Tools

Here is a collection of select tools that can help us to better understand the vulnerability of ecosystems and make decisions that will make ecosystems more resilient to climate change.

Biodiversity Conservation

Sponsor:
USGS
Name:
Integrated Taxonomic Informatin System (IT IS)
URL:
http://www.itis.gov/tools.html
Summary:
The ITIS database currently provides tools to compare species names with their hierarchical classifications. Agencies that typically cannot afford to maintain taxonomic data will have access to high quality taxonomic information through ITIS.
How it works:
ITIS currently includes two tools. The first is a prototype to compare taxonomy and nomenclature. The Taxonomic Workbench is a Windows-based software tool used for editing and manipulating taxonomic data for submission into the ITIS online system. This software is used for entering new data into the ITIS database, as well as updating records already in the online system.
Application:
Federal agencies have the ability to use the ITIS tool in order to promote improved coordination of efforts among federal agencies, thereby increasing productivity and saving resources.
Preview:
Sponsor:
NOAA
Name:
Habitat Priority Planner
URL:
http://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/hpp
Summary:
How it works:
The Habitat Priority Planner provides a means of obtaining critical habitat analyses that are consistent, repeatable, and transparent. The program allows users to easily test various ideas and is an apt tool to use in a group setting.
Application:
This tool can be used by urban, transportation and building planners to ensure that infrastructure and buildings are built in the best possible locations. The tool can also be used by conservationists and wildlife managers to understand climate change impacts on critical habitats.
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  • National Gap Analysis Program (GAP): Provides access to viewers that display data on vegetation and land use patterns, federal and state conservation lands, and species ranges.
Sponsor:
USGS
Name:
National Gap Analysis Program (GAP)
URL:
http://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/viewers/
Summary:
The Gap Analysis Program has created interactive maps for viewing its datasets. The Land Cover Viewer displays data on vegetation and land use patterns. The PAD-US Viewer displays federal and state conservation lands. The Species Viewer displays species range.
How it works:
Using the website, users can download data or view data for vegetation and land use patterns, federal and state conservation lands and species ranges. To conduct a gap analysis, the three data layers are overlaid.
Application:
Users can map three data layers that are provided – A Gap Analysis consists of mapping three data layers — land cover, predicted distributions of vertebrate species, and a stewardship layer. This data is then assessed to determine how much of a target species’ (plant or animal) habitat is in conserved areas. From this assessment, planning decisions can be made about whether further protection is merited.
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  • USFS Climate Change Atlas: Documents the current and possible future distribution for several tree and bird species in the eastern United States.
Sponsor:
USDA
Name:
USFS Climate Change Atlas
URL:
http://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/atlas/
Summary:
The Climate Change Atlas documents the current and possible future distribution of 134 tree species and 147 bird species in the Eastern United States and gives detailed information on environmental characteristics defining these distributions.
How it works:
Users can see which factors (e.g. temperature, elevation, soil type) help to drive species distributions, offering some guidance on species sensitivity to large-scale climate differences. The Atlases supply maps and summary numerical data that show how the suitable habitat of each species is projected to change under three different climate models, for both high and low emissions scenarios. Maps can be viewed via the Atlas online interface, or with the program, Google Earth.
Application:
The Atlas can be used in the development of large scale projections of species responses to climate change, which can inform long-term planning.
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Carbon Sequestration

