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NEARC Fall 2016 has ended
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Technical Session [clear filter]
Monday, October 17
 

4:15pm

P01. (Poster Display) Creating a Multi-Stage Image Classification Model for Identifying Sandbars in the Connecticut River
AUTHORS: Bogumila Backiel*, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Christian Marks; The Nature Conservancy; Keith Nislow, Forest Service

ABSTRACT: Active geomorphic features of the Connecticut River in New England provide habitat for several floodplain species. An object based segmentation model in GIS was created to identify and map sandbars through orthophotographs for the entire Connecticut River and its major tributaries. The multi-stage model, segments pixels from aerial images based on proximity and color, then compiles these pixels representing sandbars together through an unsupervised classification. Spatial habitat information on New England’s floodplain plant and animal species was collected to identify where sandbars provide critical habitat. Human development, particularly dams and channelization, have altered flow and sediment regimes, thus impairing formation of sandbars. Information regarding sandbar location and species presence in these features will subsequently allow policy makers to identify places for conservation. Large scale automated mapping of the geomorphology in both general river ecosystems and the Connecticut River is necessary to understand the dynamics of these features and preserve habitat.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P02. (Poster Display) Telling Connecticut’s Stories with Story Maps
AUTHORS: Cary Chadwick*; Emily Wilson, University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR)

ABSTRACT: The University of Connecticut’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) has a long history of making applied research results both usable and accessible to audiences covering a wide range of technical ability. The Story Map is the latest and perhaps most compelling way to make technical information available to local decision makers, regulatory agencies, the public, students and everyone else. CLEAR’s Story Maps showcase everything from wildlife to stormwater regulations to tracking trends in land cover and landscape change. This poster highlights these along with CLEAR’s new Story Map gallery. Check it out at http://clear.uconn.edu/storymaps.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P03. (Poster Display) Establishing a Plant Communities Inventory
AUTHORS: Heather Cormier, Cape Cod Commission

ABSTRACT: Stormwater runoff can create significant discharge of scour and sediment buildup, leading to pollution of local waterways and contamination of drinking water. Cape Cod’s already sensitive coastal resources need stormwater solutions that include landscape management alternatives to help mitigate nutrient and pollutant loading. An assessment of existing vegetation was conducted within Massachusetts’ Route 6 right-of-way from the Sagamore Bridge in Sandwich to the Orleans/Eastham Rotary. Using a combination of high-resolution aerial photography and LiDAR data, plant species were classified, invasive species were located, and density and health of vegetation was evaluated for future landscape management planning.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P04. (Poster Display) A Cartographic Analysis of Landcover Changes in Nauset Spit: 1947-2014
AUTHORS: Corey Dickinson* and Mark Adams, Cape Cod National Seashore GIS Branch, NPS

ABSTRACT: The Nauset Marsh barrier beach spits are part of an Atlantic-facing estuarine system within Cape Cod National Seashore. Inlet migration and coastal retreat have resulted in enormous changes in land cover types at Nauset. In the past 70 years, approximately 150 meters of shoreline retreat and 2.5 kilometers northward inlet migration have been observed. A major redistribution in landcover was mapped in the marsh, including loss of salt marsh habitat connected to the spit. This study seeks understand what patterns may be present in this system and to quantify the effects of these patterns on salt marsh and dune environments. This project was conducted using GIS software to analyze various aerial photographs from between the years of 1947 and 2014, and using said software to classify various land cover types in the study area. This data has been compared in a time series, and has been used to analyze some of the major trends shaping the development of the spit. The results of this project are important not only for the general understanding of the Nauset Marsh system, but for the overall understanding of how Cape Cod’s salt marsh/barrier spit systems affect uses and management within Cape Cod National Seashore.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P05. (Poster Display) Inverse Least Cost Distance Weighting: Application and Uses
AUTHORS: Christopher Dunn, Ramboll Environ

