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Park Analysis of Landscapes and Monitoring Support (PALMS)

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Ecological Conditions of US National Parks: Enabling Decision Support Through Monitoring, Analysis, and Forecasting. or. Park Analysis of Landscapes and Monitoring Support (PALMS). Andy Hansen and Nate Piekielek, Montana State University Scott Goetz, Woods Hole Research Center

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Ecological Conditions of US National Parks: Enabling Decision Support Through Monitoring, Analysis, and Forecasting

or

Park Analysis of Landscapes and Monitoring Support (PALMS)

Andy Hansen and Nate Piekielek, Montana State University

Scott Goetz, Woods Hole Research Center

John Gross, NPS I&M Program

Forrest Melton and Rama Nemani, CSU Monterey Bay / NASA Ames

Dave Theobald, Colorado State University

NASA Applications Sciences Program: Decision Support through Earth Science Research Results (DECISIONS)

NPS I&M Program

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Ecological Conditions of US National Parks: Enabling Decision Support Through Monitoring, Analysis, and Forecasting

Background:

The US NPS Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program is developing scientifically sound information on the status and trends of national park condition.

NASA products can substantially enhance the success of the NPS I&M effort.

Our goal is to integrate the routine acquisition and analysis of NASA products and other data into the NPS I&M Program.

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Ecological Conditions of US National Parks: Enabling Decision Support Through Monitoring, Analysis, and Forecasting

Objectives

Identify NASA data products and other satellite-derived data products useful to park monitoring.

Delineate the boundaries of the park-centered ecosystems appropriate for monitoring.

Develop indicators from the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS) and other sources. Add value to these data sets for understanding change through analysis and forecasting.

Deliver these products and a means to integrate them into the NPS I&M decision support framework.

NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program Networks

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NPS I&M Collaborators

GRYN Network

Tom Olliff,

Cathy Jean,

Rob Daily

Yellowstone and Grand Teton

ERMN Network

Matthew Marshall, Leslie Morelock,

Paul Hansen

Delaware Water Gap

SIEN Network

Linda Mutch,

Bill Kuhn

Alice Chung-MacCubrey

Yosemite

Rocky Mountain

ROMO Network

Mike Britten

Billy Schweiger, Mike Story

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Objective 2: Protected Area Centered Ecosystems (PACEs)

Park-centered ecosystems were delineated using scientific criteria based on NASA products. These ecosystems are locations of high priority for monitoring, reporting, research, and collaborative management.

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Objective 3: Product Development and Analysis:

Climate Change Impacts

Understanding climate change impacts is a high priority for NPS. Forecasts of climate change impacts from TOPS show reductions in snow water equivalent and ecosystem productivity for Yosemite National Park. These simulations increased NPS understanding of the potential rates of climate change impacts and implications for park management.

Predicted reductions in snow water equivalent and mean gross primary productivity in Yosemite from simulations using TOPS.

The TOPS Data Gateway for NPS summarizes indicators of potential climate change impacts derived from NASA satellites and models, including measures of shifts in vegetation phenology and trends in ecosystem productivity. The Data Gateway allows NPS to monitor for emerging patterns and trends within different ecosystem and land cover types.

Nemani et al. 2008. Rem. Sens. Env. 113

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Objective 3: Product Development and Analysis:

Land Use Change Impacts

Current and Predicted Urbanization

Using maps of future urbanization provided by this project and produced with NASA data, NPS managers are managing to minimize future impact of development on park aquatic natural resources.

The Upper Delaware Scenic River & Delaware Water Gap National Park (shown in green above) are surrounded by lands experiencing increased residential development, which influences park management.

Red = low / bad

Green = high / good

The richness of stream benthic taxa provides an indication of how residential development is impacting the watersheds containing the parks.

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Landscape dynamics: Pattern of natural landscapes

Objective 3: Product Development and Analysis:

Landscape Dynamics

Patterns of Natural Landscapes

What: Measures the natural landscape context

Why: Movement of plants & animals and ecological processes connect to adjacent landscapes beyond the park boundary

Stressors: Land use change, climate change

Example: DEWA scores higher than its ecoregion, but is declining from 0.6811 in 1992 to 0.6631 in 2001 to 0.6123 in 2030.

Connectivity of Natural Landscapes

What: Measures the connectivity of natural landscapes

Why: Movement of plants & animals and ecological processes connect to adjacent landscapes beyond the park boundary

Stressors: Land use change, climate change

Example: YOSE is situated on a pathway that provides greater than average connectivity (compared nationwide) and serves as a key location of connectivity along the Sierra range.

Theobald et al., 2010. Landscape Ecol

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Habitat Connectivity across the Northeastern United States

Connectivity and Patch habitat importance change as urbanization expands

and climate change alters habitat suitability..

Goetz et al. 2009, USGCRP OCP 2010

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Objective 4: Deliver Products and a Means to Integrate into NPS I&M Decision Support Framework

  • Methods – Standard Operating Procedure Manuals, ArcGISplugins
  • Data – Compiled within TOPS, ArcGISgeodatabases
  • Stories - Interpretation of trends and interactions. Developed with NPS collaborators in a series of 3 conference calls.
  • Summaries – Written synthesis documents for each network, e.g., Resource Briefs and Indicator Summaries
  • Delivery - Web-services based interface (Ecocast), NPS web site, ArcServer
  • Assessment – Satisfaction surveys with collaborators at midpoint and end of project.
  • Schedule: The project will be completed by the end of 2010
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Pan / zoom / query

Select date / layers

Location / data value at cursor

TOPS Data Gateway

  • Browser-based, open source (ka-Map / Geoserver) data gateway
  • Rapid data access, visualization, query, and analysis
  • Supports timeseries plots, data queries
  • FTP, WMS, WCS, OPeNDAP data access
  • Direct access to metadata
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Contributions to NPS Decision Support

  • Examples of Applications
  • In SIEN Network, TOPS forecasts of potential ecosystem response to climate change were used to inform fire management strategies.
  • The ERMN Network adapted the protocols for monitoring stream biota that were developed in this project.
  • The GRYN Network is using results of land use change and biodiversity consequences to help formulate the Yellowstone Science Agenda.
  • PALMS products on connectivity and PACEs were proposed for use by the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
  • Key Accomplishments
  • Successful development and application of ecological data products from NASA satellites and ecosystem models to support NPS I&M objectives.
  • Mapping of the areas around parks that are of high priority for monitoring, research, and collaborative management.
  • Analysis of changes in park conditions based on ecological hindcasts and forecasts, such as in habitat connectivity under past, current, and potential future climate and land use.
  • Establishment of direct collaborations between NASA scientists and NPS scientists and managers.

Testimonials

“The approach taken to address land use change, connectivity, and climate were certainly novel, and will be highly valuable”. Stacey Ostermann-Kelm Greater Yellowstone Network

“Overall this seems like a very useful effort that can benefit the four parks and the NPS as a whole”.

Mike Britten, Rocky Mountain Network

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