sediment. While many localized studies have described RSDs, we use bathymetric and acoustic backscatter data from the state-wide California Seafloor Mapping Program (CSMP) to describe the spatial distribution of RSDs at the regional scale.

csr2
“The goals were to: 1) quantify the abundance and patterns of distribution of RSDs along the entire 1200 km California coast, and 2) test the generality of previously described or predicted relationships between RSD occurrence and geographic, oceanographic and geomorphic parameters, including depth, wave energy, latitude, shelf width, and proximity to bedrock reefs and headlands. Our general approach was to develop and apply a Topographic Position Index-based (TPI) landscape analysis tool to identify the distinct edges of RSDs in bathymetry data to differentiate the features from other sedimentary and rocky substrates. Spatial analysis was then used to quantify the distribution and abundance of RSDs and determine the percentage of bedrock reef, sedimentary and RSD substrates on the continental shelf within state waters. RSD substrate accounted for 3.6% of the California continental shelf, compared to 8.4% for bedrock reef substrate. The percent coverage of RSD substrate varied with depth, with 88% occurring in the 20–80 m depth range, and increased with proximity to bedrock reef substrate. RSD cover also varied significantly with shelf width, but not with proximity to headlands. Given the recent findings on the ecological significance of RSD, the results are relevant to marine spatial planning and ecosystem based management in terms of evaluating how well the 68 individual marine protected areas (MPAs) within California’s newly designated state-wide MPA network collectively represent regional percentages of bedrock, sedimentary, and RSD substrate.”

Prof. Jacqueline McGlade to receive GSDI Global Citizen Award

The GSDI Association is delighted to announce that Professor Jacqueline McGlade is the recipient of the GSDI Global Citizen Award for 2013. Prof. McGlade will receive the award at the Global Geospatial Conference 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 4-8 November 2013, the combined GSDI 14 World Conference and AfricaGIS 2013 Conference, being held at the UN Conference Centre of UNECA. (see http://www.gsdi.org/gsdi14/)

Jacqueline McGlade joins our two previous Global Citizen Award winners, Jack Dangermond, President of Esri, and Gilberto Câmara, former Director of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.

At the 2011 Esri International User Conference in San Diego, California, Prof. Jacqueline McGlade explained how just one degree of temperature change impacts the Earth and discussed how we can change our behavior to adapt to the realities of climate change.

At the 2011 Esri International User Conference in San Diego, California, Prof. Jacqueline McGlade explained how just one degree of temperature change impacts the Earth and discussed how we can change our behavior to adapt to the realities of climate change.

The GSDI Association’s Global Citizen Award recognizes globally an individual who has provided exemplary thought leadership and substantive worldwide contributions in:

  1. Promoting informed and responsible use of geographic information and geospatial technologies for the benefit of society and/or
  2. Fostering spatial data infrastructure developments that support sustainable social, economic, and environmental systems integrated from local to global scales.

The recipient receives a medallion and certificate to be presented at the global conference, and is invited to present a visionary speech.

Prof. McGlade completed her mandate as Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA) in June 2013, following ten very active and productive years of service. Since 2003, Jacquie presided over a significant increase in the coverage and extent of data and information processed and analysed by the EEA and a doubling of resources for the agency. During this time, membership reached 32 countries and the EEA participated in more than 60 countries globally.

A strong advocate of new technologies to improve information gathering, including crowdsourcing, and providing citizen access to environmental information, Prof. McGlade was also instrumental in establishing the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) in the European Union. SEIS brings together key aspects of national and international research for environmental planning, monitoring and reporting, including information from the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme.

Prof. McGlade’s vision of a Europe that encourages dialogue with citizens underpinned the EEA’s launch of Eye on Earth in 2008, offering dynamic maps of air and water quality, which was recognised in the 2012 Rio+20 summit declaration as a key public information platform on the environment. Under Jacquie’s leadership, the Eye on Earth Alliance and Network have become a global public information service, bringing together knowledge communities around the world to share data and information. This global initiative aims to leverage the power of regional networks and governments plus expertise from researchers, leading thinkers and citizen scientists from around the world, to build sustainable solutions for the future.

