Region 5 GIS Coordination Team Meeting Minutes

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office - Hadley, MA

Linda Shaffer/NWRS-CSDS
Michelle Babione/NWRS-Conte NWR
Chris Castiglione/FR-Lower Great Lakes FRO (by telephone)

Team members not in attendance:

Bill Zinni/NWRS-Planning
Mike Drummond/ES-VAFO
Mike Weaver/LE
Ralph Tiner/ES-NWI
Andrew MacLachlan/ES-SNE/NYB
Linda Repasky/RDT

Today's meeting started off promptly at 1:00 pm with a report by Linda on the status of the
Region 5 GIS Resources Booklet, May 2001 edition.  Copies of the booklet and cover letter are
prepared and ready to distribute.  Linda will distribute them this week.   Linda posted recent
meeting minutes and an Access file of the GIS Resources booklet (thanks to Mike Drummond for
preparing this file) on the team's webpage today.  Please point your browser to and click on the "R5 GIS Coordination Team" note.

      Next on the agenda was our response to Ed Christoffers on the question he posed to the team
regarding a mechanism for funding the development of  National Vegetation Classification System
(NVCS) keys.  Andrew MacLachlan reported via email the following information:

	I have spoken with several people informally about our (yours and mine) NVCS ideas to
suggest to Ed Christoffers; including Paul Steblein, Norma Kline (refuge biologist who is
working with Jen Casey on NVCS keys) and Chuck Hayes who has mapped veg on
refuges in VT and ME.  They all think the GIS team offering of mapping and automation
standards for this refuge (and beyond??) effort, and suggestions for coordinated assistance
for the automation work is worth pursuing.  They also appreciate that we, the GIS team
members, are not in the position to comment on the value of spending money on the
development of NVCS keys.  This latter caveat was the bulk of Ralph Tiner's concern in
an email he sent after reading our draft ideas for Ed.  I have called Jen Casey, one of the
forces behind getting NVCS keys out of ABI, but she has been away.

Linda reported that the cross-programmatic GIS support memo (requested by the RDT and
prepared by Andrew, Marci Caplis, and Linda) was signed by the Acting Regional Director (Jaime
Geiger) on June 26, 2001 and has been distributed to all ARD's.  Linda will send a copy of the
final, signed memo to all team members (along with their copy of the GIS Resources Booklet).

The final agenda item was a report from each of the subteams.  Andrew MacLachlan reported via
email on the technical support subteam:

	I have revived the tech support team to gather information and form suggestions on
possible technical support options for the R5 GIS community.  I plan to just get 2-3
people involved in this tech support sub-committee, and currently Bob Houston, Jean
Fujikawa (both of Gulf of Maine Coastal Program) and Tom Eagle (Blackwater NWR)
are on board.  My current goal includes a report of how groups manage tech support in
their institutions, what our colleagues seem to need, and various suggestions for the next
five years, including loose costs and personnel, if appropriate.

Michelle suggested that Andrew should invite Laurie Wunder of Lake Umbagog NWR to join the
tech support team since she expressed ideas at the last GIS workshop about tech support for field
station GIS users.

Chris and Michelle reported on progress made by the Outreach subteam.  The subteam
membership includes:  Chris, Michelle, Marci Caplis (External Affairs), Ken Sturm (Canaan
Valley NWR), Kendra Willett (Chincoteague NWR), Greg Breese (Delaware Bay Estuary
Project), and Kate O'Brien (Rachel Carson NWR).    Chris has gathered responses from all but 2
of the members.  He will provide a summary of responses, grouped by audience to Michelle by
August 17.   Michelle reported that the next steps will be to prioritize the issues and audiences,
define clear goals for each issue, define objectives with time frames for each goal, and develop
action plans for each objective.

In new business, Michelle opined that each subteam should prepare and deliver a report to the
RDT in the fall of 2001 on their activities and progress.

We then discussed the Spatial Data Library and tossed around a few ideas on what should happen
next in that arena.  Linda reported that Cartography and Spatial Data Services branch is looking
into long-term network storage devices for large amounts of spatial data.  These devices could be
sized to store region-wide datasets.   We agreed that a Spatial Data Library subteam should be
formed.  Suggested membership is:   Chris, Michelle, Linda, Andrew, John Eaton, Nancy
McGarigal, and a field station person from the southern zone.   This group should meet on
September 12, 2001 in the RO (all day) and address the following items:

The next meeting date is set for Thursday, Sept. 13 in the RO. The meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm.