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Project Work Plan

U.S. Geological Survey Greater Everglades Science Initiative (Place-Based Studies)

Fiscal Year 2004 Project Work Plan

A. GENERAL INFORMATION:

Project Title: Land Characteristics from Remote Sensing
Project Start Date: 2000 Project End Date: 2005
Project Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative; Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program

Principal Investigator: John W. Jones
Email address: jwjones@usgs.gov
Phone: 703/648-5543 Fax: 703/648-4603
Mail address: 521 National Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA 20192

Other Investigator(s):

Greg Desmond
Email address: gdesmond@usgs.gov
Phone: 703/648-4728 Fax: 703/648-4603
Mail address: same as above

Dan Sechrist
Email address: dsechrist@usgs.gov
Phone: 703/648-4808 Fax: 703/648-4603
Mail address: same as above

Bob Glover
Email address: bglover@usgs.gov
Phone: 703/648-4712 Fax: 703/648-4603
Mail address: same as above

Susan Price
Email address: sprice@usgs.gov
Phone: 703/648-6692 Fax: 703/648-4603
Mail address: same as above

Project Summary:

The primary goal of this project is to provide restoration-critical information regarding past and current characteristics of the Greater Everglades land surface. Information created through this project has been used for field instrument placement, to increase the accuracy of hydrologic and other surface process simulations, and to increase our understanding of the role that vegetation and other surface features play in removal of surface water, resistance to surface water flow, water quality, habitat condition, and habitat functioning in South Florida. The project has developed innovative methods for geospatial data production and analysis of land surface characteristics at various points in time. The generated data themselves will provide the baseline information necessary to begin monitoring the effects of restoration actions. Over the next two years, project resources will be focused on the completion and documentation of specific vegetation characterization tasks and the establishment of a foundation for Everglades land surface monitoring at several scales.

Project Objectives and Strategy:

The project has three primary objectives:

  1. Develop and apply innovative field data collection, remote sensing, and geographic analysis techniques to characterize spatial and temporal variations in land surface features and processes.
  2. Produce data and information that is useful for Everglades science and restoration activities.
  3. Increase our understanding of the importance of land surface spatial and temporal variations in hydrologic and ecological process modeling.

As a general strategy, collaborative efforts with specialists in various aspects of the Everglades are combined with our knowledge of remote sensing, our development of statistical and geographic analysis techniques, and data from numerous airborne and satellite imaging systems to yield new data and knowledge of Everglades characteristics and processes. We then evaluate the utility of these techniques and data for CERP science and monitoring activities. Fieldwork for this effort has included the collection of high-resolution reflectance spectra for a great number of vegetation and land surfaces. Also, vegetation biomass and other structural characteristics have been non-destructively sampled at intensive field study sites. These data have been analyzed to determine their shortcomings and strengths for remote sensing and other spatially distributed analyses. Based on the results of these analyses, new methods of ground data collection appropriate for the necessary spatial and temporal extrapolations have been devised. This year, the newly developed data collection protocols and extrapolation methods will be used to test the efficacy of data fields and vegetation maps derived from remotely sensed data for CERP modeling and monitoring requirements. They will be used to generate baseline information and suggest longer-term strategies and monitoring techniques for CERP impact evaluation. Over the next two years, we will rely on greater interaction with those involved in RECOVER planning to develop a framework and initial data sets for multi-scale land cover mapping at sample sites that can be used to understand regional land cover changes and also to evaluate regional-scale land cover products.

Potential Impacts and Major Products:

The project supports the restoration and resource management efforts by providing critical information for field sampling design, hydrologic and ecological model parameterization, and land surface change monitoring. For example, georeferenced and interpreted imagery has already been used to site additional point sampling stations for meteorological and vegetation data collection. Project spatial analysis of derived vegetation and topographic variables is addressing issues of scale important in aggregation for hydrodynamic modeling. A vegetation map of the Southern Inland Coastal System (SICS) model study area has also developed for the application of spatially distributed fields of vegetation flow resistance. A similar map has been produced for the Tides and Inflows to Mangroves of the Everglardes (TIME) study area. Water resources and land management decisions will rely heavily on the output of these simulation models that have already been improved by research project outputs. Project data have been pre-processed to facilitate data fusion and analysis. Data from several different remote-sensing systems and in-situ data collections have been manipulated to produce 4 satellite image maps for regions in South Florida. Several thousand copies of each have been printed for distribution through the USGS and distributed electronically through the SOFIA website. Client feedback indicates that these image maps have been valuable, well-exercised tools for outreach and research planning. Two new tasks will be emphasized this year: Land Cover Change Sampling Framework and an Everglades Focused Topical Report. These will produce new datasets of value to those with scientific and educational interests related to the Everglades and its restoration and produce a synthesis document that details several land characterization efforts across all USGS disciplines and demonstrates their importance for understanding Everglades hydrologic and climate processes.

Project Budget and Time Frame: The work included in this workplan will be completed by the end of FY05.

