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Cross Boundary Data Integration

Project Category


Project Title

Cross-Boundary Data Integration Workshop II

Project Leader

Michael I. Goldstein, Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, University of Alaska Southeast,, 907-796-6269


Sanjay Pyare, Spatial Ecosystem Analysis Lab, University of Alaska Southeast,, 907-796-6007. Will assist project leader in coordinating the workshop and oversee data publication.

Partners and project contributions

Mike Plivelich, Southeast AK GIS Library, University of Alaska Southeast, 907-796-6007; GIS data compilation, hosting; GIS support

Sari Saunders & Andy MacKinnon, BC Ministry of Range and Forests, 250-751-7165; BC data layer development

David D’Amore & Frances Biles, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 907-586-7936; data development and GIS support

Melanie Smith & Nathan Walker, Audubon Alaska, 907- 276-7034; data layer development and modeling

Dave Albert and Colin Shanley, The Nature Conservancy, 907-586-2301; data layer development and data modeling

Ken Lertzmann and Ana Prohaska, Simon Fraser University, 778-782-3069; BC data layer development and data modeling

Dave Leversee, Sierra Club, BC data modeling

Rick Abt and Erik Johnson, Forest Service Tongass NF and Alaska Region; SE dataset management; data layers; modeling expertise

Project Summary

The Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center will lead a 2nd workshop to develop cross-boundary geospatial and climate data sets in support of regional conservation applications in the coastal temperate rainforest zone of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. This project will continue to facilitate planning sessions and forums on technical development of standardized datasets as well as formalize a platform for coordination of data-exchange and dissemination via the Southeast Alaska GIS Library. In addition, this workshop will establish a plan for future analytical efforts in which cross‐boundary datasets are utilized to address critical and regional conservation applications, including connectivity and dispersal, carbon budget allocation, and climate change vulnerabilities.

Project Proposal

Background and Need: The goals of this project are to continue to coordinate data exchange and data-integration methodologies to address issues of regional conservation importance in southeast Alaska and British Columbia. The specific outcomes are to:

  1. Provide opportunities for communicating and discussing priorities for the exchange, development and unification of geospatial and climate datasets
  2. Facilitate teams and work sessions to develop and rectify datasets into cross-boundary data end products
  3. Provide a forum to present and discuss ongoing development of relevant datasets
  4. Enhance an existing platform, i.e. Southeast Alaska GIS Library, for data integration and dissemination
  5. Develop a plan for future analytical efforts in which cross‐boundary datasets are utilized to address critical and regional conservation applications

In 2010, five organizations, including the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center (ACRC), received funding from the Wilburforce Foundation for cross boundary data integration in British Columbia and Alaska. ACRC played a leadership role in bringing these teams together for a collaborative effort in managing and solving the issue of cross-border data disparity and knowledge gaps. To accomplish this, ACRC held several conference calls during the winter 2010-2011 and followed with a pilot workshop in February 2011. These organizations were brought together in an introductory meeting to: (1) discuss and assess knowledge of data foundations and gaps, as well as explore strategies and leveraging resources for meeting data needs; (2) provide an overview of recent initiatives in cross‐boundary data collaboration and analysis, as well as the scientific goals, benefits and anticipated outcomes of these projects; (3) demonstrate data stewardship options, data portals, and specific collaborative projects (e.g., hydrography); and (4) present a series of end user specific application models (e.g., adaptation frameworks, biogeographic envelope models). At the workshop, ACRC facilitated discussions of data and data needs within key sub-disciplines such as Forestry, Hypsography, Biogeography & Habitat, Lithology and Hydrography; jump-started organization of expert teams with both Canadian and U.S. members to conduct data inventories and evaluate data for standardization; and discussed requirements of these data for trans‐boundary, conservation and resource-management analysis. Following this initial workshop, teams made progress on inventories and data layer development but these efforts have primarily been coordinated using distance technology. The follow-up effort in this proposal will be a 3-day work session to provide a pivotal and face-to-face opportunity to present and make direct progress on data issues for future transboundary analyses and applications.

To be explicit: this project provides an avenue for data users and managers across the range of the NPLCC to come together to meet common underlying needs in a relatively short time frame for broader conservation goals. This work is specifically tied to large-scale management, sustainable development, and problem solving across borders, through production or reconfiguration of critical geospatial and climate databases. Through production of common datasets, establishing a data-steward role at the Southeast Alaska GIS Library, and establishing professional linkages within and among the north-temperate rainforest zone of U.S. and Canada, landscape assessment efforts, decision-support tools, and natural resource management efforts will be more productive, have greater impacts and lead to broader implications for regional conservation.

Objective: We will serve the greater conservation and management community of the NPLCC through completion of the following objectives:


Geographic Extent: The geographic extent of this project is Southeast Alaska and British Columbia.

Timeline of Schedules, Products and Outcomes

Spring 2011: Expert groups complete task list for each data layer and end-user products identified in pilot workshop

Summer 2011: Review and improve data layers and draft modeling products

Fall 2011: Implement Cross-boundary Data Integration Workshop II (this proposal)

Winter 2011: Finalize data layers; present modeling efforts; house data layers and GIS products

February 2012: Hold second Cross-boundary Data Integration Workshop

June 2012: Project completion and submission of final report

Disclaimer Regarding Data Sharing

No known restrictions on sharing of the data expected.