  • COMET-Farm: A tool to help with auditing management activities (field management, livestock and/or energy use).
Sponsor:
USDA
Name:
COMET-Farm
URL:
http://cometfarm.nrel.colostate.edu/
Summary:
COMET-FARM estimates the ‘carbon footprint’ for all or part of your farm/ranch operation and allows you to evaluate different options, which you select, for reducing GHG emissions and sequestering more carbon.
How it works:
The tool uses detailed spatially-explicit data on climate and soil conditions for your location and allows you to enter detailed information for your field and livestock operations. Because of this, it is able to produce an accurate estimate tailored to your specific situation.
Application:
Farm/ranch operation managers can use this tool to estimate their carbon footprints and explore options for reducing GHG emissions and sequestering greater levels of carbon.
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  • ROE Carbon Storage in Forests: A tool to explore the data and trends related to carbon storage in forests, an indicator of environmental and human health.
Sponsor:
NOAA
Name:
ROE Carbon Storage in Forests
URL:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/roe/indicator.cfm?i=86#1
Summary:
The Report on the Environment (ROE) presents the best available indicators of national trends in the environment and human health. One of these indicators is carbon storage in forests, and the ROE Carbon Storage in Forests tool can be used to explore the trends related to this indicator.
How it works:
The tool is divided into the following thee “exhibits”: a graph of total forest biomass in the U.S., by forest component, 1990-2013; a map of forest biomass in U.S. counties per square mile of land, 2013; and a map of percent change in carbon stored in U.S. forests, by county, 1990-2013
Application:
This tool can be used by a wide variety of people, including decision makers, program planners, scientists, researchers, students, and the general public.
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  • LandCarbon: A suite of data products and visualization tools that were developed as part of a national ecosystem assessment of biological carbon sequestration. The assessment focused on changes in carbon stocks and fluxes in all the major ecosystems, and on the major natural and anthropogenic processes that control carbon cycling (such as climate change, land use, and wildland fires). The greenhouse gases considered in this assessment were carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO, from wildland fires only), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).
Sponsor:
USGS
Name:
LandCarbon
URL:
http://landcarbon.org/tools/
Summary:
This website is a central point of data and information from the LandCarbon assessment. The LandCarbon assessment focused on changes in carbon stocks and fluxes in all the major ecosystems, and on the major natural and anthropogenic processes that control carbon cycling (such as climate change, land use, and wildland fires). The GHGs considered in this assessment were carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO, from wildland fires only), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).
The assessment was conducted using a methodology framework that
1. Links land use, land management, fire disturbance, and climate data with statistical methods and process-based biogeochemical models to generate spatially and temporally explicit carbon storage and GHG flux estimates
2. Uses remote sensing input data, existing resource and soil inventories, climate histories, and measurements made by a national network of streamgages
3. Applies a set of future land- and climate-change scenarios to the assessment to estimate a range of carbon stocks and sequestration rates in ecosystems
How it works:
The LandCarbon datasets provide information on the changes in carbon stocks and fluxes in all the major ecosystems, and on the major natural and anthropogenic processes that control carbon cycling (such as climate change, land use, and wildland fires). Information is provided as a series of thematic maps chronicling carbon stocks and their controlling processes.
Application:
The LandCarbon project maps how much carbon is sequestered in ecosystems using stream gauge, soil, and natural-resource inventory data, remote sensing techniques, and computer models. A number of data products and visualization tools can be used to further explore the information.
Preview:

Invasive Species

  • FHTET Pest Portal: Provides various state, county and local level forest insect and disease conditions data. In addition, it offers a look at near real time forest disturbance information collected by satellite.
Sponsor:
USFS
Name:
FHTET Pest Portal
URL:
http://foresthealth.fs.usda.gov/portal
Summary:
The portal offers a number of datasets and near real time information on forest insect and disease conditions.
How it works:
Data from the portal are collected from the air via standard aerial survey, from ground surveys or from remote sensing analysis. Data is “rounded up” from all Forest Service regions in the fall of each year.
Application:
Forest managers can use these tools to understand oncoming threats to forests from disease and invasive species.
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Land Cover and Ecosystem Services

