In recent months, GeoSpatial Services (GSS) has secured a number of new projects that will keep their staff and student interns busy for several years. One of these, an agreement with the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is the largest single contract ever for GSS at $1.7 million over 4 years. This BLM project will involve a wetland and riparian inventory for BLM-administered lands in the western United States and Alaska (see map below). GSS is uniquely qualified for such an effort, as they have completed more than 100 mapping projects for federal, state, and tribal agencies over the past 15 years, focusing on the landscape level inventory of wetland and riparian ecosystems. Once complete, this inventory will provide data and information that informs decisions related to habitat condition for threatened and endangered wildlife, compliance with state water quality standards, and the maintenance of ecological processes that sustain healthy biotic populations and communities.
Other new projects include cooperative agreements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for wetland mapping in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and in a seven county area of Northwest North Dakota. With six unique ecozones that span approximately 200 miles from north to south, ANWR provides a perfect opportunity for the testing, refinement and implementation of new, fine-scale wetland inventory and surface hydrography mapping protocols developed through previous cooperative agreements between the USFWS and GSS. In addition to these new projects, GSS has received further funding to expand current wetland mapping work in New Mexico and in two western Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.
UPDATE: This news was featured in the University’s weekly newsletter, Campus Notes - See it here!