In her new role as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, Jacquie has special responsibilities for UNEP-Live and Eye on Earth.

Prof. McGlade is recognised as an outstanding and visionary communicator, commenting on some of the most pressing issues faced by Europe and the world. Be sure to attend the conference to hear Jacquie’s thoughts on the future, which are guaranteed to be stimulating.

[Source: GSDI Association news release]

The Ecological Imperative for Environmental Design and Planning

FEEcoverFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Volume 11, Issue 7 (September 2013)

By Frederick Steiner, Mark Simmons, Mark Gallagher, Janet Ranganathan, and Colin Robertson

“Environmental design and planning are important tools for human adaptation. Designers and planners depend on experience, craft, and environmental knowledge to shape preferred futures. Ecological literacy would enhance the design and planning of built environments. The concepts of “resilience” and “ecosystem” offer opportunities for collaboration between ecologists and practitioners in the design and planning disciplines. Urban resilience to natural disasters and coastal “green” infrastructure represent two areas where design and planning based on ecological principles should be applied. The Sustainable Sites Initiative is a practical example of interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Depiction of oyster beds off the coast of New York City (specifically, Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood) proposed by K Orff and SCAPE. Here, an armature is proposed where native oysters and other marine life can live. Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/full/10.1890/130052

Depiction of oyster beds off the coast of New York City (specifically, Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood) proposed by K Orff and SCAPE. Here, an armature is proposed where native oysters and other marine life can live.
Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/full/10.1890/130052

Learning from Students: Geodesign Lessons from the Regional Design Studio

NUcoverJournal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, Published Online 08 February 2013

By David L. Tulloch

“This paper explores potential issues in the emerging field of geodesign by examining key lessons learned through design studios. Presenting three distinct projects as examples from regional design studios in an undergraduate landscape architecture program, this paper points out common learning experiences that repeat despite very different contexts. Recurring issues that can be observed from these examples include difficulty in addressing scale, difficulties in dealing with the volumes of data and information available and complications due to perceptions of the false dichotomy between science and design.

As students worked to develop design interventions that responded to the existing site characteristics, they also found inspiration in the earlier work of Ian McHarg who had also diagrammed the dunes of the Jersey shore in Design with Nature (1969).

As students worked to develop design interventions that responded to the existing site
characteristics, they also found inspiration in the earlier work of Ian McHarg who had also
diagrammed the dunes of the Jersey shore in Design with Nature (1969).

“With the potential to reshape urban planning and design, the need for geodesign to openly embrace a grand vision of itself is evident. However, for these changes to be meaningful, serious changes need to be undertaken in our educational processes developing a generation of urban and regional geodesigners who are better equipped to think scientifically while shaping landscapes and places responsibly and creatively.”

URISA’s GISCorps Celebrates Ten Years of Outstanding Volunteerism

URISA2013 is a milestone year for URISA’s GISCorps. Ten years ago during URISA’s 2003 Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, GISCorps was officially adopted as a URISA program to coordinate short-term, volunteer-based GIS expertise and support to underprivileged communities worldwide. Volunteers provide their GIS expertise remotely or on-site and have been involved in a variety of missions, supporting humanitarian relief, emergency response, health and education, local capacity building, and community development. Since its debut, well over 400 volunteers have been deployed to 131 missions around the world.

During GIS-Pro 2013: URISA’s 51st Annual Conference in Providence, Rhode Island (September 16-19, 2013), GISCorps will update attendees on the past year’s missions and projects in progress and will be celebrated for its accomplishments. There will also be a URISA GISCorps display in the exhibit hall at the conference with highlights and opportunities to get involved and learn more.

GISCorps is run by a core committee of volunteers who keep the program running. Core committee members work with partner agencies to determine project needs, query the extensive volunteer database for individuals with required skills, and coordinate the interaction between project sponsors and volunteers.  Some high-profile GISCorps missions have provided GIS expertise in response to disasters (hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the Asian tsunami, and the Haiti and Japanese earthquakes) while other missions have had more of a humanitarian focus (mapping health and educational facilities in Sierra Leone; trend analysis and data collection to combat wildlife poaching in Zambia; development of a web mapping portal in Armenia; and GIS education and training in Afghanistan, Thailand, and Albania).