  • EnviroAtlas Downloadable GIS Tools: A collection of interactive tools and resources that allows users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services.
Sponsor:
EPA
Name:
EnviroAtlas Downloadable GIS Tools
URL:
http://enviroatlas.epa.gov/enviroatlas/Tools/index.html
Summary:
EnviroAtlas is a collection of interactive tools and resources that allows users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services. Key components of EnviroAtlas include the following: a multi-scaled Interactive Map with broad scale data for the lower 48 states and fine scale data for selected communities; The Eco-Health Relationship Browser, which shows the linkages between ecosystems, the services they provide, and human health; and GIS and analysis tools.
How it works:
EnviroAtlas is a collaborative project and incorporates data from federal, state, community, and non-governmental organizations. The data helps users to understand the services that ecosystems provide.
Application:
Using EnviroAtlas, many types of users can access, view, and analyze diverse information to better understand how various decisions can affect an array of ecological and human health outcomes. EnviroAtlas has already been used by a variety of decision makers, including urban and community planners.
Preview:
  • National Land Cover Database Evaluation, Visualization, and Analysis (EVA) Tool: Provides user-friendly access to national and state land cover and land cover change information developed through the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium. NLCD EVA eliminates the need for desktop geographic information system software, or advanced technical expertise, by processing NLCD data for the user and providing easy access to that distilled information. In addition to displaying land cover information, the tool also summarizes general land change trends as well as provides users with the option to specify and explore specific land change classes of interest (e.g., forest to urban).
Sponsor:
USGS
Name:
National Land Cover Database Evaluation, Visualization, and Analysis (EVA) Tool
URL:
http://www.mrlc.gov/eva/
Summary:
The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) serves as the definitive Landsat-based, 30-meter resolution, land cover database for the Nation. NLCD provides spatial reference and descriptive data for characteristics of the land surface such as thematic class (for example, urban, agriculture, and forest), percent impervious surface, and percent tree canopy cover.
How it works:
The National Land Cover Database Evaluation Visualization and Analysis (NLCD EVA) tool provides user-friendly access to national and state land cover and land cover change information developed through the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium. NLCD EVA eliminates the need for desktop geographic information system software, or advanced technical expertise, by processing NLCD data for the user and providing easy access to that distilled information.
Application:
U.S. and international producers, researchers, and the public can access geospatial information on the location and extent of land cover/use and its changes
Preview:
  • USFS Climate Change Atlas: Documents the current and possible future distribution for several tree and bird species in the eastern United States.

Oceans and Coasts

  • Coastal Change Analysis Project (C-CAP): Produces a nationally standardized database of land cover information (developed using remotely sensed imagery) for the coastal regions of the U.S. C-CAP products provide inventories of coastal intertidal areas, wetlands, and adjacent uplands.
Sponsor:
NOAA
Name:
Coastal Change Analysis Project (C-CAP)
URL:
http://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/dataregistry/#/ccapregional
Summary:
The Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) produces a nationally standardized database of land cover information (developed using remotely sensed imagery) for the coastal regions of the U.S. C-CAP products provide inventories of coastal intertidal areas, wetlands, and adjacent uplands. Datasets can be filtered by the user using various categories.
How it works:
C-CAP utilizes various sources of data, including aerial and satellite imagery. It is produced using standard data sources and procedures that include extensive field sampling, validation, and standard quality control review procedures. The data registry can be filtered by state, theme, offshore region or service type.
Application:
The tool can be used by community and regional planners to inform coastal development.
Preview:
  • Environmental Sensitivity Index: Provides information on at-risk coastal resources, sensitive shorelines, and human-use resources (i.e., public beaches and parks) to assist in the aftermath of oil spills.
Sponsor:
NOAA
Name:
Environmental Sensitivity Index
URL:
http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/maps-and-spatial-data/environmental-sensitivity-index-esi-maps.html
Summary:
Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps provide a concise summary of coastal resources that are at risk if an oil spill occurs nearby. Examples of at-risk resources include biological resources (such as birds and shellfish beds), sensitive shorelines (such as marshes and tidal flats), and human-use resources (such as public beaches and parks).
How it works:
Uses GIS techniques to integrate maps of a region with geographically-referenced biological resources,human-use resources, and ESI-classified shorelines that are ranked based on their sensitivity to oiling.
Application:
Oil spill responders can use this tool to reduce environmental consequences of oil spills and clean up efforts. Coastal zone planners can also use the tool – before a spill happens—to identify vulnerable locations, establish protection priorities, and identify cleanup strategies.
Preview:
Sponsor:
NOAA
Name:
NOAA’s Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS)
URL:
http://www.coris.noaa.gov/
Summary:
CoRIS is a portal that allows users to search for coral reef data and information.
How it works:
Users can search for a variety of data using the online portal. Data is available in a variety of formats including .GEORSS, .HTML, .CSV, .ATOM, etc.
Application:
CoRIS can be used by a variety of groups. Scientists and researchers can use it to obtain data for further study.
Preview:
Sponsor:
UNESCO/USGS
Name:
Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)
URL:
http://www.usgs.gov/obis-usa/
Summary:
OBIS-USA is part of an international repository (OBIS) that is coordinated by UNESCO. It contains various data related to marine species occurrence.
How it works:
The data contained in OBIS-USA may be used in two different ways. First, using the data dashboard, users can visually examine the full collection of data down to the record level. Second, the Biogeographic Analysis Tool provides an analysis or summary of the biodiversity for defined geographic regions.
Application:
The OBIS portal has a large spectrum of users: researchers, fishery scientists and managers, policy maker, educators, amateur naturalists, environmental NGO, consultants, nature conservation organizations, and students.
Preview:

