GIS Analysis and Database Development

GIS Analysis

Henry M. Jackson Hydroelectric Project Riparian and Aquatic Habitat Mapping

Snohomish County PUD
Meridian assessed riverine, riparian and wetland habitat on approximately 10,000 acres along a 16-mile reach of the Sultan River to quantitatively analyze and spatially represent the types and amounts of habitat available for fish, amphibians, and terrestrial species. We compiled and reviewed aerial photos, LiDAR imagery, and existing cover type mapping; developed an integrated vegetation classification system that maximized use of existing information; field-verified the classifications and mapping; and integrated the final product into the client's GIS data structure.

Tongass National Forest Rare Plant Surveys

US Forest Service, Region 10
Meridian used soils, vegetation, hydrology, geology, and terrain data from the Tongass National Forest GIS library to identify landscape features with a high probability of finding target survey species. The GIS analysis was combined with stereo aerial photo interpretation and previous on-the-ground experience to identify microsites containing unique habitats that were selected for targeted surveys. GIS data was also used to prepare field maps identifying survey areas and site access. All survey routes were recorded in the field using GPS tracking and documented on GIS reports.

Southeast Alaska Microwave Network

AP&T Wireless, Alaska
Meridian conducted GIS analyses to identify a feasible route between Juneau and Sitka for transmitting microwave communication signals. Topographical features, land use designations, microwave signal transmission constraints, maintenance access, and site engineering design parameters were used to identify locations for potential new communication towers. GIS analysis was conducted for 25 sites and all possible microwave signal paths between sites to identify a handful of feasible locations for field evaluation. Meridian staff led an engineering reconnaissance survey by helicopter to verify the feasibility of selected sites.

California Hatchery Scientific Review Group

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission & U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Meridian created new GIS mapping layers to document the location of structures and facilities to monitor anadromous salmon populations within the San Joaquin, Sacramento, and Klamath River watersheds. Meridian also prepared maps to display all fish management structures, facilities, and release sites within the watersheds for the science team to assist with visualizing alternative fish management policy decisions, and maps for the reports distributed to federal and state agency managers.

Database Development

Columbia River Hatchery Scientific Review Group Population Reports

NOAA Fisheries and Bonneville Power Administration (with D.J. Warren and Associates)
Meridian maintained large volumes of files and datasets during the HSRG's two-year evaluation of all Columbia River Basin salmon populations. We managed information for 246 individual reports on 351 populations of salmon and steelhead. A database was created to track multiple drafts of reports and spreadsheets associated with each population and to integrate numerous cycles of review comments. In addition, comments on each population from over 20 regional fishery managers were organized, compiled, and incorporated into the reports. Excel databases were created to track individual comments and how they were addressed. To meet the needs of HSRG scientists, the databases could be sorted by species, ESU/DPS, region, or by comments from reviewing agencies.

Tongass National Forest Rare Plant Surveys

US Forest Service, Region 10
Meridian designed three MS Access databases with graphical interfaces for field data entry computers. Two databases (Survey Sites and Element Occurrences) mimicked the data structure of the Forest Service Natural Resource Information System (NRIS) to ensure the seamless transfer of data to the NRIS database. The third database was created to provide an electronic record of all species encountered at all survey sites. Data entry screens were designed to have a similar look as the hard copy data forms used in the field and used lookup tables and validity checking to reduce the probability of data errors. Common names, latin names, and codes for all plant species were imported into the databases from NRIS and used as lookup tables. This approach prevented errors that could result from typos plant names by hand, and ensured a consistent set of names between field computers and NRIS.

Cowlitz River Large Woody Debris Monitoring Database

Tacoma Power
Meridian designed field sampling protocols and data analysis tools to quantify the distribution and quantity of large woody debris in the Cowlitz River below Mayfield Dam. Our statistical sampling techniques and database tools have ensured a consistent analysis and reporting of data between sampling periods. The large woody debris monitoring program is being used to evaluate the effect that collecting large woody debris in the reservoirs and distributing it to downstream locations has on aquatic habitat.

Roanoke Rapids and Gaston Reservoir Structure Database

Dominion Energy
Shoreline management plans for the hydroelectric project at Roanoke Rapids required an inventory of all structures along the 350 miles of reservoir shoreline. Meridian staff developed a customized land use permitting and data management system to maintain information on docks, retaining structures, etc., and to manage the permitting process for all reservoir structures. The Meridian-trained field crew collected data on over 7,000 structures. Coordination with reservoir managers guided development of a user-friendly Windows interface to the database and features for custom data queries and reporting. Meridian wrote a user's manual, installed software, and provided training for the reservoir managers.