Region 5 GIS Coordination Team Meeting Minutes

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office - Hadley, MA R5 GIS Coordination Team Meeting Minutes Attendees: Linda Shaffer/NWRS-CSDS Linda Repasky/RDT Michelle Babione/NWRS-Conte NWR Chris Castiglione/FR-Lower Great Lakes FRO (by telephone) Mike Drummond/ES-VAFO (by telephone) Mike Weaver/LE (by telephone) Kate O'Brien/NWRS-Rachel Carson NWR (by telephone) Team members not in attendance: Ralph Tiner/ES-NWI Andrew MacLachlan/ES-SNE/NYB Bill Zinni/NWRS-Planning Todays meeting started at 12:30 pm. We welcomed Kate O'Brien to the meeting. She is in attendance as Michelle's backup on this Team. Linda started the meeting by recapping the briefing that she and Andrew gave to the Regional Directorate Team (RDT) on March 6, 2002. Andrew provided the following written summary: Summary of R5 GIS Coordination Team Presentation to RDT March 6, 2002 Presentation made to Regional Directorate Team members at an in-house retreat by Linda Shaffer and Andrew MacLachlan. The last progress report to the RDT was made in the spring of 2001 following the R5 GIS workshop. Meeting attendees: Mamie Parker, Regional Director Rick Bennet, acting Deputy Regional Director Bob Sousa, acting ARD Migratory Birds and State Programs Tom Healy, ARD for Law Enforcement Linda Repasky, ARD for Budget and Administration Ed Christophers, Special assistant to the RD Jamie Geiger, ARD for Fisheries Sherry Morgan, ARD for Ecological Services Spence Conley, ARD for External Affairs Tony Leger, ARD for Refuges and Wildlife Tammy Hogan, Secretary to the RD Reviewed the purpose and history of the GIS team and accomplishments to date including inventory of GIS resources in R5, Kick Start GIS CD set, and running the 2001 Regional GIS workshop. Introduced new focus topics for the Team and the formation of three subteams to address them: Outreach and Marketing, Technical Support, Spatial Data Library. Explained a survey of GIS users from most field stations had been performed to gather information on each of the three Team focus topics. Presented survey results and the sub-team reactions to the information. OUTREACH AND MARKETING: Survey results: Enthusiastic support for GIS Team to target outreach. Users rated Project Leaders as most important audience to reach; RDT rated #2. Support for outreach to partners outside Service for data sharing and access. Current efforts: Analysis of target audiences and issues. Marcia McNiff/NCTC April detail to R5. Develop strategic outreach plan with alternatives and recommendations for RDT. TECHNICAL SUPPORT: Survey results: Users frequently need to ask for technical help. Their first call is typically to their R5 colleagues. Current system is quietly borne by GIS specialists as collateral duty. Survey analysis: No overwhelming need for change at this point. In the long run, current informal self support system could be a problem with conflicts between office and program goals vs. GIS support for other offices and programs. As with other information technologies, may expect demands to become burdensome and inefficient. In the future, we may need to change the way we do business for supporting technical needs of GIS. Current efforts: Compile examples/templates from other organizations that have formalized GIS technical support systems. No specific recommendations or actions at this time. SPATIAL DATA LIBRARY Survey results: Users ranked these as top data layers to acquire: Land use / land cover Digital Orthophotos Vegetation Users ranked preferred library model: Website with online library of selected geospatial data Serve from a central FWS repository Provide metadata Provide annotated links to other sources of online geospatial data Current efforts: Cost and technical analysis of options for what to serve and how to serve. Develop strategic spatial data library plan with alternatives and recommendations for RDT. OUTREACH AND MARKETING SUBTEAM MEMBERS: Michelle Babione, S.O. Conte NWR Chris Castiglione, LGL FRO Ken Sturm, Canaan Valley NWR Kendra Willett, (until transferred out of Region 5) Greg Breese, ES-DBEP Marci Caplis, EA TECHNICAL SUPPORT SUBTEAM MEMBERS: Andrew MacLachlan, ES-SNEP Jean Fujikawa, ES-GOMP Bob Houston, ES-GOMP Laurie Wunder, Lake Umbagog NWR SPATIAL DATA LIBRARY SUBTEAM MEMBERS: Linda Shaffer, NWRS-CSDS Michelle Babione, S.O. Conte NWR Herb Bergquist, ES-NWI Chris Castiglione, LGL FRO Gabe DeAlessio, ES-NWI John Eaton, NWRS-CSDS Leon Latino, NWRS-Planning Andrew MacLachlan, ES-SNEP Roger Stone, Blackwater NWR RDT followup questions and comments to Linda and Andrew included: Jamie Geiger - What quality assurance controls will exist on the data we serve or highlight in a spatial data library? Bob Sousa - The spatial data library may be a resource subject to FOIA requests. Any thoughts given to this? Sherry Morgan - The Presidents budget proposal for 2003 included proposals to encourage collaborative work between departments on E-Government issues, including funding. Perhaps this is money and a directive we can use with the proposed R5 GIS team actions. Bill Wilen (NWI Project Leader in WO and FGDC member) may be a useful person to contact on this issue. Mamie Parker - How might a R5 GIS coordinator be used to address these and other related GIS issues? The general feelings and comments from the entire Regional Directorate Team are we are doing a good job of both accomplishing goals and of keeping them