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Assessment of Geographic Extent of Projects Encompassed by the Northern Gulf Institute Using Geographic Information Systems

Prince Czarnecki, J. M., Shaw, D. R., Hodge, S., & Hill, C. L. (2007). Assessment of Geographic Extent of Projects Encompassed by the Northern Gulf Institute Using Geographic Information Systems. Coastal Geotools. Myrtle Beach, SC.

Abstract

The Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) manages large-scale ecosystem level data on all features which impact ecosystems in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The geographic extent of research projects covered by the NGI needs to be quantified to address research gaps. This is also important because it reduces redundancy in research and data acquisition, while increasing opportunities for inter-agency/inter-state collaboration. The use of geographic information systems provides a significant tool in this endeavor. Geospatial technologies are the foundation of the NGI design. Every aspect of the Institute is being created around the use of these technologies. As thus, this assessment directly ties into the NGI’s mission and framework. This is also beneficial as the management of research efforts across the whole region will ensure standardization of data formats and compliance with metadata reporting. Given the popularity of ecosystem-based management it is imperative that current and future research funded through the NGI focus on regional ecosystem impacts as well as local impacts. It is also important that ecosystems be framed as part of a larger network, interconnected with the global ecosystem. The NGI design ensures that an ecosystem-based management approach is accomplished. Associated with the NGI is the development of an Ecosystem Data Assembly Center (EDAC). The EDAC creates research opportunities in accordance with the NOAA’s strategic plan and the NGI directives. As proposals are evaluated, it will be invaluable to view their contributions geographically as well as scientifically.


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