Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an extremely useful tool in conservation, providing researchers with a way to categorize land cover and use, analyze animal movements and habitat use, and make predictions about the effects of current patterns or future changes in the landscape.
All too often, GIS analysis is performed by those with little knowledge of biology or conservation. The emphasis of many projects appears to be placed on the process itself, instead of on the ways in which results can be used to make informed decisions. For me, GIS is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
My interest in GIS focuses on utilizing the technology to make more informed decisions on the ground. I am especially interested in predictive models of occurrence and habitat suitability models that help guide field surveys, making them much more efficient and systematic than traditional survey methods. In addition, I utilize GIS to understand species-habitat relationships and how alternative management strategies are likely to
Most GIS users are competent using available data sets, but sometimes these are not suitable for the task at hand. When necessary, I develop additional data layers, such as wetland or vegetation maps, using multispectral satellite images and aerial photographs.
I am familiar with the most common GIS and
remote sensing software, including:
Some of the tools and techniques I use on a regular basis include: