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Spring 2015 Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group Meeting
The fifth meeting of the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group was held on April 16, 2015, at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Pacific Coastal and Marine 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 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Monterey Bay marine GIS science community; to facilitate hands-on GIS training; and to increase awareness of marine spatial data sets within the broader GIS science community in the Monterey Bay area.
Approximately 65 members of the Monterey Bay coastal and marine community, including GIS users, marine scientists, and policy makers, gathered for a morning of networking and presentations with a focus on marine GIS participatory mapping. Participatory mapping is a general term for enhancing maps by adding the knowledge of local experts, such as fishermen, harbormasters, or long-time residents. Mimi D’Iorio (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [National Marine Protected Areas Center, NOAA]) and Will McClintock (University of California, Santa Barbara [McClintock Lab, UCSB]) led an afternoon workshop about the advantages, limitations, and costs associated with various participatory mapping approaches. This interactive panel discussion provided an opportunity to explore a suite of participatory mapping tools and to discuss best practices, lessons learned, and strategies for integrating community knowledge into research and planning.
The first speaker, Todd Hallenbeck (West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health), began the day with a demonstration of discovering data and informing regional ocean health priorities with the West Coast Ocean Data Portal. He showed examples of data types, data sources, and new features, such as data search catalog and data filtering.
Caitlyn Raines, a member of the Oceans team at Esri, led the group through the new features of the Esri Ocean Basemap, described Esri’s new maritime products and tools, and discussed the future of Esri’s ArcGIS Ocean efforts.
Next, Patrick Barnard (USGS) demonstrated the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) and led the group through its products, tools, and options. He discussed how the modeling system was developed to meet overwhelming needs of USGS partners by using the most sophisticated tools available. Barnard described how CoSMoS makes detailed projections of storm-induced coastal flooding, erosion, and cliff failures over large geographic scales. He emphasized that CoSMoS was developed for hindcast studies, operational applications, and future climate scenarios to provide emergency responders and coastal planners with critical storm-hazards information that can be used to increase public safety, mitigate physical damage, and more effectively manage and allocate resources in complex coastal settings.
Melissa Stevens of the Nature Conservancy (TNC) presented TNC’s eCatch tool and lessons learned in the development process. eCatch provides a simple way for fishermen to collect, map, and share their fishing information, thus helping stakeholders in commercial fisheries to better align ocean health with profitability.
Mimi D’Iorio and Hugo Selbie (NOAA) described their recent work empowering communities through participatory mapping. Their process is designed to capture spatial data where coastal communities use the ocean across a full range of typical human activities. D’Iorio described how participatory mapping techniques offer a proven, flexible, and scalable approach that empowers coastal communities to paint an accurate picture of human use on a scale appropriate for ocean planning at the local, state, or regional level. D’Iorio also described the outline and goals for the afternoon workshop.
The final speaker of the morning, Will McClintock (UCSB), gave a brief overview of SeaSketch, a web and mobile application for ocean planning, monitoring, and enforcement. Many organizations use SeaSketch during the participatory mapping process. McClintock also provided additional information about the afternoon workshop.
After a break for lunch, workshop participants gathered again at the meeting site. They saw demonstrations by workshop instructors Mimi D’Iorio and Will McClintock, explored the details of a well-developed participatory mapping process, and learned how to configure SeaSketch for gathering information. D’Iorio and McClintock closed the workshop by discussing participants’ unique projects and answering questions about customizing the process.The Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group will meet again in spring 2016; details will be announced on the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group website. For any questions about the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group or its meetings, please contact Nadine Golden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Lisa Wedding at email@example.com, or Mimi D’Iorio at Mimi.Diorio@noaa.gov.
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