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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2018 Fall NEARC Conference! To return to the NEARC website, go to: https://www.northeastarc.org/fall-nearc.html

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Natural Resources [clear filter]
Monday, October 29


Education Track. Carbon for Conservation: A GIS Suitability Model for a Private-Public Partnership
AUTHORS: Alex French, Institute for a Sustainable Environment Clarkson University; Carol Cady*, GIS Program, St. Lawrence Univeristy; Dakota Casserly, GIS Program, St. Lawrence Univeristy; Jessica Rogers, Environmental Studies Department, SUNY Potsdam

ABSTRACT: Through a collaborative effort between Clarkson University’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment, St. Lawrence Land Trust, St. Lawrence University’s GIS Program, and SUNY Potsdam’s Environmental Studies Department, forested private properties within St. Lawrence County, New York have been identified as potential sites to participate in an experimental carbon offset project through Clarkson University. These properties would be placed under conservation easements with Clarkson University paying the easement transaction costs in exchange for the University being able to claim the carbon offset benefits.

The project started with an assignment in a GIS class at Clarkson, and continued in SUNY Potsdam’s introductory GIS class. The outcome was to identify large forested properties within the County. Due to the time constraints of the classroom, it was decided that the project needed to be refined before presenting the final results to the Land Trust. Data acquisition and analysis were split among the above academic programs. Four faculty and staff with several classes from these institutions created a suitability model. Over 100 properties were identified as suitable for easements. The owners of the 20 largest properties were then contacted by letter to discuss a conservation easement on their property. As of this summer SLLT has begun the easement process with one interested land owner.

During our presentation we will discuss the suitability model and analyses used, the collaborative process itself, and how this process may be used with other land trusts and academic institutions in our area to create a sustainable carbon for conservation model.

Monday October 29, 2018 11:00am - 11:30am
Tuesday, October 30


Lidar/3D Track. Expanding Vermont Spatial Data Infrastructure with Statewide QL2 Lidar
AUTHORS: Mike Brouillette, Lidar Program Manager, Vermont Center for Geographic Information

ABSTRACT: Vermont has achieved statewide Quality Level 2 (QL2) lidar coverage in 2018, positioning the state to pursue robust Vermont Spatial Data Infrastructure (VSDI) goals previously out of reach. Primary among these goals is a statewide, 17-class land cover layer at 0.5m resolution with an overall accuracy of 90% or better. The geometric information in lidar along with the spectral information in various statewide imagery supports Automated Feature Extraction using an Object Based Image Analysis framework to produce this data. Increased data accuracy, reduced acquisition costs, and advancing technologies are increasingly enabling those responsible for finding innovative solutions to an array of Vermont’s challenges. A pre-release of the land cover data will be shown along with other current efforts (Statewide Property Parcel Mapping Program), as well as a brief overview of the lidar program and lidar-based services.

Tuesday October 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:30am
Saratoga 1/2


Hydrography Track. The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and National Hydrography Dataset Plus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR)
AUTHORS: Peter Steeves, USGS

ABSTRACT: The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) is the U.S. Geological Survey’s geospatial dataset used to portray surface water in The National Map. The NHD represents the drainage network with features such as rivers, streams, canals, lakes, ponds, coastline, dams, and streamgages. The NHD also includes a linear referencing system based on reach codes that functions like a street address, and network connectivity information that enable analysis and discovery of information upstream or downstream of a point of interest.
The National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus) enhances the NHD by incorporating two other USGS datasets; seamless elevation data from the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), and delineations of drainage divides from the Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD). The NHDPlus comprises an integrated suite of hydrologic geospatial data sets, including a hydrographic stream network, polygonal catchment areas representing incremental drainage areas for each stream network element, and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) derivatives including flow direction and flow accumulation grids. The USGS and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) collaborated to produce two versions of the NHDPlus (V1 and V2) using the Medium-Resolution NHD at 1:100,000 scale, 30-meter elevation data from 3DEP, and WBD. Now the USGS is working on NHDPlus HR, which uses techniques and software from NHDPlus V2 with the NHD High Resolution (1:24,000-scale or better), 10-meter elevation data from 3DEP, and WBD. Many applications have been built upon the previous versions of NHDPlus, which we anticipate will expand with the NHDPlus HR. This presentation will provide an introduction to both NHD and NHDPlus HR.

Tuesday October 30, 2018 9:30am - 10:00am
Broadway 1&2


UAV #2 Track. UAS Lidar and Imagery in the NERRS: Evaluating the Effectiveness of UAS Sensors and Platforms for Multi-Purpose Mapping of Marshes and Beaches in the NERRS Sentinel Site Network
AUTHORS: Kirk Waters, NOAA OCM; Sue Bickford, Wells NERR; Jamie Carter*, TBG at NOAA OCM; Nina Garfield, NOAA OCM; Andrea Habeck, Jacques Cousteau NERR; Nate Herold, NOAA OCM; Jared Lewis, San Francisco Bay NERR; Jonathan Pitchford, Grand Bay NERR; Melissa Rosa, TBG at NOAA OCM