Collaborators: Ray Schaffrenek, Edward German, Nancy Rybicki Thomas J. Smith, Lious Stayaert, Deborah Willard (USGS), Ken Rutchey (SFWMD), Roger Pielke (CSU), and C. Wayne Wright (NASA)

Clients: The CERP, SFWMD, NPS, USCE, USFWS, other USGS scientists

 B. WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: Land surface characterization for hydrological and ecological modeling
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative; Geographic Analysis and Monitoring

Task Leaders: John W. Jones
Phone: 703/648-5543
FAX: 703/648-4603
Task Status (proposed or active): active

Task priority: (HIGH)

Task Personnel: John W. Jones, undetermined temporary hire (FY04), (Nancy Rybicki, Chris Langevin, Raymond Schaffranek, and Ed German collaborating).

Task Summary and Objectives:

Given low topographic gradients and subtle topographic variations in South Florida, vegetation characteristics have an important influence on the distribution and fate of surface water. Means of parameterizing hydrologic models to account for this influence have not been established. While point-measured flow resistance has been linked to vegetation characteristics measured at the same points, methods of spatially extrapolating and populating hydrodynamic models with flow resistance values have not been developed. The primary objective of this task is to produce the most appropriate vegetation flow resistance layer possible for use in Everglades hydrodynamic modeling. To that end, we are correlating vegetation characteristics that can be measured using remote sensing with characteristics that have been shown to influence flow resistance. We are using spatial analysis techniques to generate spatially distributed fields of vegetation flow resistance for use in hydrodynamic models of the TIME model domain. We are using field-collected data on vegetation amount to calibrate and validate developed extrapolation techniques.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

We will complete the collection of multi-temporal leaf area index (LAI) measurements at various points within the Greater Everglades region. Methods of extrapolating LAI values from points to the region will be developed and tested. We will then use spatial analysis to characterize the spatial structure in LAI at multiple scales and use that characterization to develop and test techniques for assigning flow resistance coefficients that are adjusted for sub-cell heterogeneity to TIME model cells.

Planned Outreach:

Interaction with targeted USGS and SFWMD researchers will be used to develop and evaluate the flow resistance parameterization techniques. Results will be presented at symposia, produced as open file reports (OFRs), and submitted for publication in refereed journals. SOFIA will also be used to distribute research results. Results of previous analysis against this task have also been shared through outreach efforts of personnel from the USGS/WRD National Research Program as they provide USGS internal and professional external workshops and paper presentations. We expect these collaborative outreach activities to continue.

Title of Task 2: Greater Everglades focused Status and Trends Topical Report
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative; Geographic Analysis and Monitoring

Task Leaders: John W. Jones

Phone: 703/648-5543
FAX: 703/648-4603

Task Status (proposed or active): active - planning phase completed

Task priority: (HIGH)

Task Personnel: John W. Jones, Deborah Willard, Raymond Schaffranek, Louis T. Steyaert, Thomas J. Smith, Curtis Marshall, Roger Pielke Sr.

Task Summary and Objectives:

The Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program is initiating the production of a series of "Topical Reports" that each will focus either on a specific scientific issue or issues associated with particular regions within the United States. The objective for this task is to present a cohesive, focused circular on issues related to changes in the Everglades’ land surface and their importance for hydrologic and climate processes. That is, through across-discipline collaboration, this task will publish a report that is focused on our understanding of a unique ecosystem’s land surface history, the methods USGS researchers are using to map land cover, and the importance of it’s land cover in climate and hydrologic processes.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

Following USGS publication guidelines, we will compile and publish a USGS circular-like document using both reprinted and custom-generated papers. At present, we anticipate including the following "chapters":

1) Document introduction and overview of Everglades environmental issues/the concerted Everglades restoration project (J.W. Jones and others); 2) Everglades vegetation history from sediment core pollen analysis (D. Willard); 3) Modeling Everglades surface hydrodynamics — getting the water right. (R. Schaffrenek and H. Jenter); 4) The impact of anthropogenic Twentieth Century land use change on sea breeze generated convective rainfall and sensible weather over the South Florida Peninsula (C. Marchall, R. Pielke, L. Steyaert, D. Willard); 5) Hurricanes impacts on Everglades mangroves (T. J. Smith); 6) A sampling framework for Everglades landcover change assessment [Task 1 above] (J. W. Jones); and finally, a sidebar regarding Satellite image maps as research, monitoring, and educational outreach tools (J.W. Jones).

Planned Outreach:

With the aid of PBS funds, the document produced by this task will be promoted and distributed widely by the Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program. In addition to the typical outlets for USGS circulars, this document will also be distributed by USGS liaisons to various government and non-governmental organizations hroughout the region.

