NPScape is designed to address questions related to resource conservation Vulnerability and Opportunity. These dynamics are shaped at the landscape scale by three major factors: Natural Systems, Human Drivers, and Conservation Context. Consider by way of example a focal resource occurring inside a park. That resource is capable of persisting in part because of the ecological attributes of the larger natural system within which it exists. However, the value of the natural system with respect to the focal resource can be challenged by human-mediated drivers of landscape change. Precisely how these drivers interact with the natural system to impact the resource and, by extension, resource conservation vulnerability and opportunity, depends further on the stewardship of all management units within the natural system. NPScape quantifies these components and provides a suite of products to assist resource managers, planners, and interpreters.
NPScape begins by defining a core set of landscape metrics that are of fundamental value to all or at least most parks. We then document in great detail the GIS methods (SOPs) needed to quantify the landscape metrics, including the source GIS data inputs and ArcGIS scripts and tools to assist with computations. Importantly, these methods enable others to recompute the landscape metrics using local source data, where available. Primary outputs from our metric processing methods include processed GIS data, tables with summary statistics, and maps to assist visualization by non-GIS audiences. These outputs are then used to generate Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) assessments and reports for parks.
NPScape products are managed and distributed through the Integrated Resource Management Applications (IRMA) system. All NPScape records are publically accessible and may be viewed and downloaded through either IRMA (http://irma.nps.gov) or the NPScape website (http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/monitor/npscape/). The NPScape website streamlines access to the products and provides additional useful information on the project.