BioBlitz Going International!

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I can’t believe it’s been a month since 2014 River Rally! IMRivers has been a proud sponsor over the years, and I didn’t want to miss it for the world. So I cut my trip to S. Korea short and flew nearly 24 hours from Seoul to Narita to Newark and finally to Pittsburgh. It was quite a journey, but I was extremely happy to catch up with my riverkeeper friends and meet amazing new people.

We at IMRivers are committed to providing GIS services and interactive mapping solutions to our partners. The platform we’ve developed over the years is being used for a variety of fields in different countries. Right now, it is being used for a project called BioBlitz in Seoul Forest! (http://www.mapplerk.com/sfbioblitz)

BioBlitz — Learning about Biodiversity through Mapping

BioBlitz is a special event where participants go out and survey surrounding living organisms within an incredibly focused period of time to create a biodiversity inventory of an area. For this global initiative, IMRivers has created an interactive mobile application to uniquely allow participants to easily create a visual map of the local species that they have found, along with photos and other multimedia. Take a look at the map :

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Maryland’s Anne Arundel County has already taken advantage of the BioBlitz application’s unique benefits by incorporating the technology into the current biodiversity educational curriculum.

Using interactive mapping is a great way to make environmental education experiences more meaningful and engaging. Talk to us today and let’s explore new possibilities through mapping. E-mail us or visit our redesigned website, IMRIVERS.org.

River Rally 2014 is only two weeks away!

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If you are not yet familiar, River Rally is a friendly gathering of over 750 river/watershed advocates with workshops, lectures, tours, and various opportunities for networking and learning. IMRivers will be joining everyone as a partner, and right now we’re busy preparing a couple of Crowd-Mapping applications to showcase at the rally. What are they?  
  • Where Are We From? A live map of where all Rally participants are hailing from.
  • Clean River Map Interactive mapping tool where everyone can map their organization’s cleanup projects. With rivers/watershed highlighted, this map will become a visual outline of everyone’s efforts that can be used as a reference/assessment tool year-round.
  • Rain Barrel Registry A participatory mapping tool offering a visual inventory of rain barrels used for small-scale rain harvesting.
  River Network Interactive Map with weather radar data. Also, be sure to check out http://www.rivermaps.org, where you can locate River Network partners, find water groups near you, get real-time stream flow data, and more! This map also runs on Mappler platform provided by IMRivers. Now, you can even browse land use/land cover data from USGS as well as real-time weather radar data from NOAA. As you will see on River Network’s map and when we meet you in person at River Rally 2014, these maps are capable of overlaying almost any existing GIS data on top of community-collected data uploaded with smartphones and tablets. Using mobile mapping with GIS layers powerfully brings grassroots preservation efforts and big data together in a visually coherent way.

Discovering the nature and community made easy — Hunterdon Land Trust Interactive Map

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Hunterdon Land Trust wanted to find a creative way for initiating civic engagement in their mission to ‘preserve and protect the rural character and natural resources of Hunterdon County.’ It turned out Participatory Mapping was the perfect solution for creating a hands-on experience of discovering the area’s natural and community resources.

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Navigating trail information with Topographic map overlay enabled.

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Built on Mappler technology, Hunterdon Land Trust Interactive Map highlights preserved properties, trails and access points, community conservation values and current projects in the area. Community members can post site-specific information and pictures using a smartphone app. The increased accessibility of data strengthens existing contributors’ efforts as well as attracts new visitors to the preserves.

Visit the Interactive Map site 

Mappler technology makes it simple to create interactive maps with unique overlays and customizing surveys for collecting new data through mobile and desktop users.

 

Apply now for $1,000,000 in National Coastal Wetlands Conservation

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The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is providing states with financial assistance on projects that help promote long-term conservation of coastal wetlands.