ABSTRACT: There is a near universal need within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) and by other natural resource stakeholders for accurate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and habitat maps to support a diversity of applications. Applications include supporting sea level rise research and management and flood forecasts; evaluating the impact of specific vegetation management practices on elevation in marsh micro-environments; assessing beaches after storms for damage assessment and restoration purposes; and identifying high priority invasive and sensitive vegetation. Our intent with this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of unmanned aerial system (UAS) platforms to produce multiple mapping data and products for elevation and vegetation mapping in marshes and dune systems. We sought a UAS solution that could fly multi-spectral and lidar elevation instruments sequentially on the same platform. We contracted UAS data collection to the private sector (Quantum Spatial, Inc., and PrecisionHawk) and conducted the ground truth ourselves (NERRS and NOAA staff). We used multiple NERRS sentinel sites as test beds. Data from multiple high-resolution multi-spectral sensors and lidar elevation were acquired for three NERRS sites: Jacques Cousteau, NJ; Grand Bay, MS; and Rush Ranch in San Francisco Bay, CA. The data were evaluated on their ability to meet specifications, primarily positional accuracy and resolution, and their potential to improve habitat mapping.

Tuesday October 30, 2018 10:30am - 11:00am
Saratoga 1/2


Natural Resources #1 Track. How Interactive Online Technologies Advance the Connecticut’s Changing Landscape Study Website
AUTHORS: Emily H. Wilson, James Hurd, Chet Arnold – University of Connecticut

ABSTRACT: The University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) has added a new date to the Connecticut’s Changing Landscape (CCL) land cover and land cover change study. The study now covers 30 years with 7 dates (1985, 1990, 1995, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2015) of land cover. CLEAR has a long history of making the results of the study available on the web to all users in a variety of ways. Previous versions of the website used pdfs, static images and ArcIMS to name a few. Today, the information is being shared using the new geospatial technologies. ArcGIS server services are available to users, populate a story map and are consumed by a web app builder viewer with multiple, user-friendly tools. New, slick and interactive data visualizations tools, such as Tableau and Esri Insights, were assessed and are now part of the website. The presentation will show these tools, discuss how they are being used to share land cover and how their dynamic nature improves user experience. http://clear.uconn.edu/projects/landscape.

Tuesday October 30, 2018 11:30am - 12:00pm
Broadway 1&2


Remote Sensing Track. Estimating Percent Impervious Cover from Landsat-based Land Cover: An Evaluation of a Simple and Transferable Regression Model
AUTHORS: Jason R. Parent, Qian Lei – University of Connecticut

ABSTRACT: Percent impervious cover (PIC) is often estimated from moderate-resolution satellite data which is known to overestimate PIC in urban areas and underestimate PIC in rural areas. Regression-based models (e.g. ISAT, ETIS) have been developed to calibrate Landsat-based PIC estimates to improve accuracy. However, it is unknown how these models perform if they are used outside of the geographic area for which the models were developed or if the size of the analysis units (e.g. watershed) affects model performance. Furthermore, these models tend to be applicable only for specific land cover datasets and may require ancillary data such as population estimates. This study evaluated the robustness of a simple regression model, based solely on Landsat-based impervious land cover, to estimate PIC for different geographic areas, land cover datasets, and analysis units.

We tested the model for analysis units ranging in size from 2 to 100+ ha for four locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Ohio. The model was developed in southwestern CT and validated in the three other locations. Model RMSE values ranged from 1.5% to 10.0% with the performance improving as the analysis unit size increased. The model had slightly lower performance (0.0 to 2.7% higher RMSE) when applied outside the area in which it was developed. Overall, this study showed that a simple PIC estimation model, based only on the impervious cover classes of Landsat-based land cover datasets, can be effective for a variety of analysis unit sizes and for locations outside of the model calibration areas.

Tuesday October 30, 2018 2:30pm - 3:00pm
Saratoga 1/2


Natural Resources #2 Track. Spatial Prioritization of Headwater Parcels for Enhanced Flood Resilience
AUTHORS: Pam DeAndrea, Senior GIS Planner, Central Vermont RPC

ABSTRACT: In 2011, Central Vermont experienced significant flood damage from storms including but not limited to Tropical Storm Irene. These storms have prompted Vermont and its communities to become more flood resilient to protect buildings, infrastructure, and the environment. The project team (Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC), the Friends of the Winooski River (FWR), and the Winooski Community Partnership) secured funding through the High Meadows Fund for an outreach and demonstration project aimed at forested landowners in the Winooski River headwaters communities of Cabot, Marshfield and Plainfield, Vermont. The goal for this project (“Water Wise Woodlands”) is to work with landowners, forest industry representatives, municipal groups, and interested community members to demonstrate how upland forest conservation and management can be a tool for downstream flood resilience and water quality protection. In order to reach the forested landowners that would be best to include in the outreach from a flood resilience perspective, the CVRPC conducted a GIS analysis and prioritization based on several factors that would increase runoff from a forested parcel. The Water Wise Woodland project team will be promoting attendance to workshops and demonstration projects specifically to these targeted landowners. The spatial analysis was an integral tool for this study to use science based information in outreach to landowners who could become model stewards for upland forest management for both water quality improvement and flood resilience.

Tuesday October 30, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Broadway 1&2