ABSTRACT: Traditional Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) uses Euclidean distances when weighting values associated with each interpolated raster cell. While this may be the simplest approach computationally, it may not be the most accurate way to represent the complex features and barriers in a real-world system. Using values from a least-cost-distance raster to represent the true distance can result in a more accurate interpolated surface. The poster outlines application methods for Inverse Least Cost Distance Weighting as well as advantages, disadvantages, and applicable situations.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P06. (Poster Display) Building Hydraulic Models in GIS to Quantify Floodplain Storage
AUTHORS: Abigail Ericson, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Dr. Richard Palmer, University of Massachusetts Amherst

ABSTRACT: Throughout history, people have settled near rivers and in floodplains, placing communities at risk to flooding, as demonstrated recently by the detrimental impact of Tropical Storm Irene. An active area of research in water resources planning and management involves understanding and quantifying the benefits and costs of high flows in rivers. This study explores the potential of flood attenuation by enhancing floodplain storage in portions of the Connecticut River. The study looks at quantifying the benefits of floodplain storage through the use of a simpler Hec-ResSim model and a sophisticated Hec-RAS model. The Hec-RAS model, built in ArcGIS using Hec-GeoRAS, incorporates detailed LiDAR and orthogonal imagery, USACE collected bathymetry, and measurements taken in the field. The analyses confirm that increased floodplain capacity attenuates high flows, and the Hec-RAS model has the added benefit of being able to incorporate projections to alternative flows based on floodplain and land cover changes. The Hec-RAS model allows comparison of its more detailed result to that from Hec-ResSim, to determine if the simpler model is sufficient to estimate changes in flows. Both models are powerful tools that can quantify floodplain benefits and provide justification for floodplain conservation and restoration for city planners and conservation groups.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P07. (Poster Display) Big Data, Little Birds: A GIS Approach for the Characterization of Bird Movements in the Gulf of Maine
AUTHORS: Walt Jaslanek, PhD Student; Jack Finn, Professor - Environmental Conservation Department, UMass

ABSTRACT: Our research the last year has focused on an initial understanding of the way data is being collected and processed on bird telemetry data sets on USFWS Northeast coastal refuges and how the development of a spatially explicit database framework could work to address better data organization and decision support. Bird telemetry studies especially from radio telemetry require the processing of big data sets and estimating movement locations. A common question coastal refuges face is whether wind developments could pose threats to known bird populations. This a complex question for biologists to answer without an inventory of data and a structured approach to processing multi-dimensional data. Our presentation will explain our big data approach, and modelling for a case study in the Gulf of Maine.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P08. (Poster Display) The use of GIS in Complete Streets Prioritization Planning
AUTHORS: Isabel C. Kaubisch, Principal Clarendon Hill Consulting LLC

ABSTRACT:
This year MassDOT issued the Complete Streets program, setting aside funds for towns able to demonstrate their eligibility for respective projects.  Planning for Complete Streets (CS) aims at making communities more walkable and more accommodating for bike travel and enhanced transit services and as such more livable whilst providing for safe and accessible multi-modal travel.

This poster shows the CS planning approach, conducted GIS analysis, prioritization criteria and results for one of the towns participating in the program. Together with Green International, we assisted towns with developing the necessary steps for their Complete Streets Prioritization Plans. Starting with the assessment of the current transportation situation and based on research and crash information, a needs assessment was conducted. Then, we ran a gap and vulnerability analysis’ for specific locations. Based on the analysis results, areas for improvement were identified and CS project ideas developed. Using our prioritization strategy allowed towns to identify opportunities and CS projects most relevant for their community. Those CS projects deemed to make streets safer, more accessible and more complete are now potentially eligible for funding from MassDOT.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P09. (Poster Display) Connecticut Elevation: A Statewide Lidar Virtual Mosaic
AUTHORS: Emily Wilson, University of Connecticut; Cary Chadwick, University of Connecticut

ABSTRACT: A shaded relief map of Connecticut is displayed using a statewide elevation dataset created from eight different Lidar datasets that were captured at different times by different agencies. The mosaic dataset is used extensively to manage thousands of DEM tiles and LAS files of the different datasets and then pull them together into one ArcGIS Server image service with multiple functions (hillshade, shaded relief, slope and aspect) applied. The image services are available through REST as well as an easy-to-use viewer. The Connecticut Environmental Conditions Online (CT ECO) website is the home of the Elevation Viewer that contains all elevation layers, locators and swipe. The site also contains instructions for connecting to the services, metadata, FAQs and more http://cteco.uconn.edu/lidar.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P10. (Poster Display) Scales of Environmental Justice: Combining GIS and Health Risk Assessment of Tribal Exposure through Subsistence Lifeways
AUTHORS: Angelique Hawk-Arachy

