EPA Science Inventory

LOCATING AREAS OF CONCERN

Citation:

NASH, M. S. LOCATING AREAS OF CONCERN. Presented at Bombined GIS and Statistical Analyses; EPA-GIS Workgroup, Cincinnati, OH, September 19 - 22, 2006.

Description:

A simple method to locate changes in vegetation cover, which can be used to identify areas under stress. The method only requires inexpensive NDVI data. The use of remotely sensed data is far more cost-effective than field studies and can be performed more quickly. Local knowledge could be substituted where data was not available. Areas of decreasing vegetation cover and unchanged or increasing rainfall is likely under stress from a source that can be managed, such as excessive timber harvesting or grazing, urban growth, etc. AOC may represent optimal locations for land managers to take protective or remedial action. AVHRR data are useful for evaluating large areas, but finer scale studies can be performed using higher resolution imagery.

Purpose/Objective:

The primary objectives of this research are to:

Develop methodologies so that landscape indicator values generated from different sensors on different dates (but in the same areas) are comparable; differences in metric values result from landscape changes and not differences in the sensors;

Quantify relationships between landscape metrics generated from wall-to-wall spatial data and (1) specific parameters related to water resource conditions in different environmental settings across the US, including but not limited to nutrients, sediment, and benthic communities, and (2) multi-species habitat suitability;

Develop and validate multivariate models based on quantification studies;

Develop GIS/model assessment protocols and tools to characterize risk of nutrient and sediment TMDL exceedence;

Complete an initial draft (potentially web based) of a national landscape condition assessment.

This research directly supports long-term goals established in ORDs multiyear plans related to GPRA Goal 2 (Water) and GPRA Goal 4 (Healthy Communities and Ecosystems), although funding for this task comes from Goal 4. Relative to the GRPA Goal 2 multiyear plan, this research is intended to "provide tools to assess and diagnose impairment in aquatic systems and the sources of associated stressors." Relative to the Goal 4 Multiyear Plan this research is intended to (1) provide states and tribes with an ability to assess the condition of waterbodies in a scientifically defensible and representative way, while allowing for aggregation and assessment of trends at multiple scales, (2) assist Federal, State and Local managers in diagnosing the probable cause and forecasting future conditions in a scientifically defensible manner to protect and restore ecosystems, and (3) provide Federal, State and Local managers with a scientifically defensible way to assess current and future ecological conditions, and probable causes of impairments, and a way to evaluate alternative future management scenarios.

URLs/Downloads:

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Start Date: 09/22/2006
Completion Date: 09/22/2006
Record Last Revised: 09/25/2006
Record Created: 09/18/2006
Record Released: 09/18/2006
Record ID: 158564

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH