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Environmental Assessment and Problem Solving Using GIS, 2014

Contact: William J. Andrews, Ph.D.

The South Central Climate Science Center, in collaboration with the USGS Oklahoma Water Science Center, Tribal GIS (a Native American non-profit), the Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Plains Regional Office, and Oklahoma State University are conducting two 2-day classes titled "Environmental Assessment and Problem Solving Using GIS". The classes are being held August 20–21, 2014, at the South Central Climate Science Center in Norman, Oklahoma, and in the November 3–4, 2014, at a tribal GIS conference to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Topics covered in the classes include: how Tribes are using GIS, geotagging of photographs for monitoring effects of climate changes (indoors and outdoors), available sources of data (including climate data sets and best practices), means of evaluating land use and habitat fragmentation, challenges encountered while mapping tribal lands and acquiring lands, mapping of cultural resources and site access issues, and use of ArcHydro to delineate and characterize watersheds (with hands-on exercise).

The audience for these classes are tribal GIS specialists, land and natural resources managers, and tribal environmental staff members. Staff from those tribes have been invited from the south-central U.S., including 68 Tribes in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Dr. Kim Winton will coordinate the class. Dr. Winton is the Director of the South Central Climate Science Center and the former Director of the USGS Oklahoma Water Science Center. Dr. Winton has worked in the agricultural chemical industry and environmental consulting and has participated in a wide range of water-resource and climate-change projects during her 12 years with the USGS. Instructors for the proposed classes include Garet Couch, April Taylor, Crystal Keys, Ryan L. Spring, Dr. Kristen A. Baum, and Matthew Collier.

Garet Couch is a co-founder of the National Tribal Geographic Information Support Center, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with an objective to provide assistance to tribal governments and organizations regarding geographic information technology. April Taylor is a sustainability scientist for the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations of Oklahoma and works with the South Central Climate Science Center. April routinely uses GIS to characterize tribal natural resources in the south central U.S. Crystal Keys is a Physical Scientist for the Southern Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Crystal oversees the Water Management, Planning, and Pre-development/Water Litigation Program and the Climate Change Program, both of which engage Tribes in resource-planning. Nathan Lillie is a Natural Resources Specialist at the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Ryan L. Spring is a GIS/GPS Specialist and Cultural Advisor with the Historic Preservation Department of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Ryan has worked in the areas of documenting natural resources, tribal oral histories, and historical uses of plant materials by Tribes in the south-central U.S. Dr. Kristen A. Baum is an Associate Professor of Conservation Biology, Invertebrate Biology, and Landscape Ecology at Oklahoma State University. Kristen has worked in the areas of habitat fragmentation, landscape structure, and animal movement patterns and is currently leading a project to evaluate terrestrial connectivity in the south central U.S. Matthew Collier is a Hydrologist with the USGS Oklahoma Water Science Center and instructor at the University of Oklahoma. Matthew teaches a wide range of classes in the fields of Python programming, GIS, and organic agriculture.

 Dr. Kristen Baum lecturing on habitat fragmentation on August 20, 2014
Dr. Kristen Baum lecturing on habitat fragmentation on August 20, 2014

USGS Tribal Water Resources Class, August 13–14, 2013

Contact: William J. Andrews, Ph.D.

I. Integrated Water Resource Management (Tribal Water Plans)

  1. Welcome and logistical details — David Mott or Dr. Bill Andrews, USGS
  2. Big picture and local plans — Dr. Chris Harich, USGS
  3. Caddo Nation and USGS cooperative partnership for water resources — Shana Mashburn, USGS

II. Ecological flows

  1. Managing competing interests for water availability with climate variation, the GRDA experience — Dr. Darrell Townsend, Grand River Dam Authority
  2. Water use in New Mexico and Oklahoma, 2005 and recent changes — Dr. Bill Andrews, USGS
  3. Environmental flows: maintaining hydrologic integrity of streams — Trevor Grout, USGS
  4. GW Toolbox and GW/SW interactions — Dr. Chris Harich, USGS

III. Planning for Climate Variability

  1. Introduction to the South Central Climate Science Center — April Taylor, Tribal Liaison, South Central Climate Science Center and Chickasaw Nation
  2. The climate of Oklahoma, drought, and projected future climate — Dr. Bill Andrews, USGS
  3. Wrap-up and distribute class certificates — Dr. Bill Andrews and David Mott, USGS

USGS Tribal Water Resources Class, 2013, participants pose with Oklahoma Water Science Center Director David Mott.
USGS Tribal Water Resources Class, 2013, participants pose with Oklahoma Water Science Center Director David Mott.

April Taylor gives a presentation about the mission of the South-Central Climate Science Center.
April Taylor gives a presentation about the mission of the South-Central Climate Science Center.
Oklahoma Water Science Center Director David Mott presents a class-completion certificate.
Oklahoma Water Science Center Director David Mott presents a class-completion certificate.

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