ABSTRACT:  In the Northwest Pacific tribal areas of the Columbia River Basin, fish consumption is important to riverine tribal cultures, and represents deeply held beliefs that have roots in spiritual practices, subsistence lifestyles and community. Therefore, typical fish consumption may exceed levels usually reported for the general U.S. population. A principal exposure pathway of contaminants to riverine tribes is through fish consumption.This study was designed to determine if mercury concentrations in fish in regions of the Columbia River Basin where tribal members fish were high enough to be a health concern. A large Columbia River Basin database on concentrations of mercury in fish, compiled mainly from state and federal monitoring programs, was used to evaluate trends for mercury contamination in fish from the Columbia River Basin waterways for a range of consumption rates. Trends were analyzed on data aggregated by site and by state, using samples of the same fish species. Site-based trends were evaluated from 1999 to 2010. There were significant and important differences in mercury levels among species, but the locational differences were relatively small. The highest mean mercury levels were in largemouth bass (577 ppm) and smallmouth bass (297 ppm). The concentrations of mercury in the anadromous fish were lower than in resident species. Eleven of the 105 rivers had fish samples over EPA human health guideline of 0.3 ppm, and five of 105 rivers had fish samples above 0.5 ppm. The findings from this study demonstrated few fish are low enough in mercury to be safe for tribal members eating resident fish at traditional historic rates or at a moderate rate. Mercury contaminate levels in proximity to Native Americanreservations, per EPA human health guidelines for fish consumption were geospatial analyzed. Geographic relationships of Indian reservations and toxic release facilities throughout the Columbia River Basin were examined.The traditional methodology of a health risk assessment used by the federal government is based on the use of exposure assumptions that represent the entire American population. To limit human risk to mercury residues in locally caught species, fish consumption advisories have been established to protect local populations from health risk. For regions where mercury contaminant levels are elevated, elevated fish consumption by tribal members may lead to higher exposures to mercury. These exposures represent potentially disproportionate risks for many Northwest Pacific tribes. The state’s fish advisories suggest reducing fish consumption with the goal of lowering risk; in fact, this shifts the burden of avoiding risk to the tribal members who now carry the burdens of contaminant exposure, socio-economic impacts and heritage and cultural loss. Thus, tribal members are forced to choose between culture and health. Many tribal members would rather be exposed to risk than abandon their culture and religion. These issues represent the potential inadequacy of health risk assessments to reflect important cultural differences in environmental justice communities. This may warrant further mitigation to reduce mercury levels in surface waters that support commonly consumed or culturally important species.

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room

4:15pm

P11. (Poster Display) Creating accurate and quality maps of Torres del Paine National Park and Karukinka Park
AUTHORS: Bruce Willett, Sistemas de Información Geográfica (SIG) Punta Arenas, Chile 

ABSTRACT:  Creating accurate and quality maps of Torres del Paine National Park and KarukinkaPark on the island of Tierra del Fuego is important for the management, managetourism and providing funding for the Chilean Forest Service (CONAF) and theWildlife Conservation Society (WCS). This also supports the local economy in themany small local businesses near the parks. Good maps and data outside the parksreduces visitor usage inside the parks and provides more opportunities for localbusinesses. In addition the enhances geographic data allows visualizing landownership, land-cover, hydrography, infrastructure and imagery utilizing GIS is away for both local and regional government to properly manage these resources.Data is of varying quality throughout the region. Sections including northern Tierradel Fuego have been surveyed to define property boundaries, others may be basedon old surveys, fences, property descriptions, air photos, satellite imagery ormissing. Concerning land-cover – this is sometimes is misidentified. Streams orwater bodies can be miss-aligned, shaped or identified.And a good excuse for me to get out and map!
Sistemas de Información Geográfica (SIG) Punta Arenas, Chile 

Monday October 17, 2016 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ocean View Room