Archbold Biological Station, Biennial Report 1997-1998

Geographic information Systems

Project Director: Roberta L. Pickert

[Biennial Contents | Biennial 95-96]

One thing that remains absolutely constant about information technology, computer systems, and geographic information systems, is change. In preparing to write this report, I realized just how much we have changed during 1997–98. New ways of looking at organizational and spatial information, and especially, new technology have, once again, altered the way we do "business as usual."

     In 1997 our laboratory took an important step by changing our computer platform from a Unix-based system to a PC-based system running under Windows NT. Advances in our Geographic Information System software have allowed us to run full-featured, advanced versions on less expensive, easier to maintain, NT-based computers. Then in late 1997 and early 1998, Archbold’s move to a Station-wide, networked computer system based on NT technology further changed "business as usual" by making the Station’s library of spatial databases, some of which are listed below, instantly accessible to all at the Station and Ranch. This easy access, combined with installing desk-top, ARC-View GIS software on almost all Station computers, has prompted a surge in research projects including spatial components.

     Our spatial data library has expanded to include the following examples.

A. Archbold Biological Station

  • Boundary and vegetation mapping was updated (twice) to include 2 tracts acquired recently, the "Mitigation 40" and "Calamintha Scrub" sites.
  • Fire history now exceeds 30 years: Burn-unit maps were updated.
  • Florida scrub-jay territories and nest locations for 28 years and an expanded and updated scrub-jay habitat map (see [b], page 29).

B. MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center

  • Pasture treatment and burn history.
  • Experimental pastures, winter & summer (pasture arrays) (see [a], page 29); new and updated maps for boundaries, fences, and soils.

C. Applied Avian Ecology

  • Avon Park Air Force Range: Florida scrub-jay nest and territory data for 6 years; red-cockaded woodpecker cluster-mapping for 6 years; maps were updated for soils, vegetation, roads, and burn history.
  • Florida scrub-jay project at Placid Lakes Subdivision; territory, nest, and habitat data for 6 years (see [c], page 29).

D. Lake Wales Ridge (see [d], page 29)

  • Site databases for 10 Lake Wales Ridge sites includes boundaries, soils, vegetation, and burn plans; Avon Park Air Force Range, Arbuckle State Forest, Gould Road Scrub Preserve, Highlands Ridge Preserve, Lake June Scrub Preserve, Ridge State Forest, Lake Placid Scrub Preserve, Lake Walk-in-Water Preserve, Tiger Creek Preserve, and Carter Creek Preserve.

E. State-wide

  • County boundaries, roads, and highways.
  • Florida scrub-jay habitat and occupied sites throughout the species’ entire range.

     Following, are map examples from some of the many projects supported by the GIS lab. The examples illustrate the integration of basic data sets and the sharing of information across laboratories.

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Archbold Biological Station, 12 April 2000
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