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NCCOS Expertise Highlighted at Coastal GeoTools Conference

Published on: 02/23/2017
Research Area(s): Other Topics
Primary Contact(s): robert.mcguinn@noaa.gov

NCCOS geospatial expertise was highlighted at this year's Coastal GeoTools Conference in North Charleston, SC earlier this month. Hosted by the Association of State Floodplain Managers, coastal management data professionals shared how they are addressing contemporarycoastal issues using geospatial data and tools while learning about new technologies and applications.

Below is a list of presentations delivered by NCCOS scientists and their partners:

Shades of Grey: New Techniques to Mosaic Acoustic Intensity Surfaces, presented by Will Sautter and Timothy Battista. NCCOS has successfully used PCI Geomatica software to merge acoustic backscatter and sidescan data into intensity mosaics for the Long Island Sound Benthic Habitat Mapping Project and for the ongoing Seafloor Mapping of the US Caribbean project. NCCOS demonstrates how this intuitive new method can be utilized to turn a patchwork of backscatter and sidescan surveys into a vivid seamless surface that can then be used for mapping, monitoring, and modeling benthic habitats.

A Baseline Ecological Assessment of the Tidal Choptank River: Digital Atlas, Web Mapping Portal, and Baseline Status Report, presented by David Moe Nelson, Dan Dorfman, Ayman Mabrouk, Laurie Bauer, and Ken Buja. A Digital Atlas of the Choptank Habitat Focus Area was developed as a tool for conservation planning, resource analysis, data exploration, and other purposes. It consists of three components: 1) geodatabase of existing relevant data sets from NOAA and partner organizations, 2) interactive web portal for mapping and displaying relevant data sets, and 3) summary report published as a NOAA Technical Memorandum.

Planning and Coordinating Field Work with Esri's Dashboard, Collector, and Workforce Apps, presented by Ken Buja. In order to meet the goals and objectives of a large-scale, large-participant sampling effort that includes strategic deployment of multiple small boats carrying dive teams a tool is necessary that accommodates real time data sharing. A combination of the Dashboard and Workforce apps used by the field coordinator and Collector apps on the boats will streamline the planning and coordination of the field work.

Aquamapper: A Decision-Support Tool for Regulating Offshore Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico, presented by Lisa Wickliffe, James Morris, and Ken Riley (NMFS). Through a highly collaborative, multi-agency effort, a mock permitting exercise was conducted to illustrate a phased, regulatory process of offshore aquaculture for the Gulf of Mexico. Using the Gulf Aquamapper, spatial planning efforts allowed for identification of preliminary suitable siting areas for establishing finfish aquaculture using authoritative federal and state data housed in a centralized geodatabase. Initial siting efforts will guide coastal managers in developing regulatory guidelines and avoiding user conflicts, considering a multitude of biological, navigational, military, social, economic, physical and chemical parameters over space and time.

Continued Evolution of NOAA's Environmental Shoreline Mapping Program (ESI), presented by Jill Peterson (OR&R) and David Moe Nelson. Increased aerial coverage and the addition of multiple human-use features were part of the effort to broaden the ESI user base. Traditionally focused on oil spill response and planning, the new maps and data should be useful during planning and response to other natural and man-made hazards. These enhancements will be incorporated in all future ESI data projects. This presentation focused on a review of the data content in its entirety, new features and uses, ESI specific data tools and ESI plans for the future.

NOAA's National Database of Deep Sea Corals and Sponges: A Resource to Inform Conservation and Management, Highlighting Work in the Gulf of Mexico, presented by Robert McGuinn, Enrique Salgado, Matt Poti, Brian Kinlan, Peter Etnoyer, Matt Dornback (NCEI), David Sallis (NCEI), Scott Cross, (NCEI), and Thomas Hourigan (NMFS). NOAA's Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program has developed a comprehensive geo-database for deep-sea corals and sponges (deeper than 50 m) as a resource for both scientists and resource managers. The database currently integrates more than 250,000 deep-sea coral records and more than 70,000 deep-sea sponge records, most from U.S. waters. A case study showing the use of the database to support establishment of new marine protected areas was presented for the Gulf of Mexico.

Special Interest Meeting: Applying the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS): Best Practices and User Experiences, presented by Robert McGuinn, Rachel Bassett, and Peter Etnoyer. The presentation showed how to incorporate CMECS components into benthic surveys with little modification to standard operating procedures. Recommendations included: adding CMECS components into existing dive logs, dive tables, pre-cruise planning documents, and post-cruise summaries. The publication of the NOAA Technical Memorandum reporting the complete outcomes and recommendations of the CMECS application project is expected in early March, 2017.

For more information, please contact Robert.McGuinn@noaa.gov.

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