Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Finding Common Ground: Biology Network Brings Together GIS, Coastal Wetland Reconnection and Invasive Species
Midwest Region, January 15, 2013
Print Friendly Version
Left to right: Gabe DeAlessio (Biologist and GIS Specialist, Region 3 Division of Conservation Planning), Jeff Finn (Partners for Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Ottawa NWR), Eric Dunton (Wildlife Biologist, Shiawassee NWR), Sean Blomquist (Zone Biologist, Ottawa NWR), Ron Huffman (Wildlife Biologist, Ottawa NWR), Greg Norwood (Wildlife Biologist, Detroit River IWR), Michelle VanderHaar (Partners for Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Shiawassee NWR), Chris Haggard (Biological Science Technician, Shiawassee NWR), Kile Kucher (Biological Science Technician, Shiawassee NWR), Steve Dushane (Deputy Refuge Manager, Detroit River IWR), Mary Balogh (Region 3 GIS Coordinator, Division of Conservation Planning)
Left to right: Gabe DeAlessio (Biologist and GIS Specialist, Region 3 Division of Conservation Planning), Jeff Finn (Partners for Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Ottawa NWR), Eric Dunton (Wildlife Biologist, Shiawassee NWR), Sean Blomquist (Zone Biologist, Ottawa NWR), Ron Huffman (Wildlife Biologist, Ottawa NWR), Greg Norwood (Wildlife Biologist, Detroit River IWR), Michelle VanderHaar (Partners for Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Shiawassee NWR), Chris Haggard (Biological Science Technician, Shiawassee NWR), Kile Kucher (Biological Science Technician, Shiawassee NWR), Steve Dushane (Deputy Refuge Manager, Detroit River IWR), Mary Balogh (Region 3 GIS Coordinator, Division of Conservation Planning) - Photo Credit: Lisa Denys

The Laurentian Mixed Forest/Great Lakes Coastal Biological Network met at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge January 15 through 17, 2013 for a three-day training session. The theme of the training session was GIS/technology, Great Lakes coastal wetland reconnection and rehabilitation, and invasive species management. The event consisted of a one day GIS training provided by Midwest Region GIS Coordinator Mary Balogh and Biologist and GIS Specialist Gabe DeAlessio of the Midwest Region Division of Conservation Planning.

The GIS training focused on ArcGIS 10 and the Refuge Lands GIS (RLGIS) program. The remaining two days consisted of a combination of roundtable discussions, professional speakers, and site visits. The discussions were focused on invasive species management at multiple spatial scales (site, regional, and national), network direction and projects for the upcoming year, and network business and the change in the network leader position from Eric Dunton (Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge) to Greg Norwood (Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge).

Invited speakers at Detroit River Refuge included Dr. Bill Welsh and Dr. Kristi Judd of Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Welsh presented findings about remote sensing, GIS habitat mapping (specifically invasive species such as Phragmites), and land cover/land use mapping produced through interpretation and processing of various types of remote-sensed images (e.g., Landsat, SPOT, hyperspectral imagery, and others). Dr. Judd presented research findings on the effects of Phragmites invasion and removal on ecosystem structure and function in Great Lakes coastal wetlands.

Invited speakers at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge included various researchers from U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center. The presentation focused on synthesizing two years of research to restore coastal wetland function in western Lake Erie. Through a partnership between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Ducks Unlimited, a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded project was established to hydrologically reconnect an intensively managed impoundment and a small Lake Erie tributary called Crane Creek. The objective of the research involved evaluating how hydrologically reconnecting a previously diked wetland impacts fish, mollusks, and other biota and affects the transport of nutrients, nutrient cycling, water quality, flood storage, and many other abiotic conditions.

Site visits at both Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge focused on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded project areas (e.g., Ford Marsh, Detroit River Refuge and Crane Creek/Pool 2B, Ottawa Refuge) with discussions on objectives, planning, design, and implementation and each site. Site visits included various Great Lakes coastal wetlands that are currently hydrologically connected to the Great Lakes and disconnected wetlands. In addition, the site visits included various areas where invasive species management was or has been conducted, which provided biologist with the opportunity to discuss and see the response of various invasive species management treatments “on-the-ground.”

The Laurentian Mixed Forest/Great Lakes Coastal Biological Network was formed in 2006 to provide a forum for biologists (both Refuge System and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program), Refuge Managers, Regional Resource staff, to communicate and share information.

 


Contact Info: Greg Norwood, 734-692-7611, Greg_Norwood@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer