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USFWS to get spatial decision support system

Redlands, US: The University of Redlands, US, received USD 75,000 grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop a spatial decision support (SDS) system. The system will calculate and map potential impacts of energy projects on wildlife. The system will support geodesign, planning and spatially complex decisions at multiple scales of analysis.

“We are helping the FWS to build a system that will facilitate early conversation between energy proponents and the Service, to help reduce conflict and guide appropriate and sustainable energy development,” said Jordan Henk, Director of the Redlands Institute, a research wing of the university that uses Geographic Information Science and Technology to explore complex environmental and social systems.

“This kind of collaborative research is ideal because it couples Redlands’ expertise in geospatial technology with the Service’s scientific expertise to develop something that should result in better decisions on the ground,” Henk added.

Tim Modde, project officer for the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said the project goes beyond simply mapping the overlap between an energy project and the wildlife that lives in the area. “We’re attempting to measure the risk to develop a modeling logic that provides estimates of vulnerability that can be used by environmentalists, scientists and others,” he added.

David Fite, Vice President for academic affairs for the University of Redlands, noted the Institute’s growing role working with federal agencies to develop GIS models for planning. Similar projects are underway by the Redlands Institute for the National Park Service on the island of Hawaii and for the USFWS Desert Tortoise Recovery Office in the Mojave Desert.

Source: Virtual Strategy