For any long-term ecological monitoring program, it is imperative to include a significant investment in data management. Part of this includes developing a strong GIS program. Our GIS program is a cooperative agreement between the Southern Oregon University (SOU) Department of Geography and the Klamath Network. Our GIS staff consists of one university employee (Lorin Groshong, a GIS specialist), student interns, and volunteers.
The Klamath Network I&M Program uses GIS and remote sensing for many of its inventory and monitoring projects. We are currently working with the National I&M office to develop data layers for 10 of the 12 Basic Inventories with spatial components; these include base cartography, vegetation, geology, soils, water, climate, air, and species distributions. Our office also provides GIS support for ongoing Network-level projects, including wetland distribution mapping and invasive species mapping efforts. Additionally, we use GIS to create maps for various inventory and monitoring reports and to provide our parks with training and GIS support.
Recently, much of our work has focused on collecting the most current versions of GIS data layers and metadata from each of the six parks in the Klamath Network. We have been projecting data layers to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection with the North American Datum of 1983 and depositing the data into a park and network GIS directory structure (following NPS standards). In one project, we have been scanning legacy aerial photography for four parks and assigning the data a spatial reference on the earth's surface. Data layers for base cartography have been compiled and our program is moving on to other inventories such as water body locations, climatic variables, and species distributions.
The Network’s Data Manager and Lorin Groshong plan on developing a custom GIS application using ArcEngine that will provide resource managers with tools to view the results of inventory and monitoring projects and to retrieve spatial and tabular data valuable to making management decisions at the parks. We also have plans to implement an enterprise Geodatabase using ArcSDE (Arc Spatial Database Engine), develop mobile GIS and Databases for use in the field, and provide GIS browsing and downloading capabilities online using ArcIMS (Arc Internet Map Server).