URISA’s GISCorps is the perfect complement to a GIS professional’s experience and education. Learn more and register as a volunteer or a friend of the program and start giving back today! For more information, visit www.giscorps.org or www.urisa.org.

[Source: URISA press release]

2013 Transit GIS Conference Program Details

URISAURISA, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) are pleased to promote program details for the 2013 GIS in Transit Conference, taking place October 16-17 at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C. GIS in Transit is a unique conference specifically designed for transit planners, managers, researchers and GIS industry experts who are interested in sharing ways to use geographic and spatial analysis in transit planning, operations, and marketing to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

The opening session, chaired by Linda K. Cherrington, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, will certainly be a conference highlight, featuring:

  • Geographic Information Systems in Transit – A Federal Perspective —Therese W. McMillan, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Using GTFS for Transit Scenario Modeling — Kevin Webb, Conveyal
  • Google Transit with Real-time Feed — Brian Ferris, Google

Ms. Cherrington noted, “The opening session will be outstanding…learning about the Federal perspective on GIS in Transit, exploring the latest in GTFS scenario planning, and then delving into real-time information in Google Transit. We’ll all be fortunate to learn from true experts with relevant and current information.”

More than 60 presenters are scheduled to address these important topics in 17 breakout sessions:

  • Innovative Transit Mapping and Design
  • Title VI and Paratransit
  • Collecting, Presenting, and Managing Geospatial Transit Data
  • Delivering Agency Geographic Information Systems: Transit Geographic Information Systems Tools
  • Spatial Analysis for Replanning Service Networks and Areas
  • Bus On-Board Spatial Data Collection for Service Planning, Performance Analysis, and Origin– Destination (O-D) Trip Definition
  • Visualizations in Transit Planning
  • Public Transit Modeling
  • Better Spatial Tools and Concepts for Evaluating
  • Transit Coverage Level of Service: Commute Trips, Connectivity, and Continuous Accessibility
  • Transit Agency Geographic Information Systems Innovations and Applications
  • Transit Geographic Information Systems on the Web: Expanding Their Reach
  • Geographic Information Systems Tools and Analysis for Bus Stop Management
  • Web Mapping and the Cloud
  • Public Transit Performance Measures
  • Geographic Information Systems Tools and Analysis for
  • Transit Facility Location

A poster session will also provide the opportunity for dialogue between conference participants and presenters on featured GIS applications. The conference thanks Esri and DTS for their early commitment as conference sponsors. Visit the conference website regularly for program details and additional information.

[Source: URISA press release]

Two New Free e-Books about Geodesign

Geodesign in Practice: Designing a Better World

geodesign-in-practice-cover-sm“Our world faces serious challenges, and it’s clear that we need to work together to collectively create a better future.

“Geodesign offers an iterative design method that uses stakeholder input, geospatial modeling, impact simulations, and real-time feedback to facilitate holistic designs and smart decisions. It gives us a framework for understanding, analyzing, and acting, with the ultimate goal of creating a better future for us all. Geodesign tools and techniques offer what may be our best hope for transforming the way we interact with the world.

“While there is still much more to do in order to transform geodesign into a full-fledged movement, the 12 articles in this e-book are proof positive we have already started to fundamentally transform how we think about making the world a better place. Geodesign is here to stay.”

Shannon McElvaney

Read the book [PDF]

Geodesign: Past, Present, and Future

geodesign-past-present-cover-sm

“Geodesign thought leaders share how we got here, where we are today, and where the technology might take us.

“Geodesign is an iterative design method that uses stakeholder input, geospatial modeling, impact simulations, and real-time feedback to facilitate holistic designs and smart decisions.
“How did we get here?
“What are the current trends in geodesign?
“Where might geodesign take us in the future?
“The nine articles in this e-book, written by some of the leading thinkers in the emerging field of geodesign, attempt to answer these questions while offering the reader a revealing glimpse into the promise of geodesign: a framework for understanding, analyzing, and acting, with the ultimate goal of creating a better future for us all.”

Shannon McElvaney

Read the book [PDF]