informed when there is something substantive to report. END OF REPORT Today's meeting then continued with brief subteam reports. Michelle provided this report for the Outreach Team. Region 5 GIS Coordination Team DRAFT WORKPLAN: Strategic Plan For GIS Outreach in Region 5 Prepared by Michelle Babione, March 13, 2002 The Outreach Subteam is charged with developing a strategic outreach and marketing plan for GIS in Region 5. The ultimate goal of this plan is to increase support for GIS as a conservation tool in Region 5. In a recent survey to all GIS users in the Region, nearly all (97%) respondents support the GIS Team doing targeted outreach to help people understand the value of GIS in the Service. Of those supporters, 84% either enthusiastically or strongly support GIS outreach in Region 5. This overwhelming response can be compared to a somewhat lower level of support (72% of all respondents) for doing GIS outreach outside the Service (for data access, etc.). A proposed process for developing effective outreach: 1. Inventory (what are the issues, who are the audiences) 2. Strategic thinking (where should we go) a. Develop an outline of goals and objectives b. Select appropriate marketing and outreach tools c. Develop three alternatives: no cost, moderate cost, high cost d. Propose this plan to Regional Directorate If the plan is approved, then: 3. Implement (develop and implement projects, products, tools) 4. Evaluate (did the projects accomplish what we intended?) The Outreach Subteam has started to take an inventory of the current situation with regards to GIS awareness and understanding in Region 5. Team members responded to a survey that analyzed the level of investment, understanding, and misunderstanding of a variety of FWS audiences. These results have yet to be collated/analyzed. From these results, the issues can be prioritized with regards to the goal of increasing support for GIS. For each issue, target audiences can be developed. This should include both the audiences that will be the recipients of the outreach (i.e., project leaders), as well as the audiences that will benefit from the outreach (i.e., GIS users). Outreach objectives can then be developed for each issue. The process can either include the Outreach Subteam in developing drafts of these issues, or drafts can be developed by Marcia for evaluation and refinement by the Outreach Subteam. Once we clearly define the problems and know what we want to change, then the Outreach Team can brainstorm and select appropriate outreach and marking tools that will best accomplish our objectives. Staying true to our objectives will help to ensure that we are effective with our GIS marketing efforts. It will also help us to later evaluate whether we accomplished what we intended. In developing the Strategic Plan, we will also need to develop three alternatives for the Regional Directorate: no cost, moderate cost, and high cost. This distinction will likely become most relevant as we begin to develop outreach tools that meet our defined objectives. END OF REPORT Linda mentioned that the Spatial Data Library subteam will meet on March 19 to discuss technical and cost information related to the proposed effort. Michelle noted that we might want to consider updating the GIS Resources in Region 5 booklet (the inventory of contacts, hardware, and software). Chris suggested putting it in a Lotus Notes database. Linda noted that Marcia McNiff/GIS Training Coordinator at NCTC will be coming to Region 5 on a detail from April 22-May 3. She will primarily be working with Michelle and Marci on the Outreach strategic plan, but will also teach a day course introducing GIS through the KickStart GIS CD to the refuge staff at Great Meadows NWR. Kate noted that it would be helpful if someone could provide GIS instruction to intermediate level users as well as novices. Next we talked about development of the Strategic Plan. We envision it as a 3-part document with one part prepared by each subteam. They should each follow the same format and should be presented as a complete package to the RDT. We anticipate that the Tech Support subteam will not have a formal proposal. Linda received copies of the Region 6 and 7 Strategic GIS plans forwarded by Ed Christoffers. She will forward them to all R5 GIS Team members and to Marcia McNiff for review. We then discussed a need to combine our GIS coordination efforts with the efforts of the Promises Team. Andrew noted the potential for duplication of effort by the two groups. Linda spoke with Jennifer Casey/Asst. Regional Biologist about how to keep each group informed of the others activities. Linda will pursue this with Jennifer and with Jan Taylor/Regional Biologist to see if someone knowledgeable about the Promises Team efforts is able to join the R5 GIS Coordination Team. Mike Drummond announced that once he graduates from his Master's degree program in May, he wants to get more involved in Team efforts. We applauded his offer and suggested a couple of ways he can potentially help us. One is to set us a Lotus Notes Database and discussion group for R5 GIS Users (Dan Greeley, Deb Euchler, and Jennifer Casey are contacts for learning how to set these up). The other is to get involved in website development for the Spatial Data Library. We set no date for our next meeting, but agreed to discuss Strategic Plan format and scheduling of draft and final products. We adjourned at 1:30 pm.