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Second Biannual Meeting of the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group
The second biannual meeting of the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group was held Thursday, July 19, 2012, at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, California. A GIS (geographic information system) is a computer-based system for storing, manipulating, analyzing, and managing all types of geographically referenced information. The goals of this user group are to foster collaboration among academic institutions, the private sector, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the Monterey Bay marine GIS science community; to facilitate hands-on GIS training; and to increase awareness of marine spatial datasets within the broader GIS science community in the Monterey Bay area.
Approximately 65 members of the coastal and marine community, including GIS users, marine scientists, and policy makers, gathered to hear four presentations that focused on current GIS and scientific research and GIS tools. The keynote speaker, Patrick Halpin, director of the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab at Duke University,, began the day with a talk titled “Illuminating the Oceans: Using Geospatial Analysis to Better Understand the Marine World.” Halpin discussed the difficulties faced by marine geospatial scientists when dealing with time and space in the open ocean, and he concluded from his own experience that using the right technical tool set can help overcome these challenges.
Next, Will McClintock (University of California, Santa Barbara) introduced the group to recent advancements in SeaSketch, a widely used GIS tool set specifically designed for solving marine geospatial issues. SeaSketch, based on a combination of open-source and Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) technologies, provides a new platform for applying collaborative geodesign software to marine spatial planning. (“Geodesign” is an emerging field that integrates geographic science with spatial design; learn more at http://www.esri.com/technology-topics/geodesign/.) With the help of friends and colleagues in the audience, McClintock demonstrated the decision-support tool under development at the Marine Science Institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara. This platform for collaborative ocean planning allows public participants to contribute their ideas to the marine spatial planning discussions via a web browser and the Internet.
After a lunch of networking and socializing, Jason Roberts (Duke University), developer of Marine Geospatial Ecology Tools (MGET), gave an overview of this free, open-source geoprocessing toolbox designed for coastal and marine GIS analysis. MGET can be invoked from most programming languages and includes more than 300 tools designed for and requested by marine researchers.
The closing speaker, Melissa Foley (Center for Ocean Solutions), highlighted a study that assessed the cumulative impact of multiple human activities in Monterey Bay, California. (Learn more about quantifying cumulative impacts at http://www.centerforoceansolutions.org/initiatives/cumulative-impacts.)
The following day, July 20, the Monterey Bay GIS User Group sponsored a predictive modeling MGET workshop at the California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Chapman Science Academic Center, in Seaside, California. This hands-on workshop, led by Jason Roberts, was attended by 40 GIS professionals and students from the Monterey Bay area and beyond. Roberts led the workshop attendees through an example of predictive modeling using MGET and downloadable datasets. Working through more than 25 steps and tools, participants were able to utilize some of MGET’s most popular features. MGET overview presentation slides from the workshop are posted on the MGET website at http://mgel.env.duke.edu/mget/files/2012/07/MBGIS_July_2012_Online.pptx (about 13 MB). The modeling example reviewed in the daylong workshop will be converted to an online tutorial for posting on the MGET website.
The Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group will meet again in spring 2013; details will be posted soon on the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center website. For questions about the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group or its meetings, please contact Lisa Wedding at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nadine Golden at email@example.com.
in this issue:
Biannual Meeting of the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group
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