In the Phase II Ecosystem Management Research Program in the Ouachita and Ozark National Forests, an interdisciplinary group of scientists are evaluating the effects and trade-offs of partial cutting methods in a replicated stand level study. Information from approximately 2,000 plots is being collected by more than fifty researchers during this five-year project with plans to continue data collection long term. To evaluate the effects of different management strategies and their interactions with forest resources, data must be brought into a common format and made available to all researchers. To this end, a data support system was developed which utilizes Geographic Information System (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and remote sensing technologies. Aerial photography, along with digitized layers of stand and greenbelt boundaries, roads and streams, and GPSed silvicultural plot locations form a framework to which data from diverse research areas can be linked. Researchers can not only share information resources, but can graphically visualize and query both spatial and attribute data to reflect forest ecosystem changes under various management strategies. The methodology used to develop and configure this large, relational database into an easily accessible form usable in an interactive GIS program could be transferable to other areas of natural resource management.
Wiley, Suzanne and Weih, Robert C. Jr.
"Integrating GIS and Remote Sensing with Ecosystem Research,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 51
, Article 29.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol51/iss1/29