Redlands Institute Grant
University of Redlands receives $75,000 Fish and Wildlife grant
Redlands Institute to create a system that maps the impacts of projects on wildlife
March 29, 2012—The University of Redlands has received a $75,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop a Spatial Decision Support (SDS) system that calculates and maps the potential impacts of energy projects on wildlife.
Work began this month on a Wyoming Pilot Project of the USFWS Landscape Scale Energy Action Plan (LEAP), where the University briefed a team of expert modelers and scientists who will help to define vulnerability for an eight-state region bordered by Utah, Montana, North Dakota and Kansas.
Special attention will be given to the state of Wyoming, where the projected impacts of energy projects on wildlife in the region will be calculated and mapped through data input and Geographic Information Science and Technology. Results will be released in October.
“We are helping the FWS to build a system that will facilitate early conversation between energy proponents and the Service, to help reduce conflict and guide appropriate and sustainable energy development” said Jordan Henk, director of the Redlands Institute, a research wing of the University that uses Geographic Information Science and Technology to explore complex environmental and social systems.
SDS is a specialization of Geographic Information Science (GISc), in which the Redlands Institute applies structured decision processes, advanced computational modeling and GIS technology to support geodesign, planning and spatially complex decisions at multiple scales of analysis.
David Fite, University of Redlands vice president for academic affairs, noted the Institute’s growing role working with federal agencies to develop GIS models for planning. Similar projects are underway for the National Park Service on the island of Hawaii and for the USFWS Desert Tortoise Recovery Office in the Mojave Desert.
“We are pleased that the Redlands Institute has been able to leverage what it’s done in one region to benefit another, and we’re excited about our growing partnership with the Service,” Fite said.