Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New NBII Search Engine Highlighted in The Wildlife Professional

An article appearing in the fall 2009 issue of The Wildlife Professional titled “A Search Engine Revs Up” takes a thoughtful look at the recently introduced search engine and redesigned home page of the USGS National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). The fall issue of this publication is a special issue offering a variety of perspectives on accessing data. The Wildlife Professional is distributed to all members of The Wildlife Society, whose members specialize in the management, conservation, and study of wildlife populations and habitats.

(Photo: cover of The Wildlife Professional Magazine)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hudson River Watershed Mapping Application Now Live

The Hudson River Watershed Mapper, an interactive mapping tool developed in partnership between CIESIN and The Beacon Institute, is now live and accessible from the Northeast Information Node (NIN). The Mapper lets users incorporate more than 70 sources of scientific and cultural information to create customized maps of one the nation’s most populated and historically significant watersheds. Map layers available include USGS stream gages, which link directly to the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS). The Mapper can be used to visualize a wide range of features about the Watershed, such as demographics, the variability of land use patterns, and the identification of specific agents of water pollution in the region. It also acts as a gateway to a network of sensors and observational technology. Please contact Mark Becker at: mbecker@ciesin.columbia.edu with comments and suggestions for the Hudson River Watershed Mapper.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vegetation Characterization Products Now Available for Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

USGS-National Park Service (NPS) Vegetation Characterization Program (VCP) documentation for Sagamore Hill National Historic Site has been completed and is available on the VCP Web site. Products include aerial photography - graphic of orthophoto mosaic, spatial orthophoto data, and flightline index; project report - photo interpretation key, vegetation descriptions, vegetation key, photos of map class, and accuracy assessment methods and results; field data - graphic of field plots, spatial field plots data, field database, physical descriptive for plots and species list for plots; geospatial vegetation information - graphics of vegetation communities, spatial vegetation data, spatial boundary data, and field photos; accuracy assessment information - graphic of accuracy assessment points, spatial accuracy assessment data, and contingency matrix; metadata, and a link to NPS information about Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. The goal of the VCP is to classify and map the vegetation communities of National Parks that have a natural resource component. Complete documentation is currently available for sixty-one park units and two U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge units. The VCP is managed by the USGS Center for Biological Informatics in cooperation with the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program. The USGS Vegetation Characterization effort includes the management and upkeep of the VCP protocols, Web-based access to the standards, and the Web-based access to NPS Vegetation Characterization program finished products.

USGS-NBII Scientist To Chair Symposium at International Congress on Biological Invasions

Invasive Species Information Manager Annie Simpson of the USGS - National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) has been invited, and has accepted, to chair a symposium – "Knowledge management, decision-making tools, capacity development, and public awareness" – at the International Congress on Biological Invasions. The Congress will take place in Fuzhou, China, November 2-6, 2009. Ms. Simpson will also make an oral presentation titled "The Global Invasive Species Information Network: information sharing for informed decision-making." Hundreds of invasive species specialists from around the world will convene at the Congress to exchange ideas on improving the management of biological invasions at national, regional, and global levels.

Visit the International Congress on Biological Invasions website for more information about the upcoming Congress.

(Photo: Inflorescence of Eichhornia crassipes at Berrimah, Northern Territory, Australia (Photo by Colin Wilson, from the Global Invasive Species Database)

USGS Cooperative Fishery Research – Data Project

Alan Friedlander, formerly with NOAA Fisheries National Ocean Service (NOS)/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) joined USGS in 2009. Alan is taking over for Jim Parrish, as adjunct faculty at University of Hawaii-Manoa and lead of the Hawai’i Cooperative Fishery Research Unit. With assistance from Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) staff, Alan is organizing data related to fish biomass and protected area studies dating back to the early 1970s from field sites throughout the Hawaiian archipelago. PBIN staff and collaborators are assisting with data integration, migration to modern relational database structure, and updates of valid taxonomic names. Alan has several million individual observation records describing hundreds of unique fish species.

(Photo: Maui, Hawaii, man fishing. Credit: John J. Mossesso, NBII Life photos)