Region 5 GIS Coordination Team Meeting Minutes

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office - Hadley, MA May 25-26, 1999 Summary Notes This is a summary of the two-day Region 5 GIS coordination meeting held May 25-26 1999 in the Region 5 headquarters in Hadley, Massachusetts. The purpose of the meeting was to improve GIS coordination in the region by assessing needs and resources, identifying issues, and recommending solutions. The meeting was attended by approximately 50 people from throughout the region and included presentations on projects using GIS tools from nine people as listed below in the agenda. These presentations were saved on video tape, by Greg Thompson from Realty's Cartography and Spatial Data Services Branch, and are available for review by contacting Linda Shaffer, also in the Regional Office Cartography group. Of equal importance were the group discussions that resulted in the identification of regional needs and redundances in GIS capabilities, and related issues and solutions. In general, the meeting participants agreed that the effectiveness and efficiency of GIS operations in R5 need improvement through better coordination and support. To address many of the specific needs, the participants suggested that a Region 5 GIS Coordination Team be assembled to:
The GIS Coordination Team will be composed of existing staff within R5 who will work on these
GIS issues in addition to their existing responsibilities, as time and their supervisors allow.  In an
attempt to provide a broad representation of needs and perspectives the following nine people
have been identified as likely members of the team:  
Refuge Planning/CCP group Norm Olson
Realty/Acquisition planning Bill Zinni
Realty/Cartography and Spatial data services Linda Shaffer
Fisheries Michelle Babione
Refuge field offices Beth Goettel
Coastal Ecosystems Programs Andrew MacLachlan
National Wetlands Inventory Ralph Tiner
ES field offices Kimber Sprankle
Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Chuck Hayes
One particular issue many of the attendees felt needed to be addressed was improved early
involvement with field offices (pre-planning) for the ongoing refuge Comprehensive Conservation
Plans (CCPs).  The RO refuges teams have been using the capabilities of several ES field offices
as well as Realty's Cartography and Spatial Data Services Branch to develop the best possible
CCPs, and plans are to continue to tap these resources.  However, recognition of these support
services, and early requests for staff time have not been achieved consistently.  In response to
these issues, Norm Olson, Chief of Planning and Technical Services, is proposing to meet with
offices that may support the refuge CCP efforts to provide an overview of the planning process
and budget picture, and to establish better methods for office involvement.  

The GIS coordination meeting was originally called by members of the Regional Directorate
Team (RDT).  They identified three people to serve as a steering committee to plan and run the
meeting, and provide a follow-up presentation to the Directorate, outlining the recognized issues
and proposed solutions.  The presentation is expected to take place in July by the steering team:  

Michelle Babione from the Connecticut River Coordinator's Office;
Andrew MacLachlan from the SNE/NYB Coastal Ecosystems office;
Linda Shaffer from the Region 5 Realty Office of Cartography and Spatial Data Services

Special note.  The results of the meeting were due, in part, to the facilitation skills provided by
Marci Caplis of the SNE/NYB Coastal Ecosystems office during the group discussions. 

Agenda for Region 5 GIS Coordination Meeting
May 25-26, 1999
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Region 5 Headquarters Auditorium
Hadley, MA

Purpose:  To assess GIS resources and needs in the Region to help meet program objectives through
collaborative efforts.

May 25
1:00 pmWelcomeRon Lambertson/Sherry Morgan
1:10 pmHousekeeping and IntroductionsMarci Caplis
1:20 pmGIS Project PresentationsLinda Shaffer
1:30 pmRefuge Management from Regional Goals to On-the-Ground GuidanceJay Hestbeck
1:45 pmIdentification of Important Fish and Wildlife Habitats in the Gulf of Maine Rivers WatershedArnold Banner
2:00 pmBuilding a National Fish Passage DatasetChris Castiglione
2:15 pmGIS Database of the Merrimack River Watershed and Analysis of River Herring Stocking LocationsErik Danielson
2:30 pmBreak
3:00 pmGIS Applications for Refuge Management and PlanningAndrew MacLachlan
3:15 pmOverview of Realty's GIS ServicesLinda Shaffer
3:30 pmUse and Availability of Digital Data from the National Wetlands InventoryRalph Tiner
3:45 pmGIS: A Tool for Delmarva Fox Squirrel RecoveryGreg Breese
4:00 pmNew Technique from MBMO to Collect Georeferenced Data and Examples of its Use in Resource MappingDoug Forsell
4:15ish pmAdjourn
May 26
9:00 amHousekeepingMarci Caplis
9:10 amWhat it takes to have a GIS: An Overview of Different Levels of GIS CapabilityMichelle Babione
9:30 amSummary of GIS Resources and Needs in the RegionAndrew MacLachlan
10:00 amBreak
10:15 amGroup Discussion/Brainstorming on gaps, overlaps, issues, and solutions to best coordinate GIS activities in Region 5All
12:00 pmLunch
1:00 pm Continue Group DiscussionAll
3:15 pmMeeting summaryMarci Caplis
3:30 pmAdjourn