Water Resources and Drought

Sponsor:
NOAA/USGS
Name:
National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Drought Portal
URL:
http://www.drought.gov/drought/
Summary:
NIDIS is an interagency effort that provides up-to-date information on drought across the nation. The Drought Portal provides various information and tools to help decision makers monitor conditions and prepare for onsets of drought.
How it works:
Users can search for a variety of up-to-date information on drought across the nation, displayed in the form of briefings, charts and maps. Maps include the U.S. Drought Monitor, an outlook of seasonal drought, reports of drought impacts, and wildfire risks. Users can also find information on various drought indices. The Drought Portal also links to state and regional information.
Application:
Water resource managers and community and urban planners can use the information to prepare for onsets of drought and to create long-term drought plans.
Preview:
  • Paleoclimatology Software Tools: A collection of paleoclimatological datasets and suggestions for software packages that can be used to analyze the data.
Sponsor:
NOAA
Name:
Paleoclimatology Software Tools
URL:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets/software
Summary:
A number of paleoclimatology datasets are provided through NOAA, which are derived from tree rings, ice cores, corals, and ocean and lake sediments. These datasets help to extend our weather and climate data record back hundreds to millions of years. The data helps us to understand natural climate variability and future climate change. NOAA provides a number of software packages to help analyze climate anomalies using this data.
How it works:
Software packages are contributed by the paleoclimatological community. The packages are provided on an “as-is” basis, and additional support cannot be provided by NOAA.
Application:
The software packages are primarily aimed at researchers and scientists who can use the software to further analyze the vast area of paleoclimatological data.
Preview:
Sponsor:
USDA
Name:
Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN)
URL:
http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/scan/
Summary:
The SCAN tools are a collection of soil-climate data from stations around the United States which can be viewed interactively by users.
How it works:
SCAN uses a variety of methods to transmit remote station data. Users can then view data for each station using an interactive map tool.
Application:
SCAN can be used by planners to monitor the onset of drought, watershed health, and wetlands.
Preview:

Wildfires

  • Landfire: A program that provides over 20 national geo-spatial layers (e.g. vegetation, fuel, disturbance, etc.), databases, and ecological models that are available to the public for the US and insular areas.
Sponsor:
USGS
Name:
Landfire
URL:
http://www.landfire.gov
Summary:
This website provides data and links to LANDFIRE data, articles/reports, data descriptions, databases, LANDFIRE videos and tutorials, images/maps, websites, and decision making/informational tools. These resources are useful for practitioners in the fields of fire and natural resource management, vegetation, habitat, carbon/climate, research and science, as well as industry/private sector users and teachers.
How it works:
LANDFIRE products are designed to be used at a landscape-scales. LANDFIRE provides over 20 national geo-spatial layers (e.g. vegetation, fuel, disturbance, etc.), databases and ecological models.
Application:
LANDFIRE data products provide data for landscape assessment, analysis, and management. Data and information serve as important data sets in decision support with efforts such as identification of areas with similar characteristics, prioritization exercises, modeling capacity and potential, and improving collaboration between landowners with common data sets and analytics.
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