Region 5 GIS Coordination Team Meeting Minutes

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office - Hadley, MA Minutes from the Region 5 GIS Coordination Team Meeting. The fourth meeting of the Region 5 GIS Coordination Team was held on January 27 at the Regional Office. Linda Shaffer organized and chaired the meeting, which was attended by the following members:
Realty/Cartography and Spatial Data Services  Linda Shaffer
Refuge Field Offices Beth Goettel
Fisheries Chris Castiglione
Fisheries Michelle Babione
Ecological Services Field Offices Kimber Sprankle (via telephone)
Coastal Ecosystems Programs Andrew MacLachlan (via telephone)
Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Chuck Hayes (via telephone)
Representatives from the National Wetlands Inventory, the Refuge Planning/CCP Group,
Realty/Acquisition Planning, and the RDT Mentor were unable to attend.

Jump Start GIS
At the Regional Directorate meeting in January, Kris LaMontagne informally presented the idea
of developing a "Jump Start GIS" software/data package for distribution to all field stations in the
region.  The idea was met with enthusiasm and support by the RDT.  The primary purpose of this
GIS Team meeting was to discuss the specifics behind implementing this project.

Audience
After a brief discussion on which field stations would or would not use the Jump Start GIS, it was
decided that it should be sent to all field stations in the region, with copies also provided to
members of the RDT.  Two primary goals of the project were defined: 1) the information should
be useful to the intended audience, and 2) the product should be very easy to install and use.

Software
Arc Explorer, a free, light-weight version of the GIS program ArcView, will be the Jump Start
GIS software.  Kimber will investigate whether we can include a copy of this program on the CD. 
It will require 9 mb of space.  The Arc Explorer manual (.pdf format) requires Acrobat Reader,
which will need 6 mb of space on the CD.  Dan Greely will be asked how many field stations
already have a copy of Acrobat Reader, so that we can decide whether to include it on the CD.

Kimber will also investigate the interchangeability of projects between ArcView and Arc
Explorer.  It was decided that ready-made projects should be provided for both platforms.  The
ArcView projects should be developed with version 3.0a for maximum accessibility.

Data
To most efficiently manage the distribution of large GIS files, the Team decided to spilt the region
in two, according to existing Northern and Southern geographic areas.  A set of regional base
data will be developed for each area.  A sampler of the other available data will be provided for a
small focus area (these data would take up too much space if provided for a large area).  By
providing hands-on examples of the data, users will be able to determine if a data set will be useful
to them.

GIS Team members will investigate the size and projection of the following data layers for
inclusion in the Jump Start GIS.  This information will be reported at the Team's next meeting.

Regional Geographic Areas
Data LayerCommentsTeam Member
DamsNational Inventory of DamsChris
National Wildlife Refuge boundariesUTM, need to be joinedLinda
Field office locationsPointsLinda
ESRI states, counties, roads, hydroDecimal degreesChris
EPA watersheds, urban areas, managed landsAndrew
Coastline1:100k, availability unk.Chuck & Andrew
Focus Area
Data LayerCommentsTeam Member
Geographic Names Info. SystemUSGS topo wordsAndrew
1:24, 1:100, 1:250k Digital Raster GraphicsScanned topo quadsLinda
Multi Resolution Land Cover30m resolution, AlbersAndrew
Breeding bird & Xmas bird surveysAvailability uncertainLinda
National Wetlands Inventory(will be dealt with when focus area is chosen)
FEMA flood areasCD's avail. by stateLinda
DOQ's (digital aerial photos)75% avail. for all refugesLinda

Projection
The Team discussed which projection would be the best choice for the Jump Start GIS.  UTM,
Albers, and decimal degrees were among the choices discussed.  The Team will decide on the final
projection once more information about existing data becomes available.

Supporting Materials
In addition to software and data, the following handouts will be provided:
     
Other
Beth Goettel offered to test out the order form and other materials for understandability and ease
of use.  Linda mentioned the idea of contracting out the assemblage of a master CD.  She will
discuss with Kris the possibility getting funds for this part of the effort.  Michelle will prepare a
draft order form and other handouts for discussion at the next meeting.

Presentations/Due Dates
The Team decided that a demonstration of the Jump Start GIS should be presented to the RDT at
their next meeting (April or May).  When discussing a deadline for the final completion of the
Jump Start GIS, the Team chose the next project leaders' meeting, currently being scheduled for
next summer.  Demonstration/distribution of the product could be made at that time, which would
give field stations a few months to work with it before the fall R5 GIS workshop.

At the last meeting, the Team discussed making informal Ecoteam presentations of what is going
on with GIS in the region.  Beth Goettel had offered to make a presentation to the Connecticut
River/Long Island Sound Ecoteam, but the meeting was canceled due to a snowstorm.  Linda
Shaffer had offered to make a presentation to the Great Lakes Basin Ecoteam, but ended up not
attending the meeting.  Bill Zinni's presentation to the Chesapeake Bay Ecoteam and Andrew
MacLachlan's presentation to the New York Bight Ecoteam are still outstanding.

R5 GIS Workshop
A date for the fall workshop was discussed.  The first week in November and the first week in
December were offered as potential times.  Kimber will check with NCTC and Linda will check
with the RDT (Kris) to investigate the best week for a workshop.

Next Meeting
The next meeting was originally scheduled for March 23, was then changed to March 1, and is
now again up in the air (stay tuned).  At the next meeting, we will: