BLM Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA), Sonoran Desert
Working as a subcontractor to Dynamac Corporation, the Conservation Biology Institute provided the scientific leadership and technical support for two BLM Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REAs). The Sonoran Desert ecoregion was completed in the spring of 2012. A series of conservation elements were chosen for the eocregion and over 40 management questions addressed. Most questions pertained to a listed set of change agents, including urban and agriculture development, energy (including renewables), fire, invasive species, recreation, and climate change. For each conservation element, conceptual models were created and, for each specific management question, an accompanying GIS-based process model was created that outlined the data and steps necessary to generate an answer to the question. Part of the project required an exhaustive acquisition and review of available spatial data – hundreds the ecoregion. Extensive and sophisticated modeling had to be applied to multiple topics including target species habitat, natural ecological systems, climate change, invasive species, wildfire, and landscape integrity. Also, some custom analytical software had to be generated throughout the course of the project.
Project review was conducted using Data Basin and final results reside in a private group space on this web-based data management and mapping system. To inquire about access to the data and map-based results, please contact Karen Prentice at BLM Headquarters (email@example.com).
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