Title of Task 3: Land Cover Change Sampling Framework Development
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative; Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program
Task Leaders: John W. Jones
Phone: 703/648-5543
FAX: 703/648-4603
Task Status (proposed or active): proposed
Task priority: (HIGH)
Task Personnel: John W. Jones

Task Summary and Objectives:

Given its large size and highly variable land cover, the Everglades presents many unique challenges for land cover mapping, land surface characterization, and change detection. While high-spatial resolution interpretations of Everglades land cover are highly desirable, it would be extremely expensive to develop such land cover maps for the entire region - especially for multiple time periods. The objective of this task is to create a peer-reviewed sampling framework that will establish a set of manageable study areas across the Everglades where historic and future high-resolution imagery can be interpreted for various land cover characterization and restoration monitoring applications. This task will make use of research experience the principal investigator has garnered through his on-going research in the Chesapeake Bay Region.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

An assessment of the factors that need to be addressed through the sampling framework will be the first order of business. The assessment will be accomplished through a review of appropriate plans (e.g., DOI Everglades Science Priorities, RECOVER; CERP; USGS Science Plan), literature (e.g., GEER proceedings) and personal communications with Everglades managers and restoration researchers. Based on this assessment, the framework design specifications that meet appropriate statistical and applications criteria will be developed. A set of samples will be cast and based on those specifications. The framework will be documented and distributed for review.

Planned Outreach:

We will sponsor a meeting of researchers and managers from the SFWMD, USACOE, and other appropriate institutions in Florida to discuss the desirable characteristics for the Framework and formalize a Framework review process. We will also investigate the use of SOFIA to solicit feedback regarding the Framework from a broader potential user community.

Title of Task 4: Land cover change mapping technique development
Task Funding: USGS Place-Based Studies Initiative
Task Leaders: John W. Jones
Phone: 703/648-5543
FAX: 703/648-4603
Task Status (proposed or active): proposed
Task priority: (Medium FY04/HIGH FY05)

Task Personnel: John W. Jones, Dan Sechrist, Greg Desmond, Thomas J. Smith, Ann Foster, other ERG staff TBN.

Task Summary and Objectives:

This task represents the application of the sampling framework produced through Task 3. We will use manual interpretation and automated remote sensing techniques to characterize land cover change for the sample sites designated in the Land Cover Sampling Framework. This will allow us to explore techniques for Everglades monitoring, demonstrate the utility of the sampling framework, solicit feedback regarding the framework/land cover change mapping as monitoring tools, and refine these tools accordingly.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

This task will create land surface information for framework sample areas. As identified through the outreach/discussion efforts of Task 3, we will complete a pilot study project that demonstrates the utility of the Framework. Land surface information will either be manually compiled from historic air photos (compiled through the project of Smith, et a.l: " Historic Air Photos") and other more recent airborne data developed through this project or derived using automated processing of digital data like the unparalleled calibrated satellite database that has been assembled through previous project research. Thus Project developed methods to exploit geospatial data for change detection and ecosystem monitoring will provide a foundation for ecosystem restoration performance assessment activities.

Planned Outreach:

The outreach activities of this Task are linked to those of Task 3. Much the same outreach mechanisms used for other tasks (collaborative research, professional publications and presentations, Everglades-related workshop and symposia) are planned for this task. Appropriate framework data will also be distributed via SOFIA.

C. BRIEF DESCRIPTION ON HOW PROJECT TASKS SUPPORT THE DOI AND USGS EVERGLADES RESTORATION SCIENCE PLANS

The methods development, data production, and scientific findings of the Land Characteristics from Remote Sensing Project address many of the science and restoration objectives identified in the DOI and USGS Everglades restoration science plans. As a specific example, innovative project-created field data collection protocols are being developed that enable new remote sensing methods for vegetation density and distribution mapping. This work is being linked with the spatial analysis of Task 1 to quantify the distribution, shape, and particular spatial characteristics of Everglades land cover patches for the indexing of vegetative resistance to flow. Thus, the project is contributing to our understanding of biophysical processes and the development of the hydrologic and ecological models that are needed for restoration project design and the establishment of monitoring baselines. Project research is examining the importance of data resolution and other issues of scale in support of landscape modeling, vegetation monitoring and the synoptic assessment of indicator responses to restoration actions. In this way, the project contributes to the development of baseline information and rapid change assessment capability necessary for successful adaptive management. Tasks 3 and 4 will create an efficient sampling framework and land surface information that also support the modeling and monitoring of vegetative production and the interactions of plants with water level, soil, nutrients, and ecosystem processes. Because the various tasks of this project have covered the Everglades region from Lake Okeechobee southward, it supports mapping, monitoring, and analysis needs for several sub-regional focus areas such as the Loxahatchee, Conservation Area 3, the National Park, and coastal area wetlands. In direct response to identified DOI science needs, it is "furthering the development of remote sensing technologies such as multi- or hyperspectral imaging and aerial digital photography and combining them with ground survey efforts and GIS capabilities" to support both the DOI and USGS plans. It enhances our ability to establish ecosystem baselines, monitor ecosystem change, understand Everglades biophysical processes, and predict future land surface conditions. All these are requirements for adaptive management and the determination of ecosystem restoration success.



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