Deadline : Jun 27, 2014


Coastal wetlands are valued because they protect against flooding, help maintain water quality, and provide habitat for wildlife. Coastal environments are also important economically, generating billions of dollars annually through such industries as commercial fishing and tourism. The NCWCGP provides States with financial assistance to protect and restore these valuable resources.

Projects can include (1) acquisition of a real property interest (e.g., conservation easement or fee title) in coastal lands or waters (coastal wetlands ecosystems) from willing sellers or partners for long‐term conservation or (2) restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal wetlands ecosystems.

All projects must ensure long‐term conservation. Examples of restoration efforts that may be funded include: – Restoring wetland hydrology by plugging drainage ditches, breaking tile drainage systems, installing water control structures, dike construction, or re‐establishing historic connections with waterways, or – Planting native vegetation and/or removing invasive plants and animals that compete with native fish and wildlife and alter native habitats. We rank applications based on criteria published in 50 CFR 84.32.

The original notice (PDF) : http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/CW/2015NOFA.pdf

Source : http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=250335

Raindrops Fill Barrels, and Barrels Fill a Map.

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Rain barrels are amazing — they capture, store and discharge rainwater that otherwise would flow off a roof, through gutters and downspouts/rain chains and become runoff. River Network partnered with IMRivers to create the Rain Barrel Registry (http://www.rainbarrelregistry.com/), a participatory mapping tool offering a visual inventory of rain barrels used for small-scale rain harvesting.

IMRivers’ interactive mapping solution makes Rain Barrel information readily available to public policy makers, educators, and the public. Anybody can register their own rain barrels on the website, on mobile web, and on MapplerK app. After uploading a photo and completing a short survey, users can view other rain barrel clusters in the community and around the country, and see results from the survey in real time. Interested in rain harvesting but don’t own a rain barrel? Don’t worry! We have all the details on getting started on our site.

The Rain Barrel map is also overlaid with rich GIS layers, such as weather radar data or land use/land cover data as shown below.

BioBlitz — Learning about biodiversity through mapping

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Anne Arundel County Public Schools used IMRivers’ Mappler platform to execute a two-day environmental mapping event ‘BioBlitz’ for students. While collecting information about their surroundings on smartphones and tablets, students not only became experts in identifying and mapping birds, land animals, and trees, but were challenged to measure the area’s biodiversity and think critically about potential positive or negative influences. BioBlitz program has been a great success and is now a part of the county public schools’ environmental education curriculum.

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“Our project provided an engaging and authentic environmental exploration opportunity that allowed students to participate in true citizen science while using advanced technologies to support 21st Century educational goals,” says Deborah Albert, the Coordinator of Career & Technology Education.

Visit the BioBlitz website

$250,000 in NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Research Program

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Deadline : May 5, 2014

NOAA Sea Grant is accepting applications for new FY 2014 marine aquaculture research projects. This is part of the overall plan to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes aquaculture.

Topical priorities for this FY 2014 competition are, briefly:

  1. Research to inform pending, regulatory decisions on the local, state, or federal level leading to an information product– such as a tool, technology, template, or model– needed to make final decisions on a specific question regarding impacts of aquaculture
  2. Public-private research partnerships that address specific, current problems that limit a steady supply of marine or Great Lakes fingerlings
  3. Social and/or economic research targeted to understand aquaculture issues in a larger context. Applicants must describe how their proposed work will rapidly and significantly advance U.S. marine aquaculture development in the short-term (1-2 years after project completion).

This Federal Funding Opportunity includes information on application and criteria for aquaculture research proposals requesting a maximum of $500,000 in total federal funding for up to a two-year period. Matching funds are required. Awards are anticipated to start no later than September 1, 2014. Additional proposals from this competition may be selected for funding in the next fiscal year, subject to the availability of funds.

For general questions, e-mail oar.hq.sg.aquaculture@noaa.gov

View at Grants.gov

Locate Potholes for Timely Management and Maintenance

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With the onslaught of snow and the weary winter weather, numerous potholes are popping up everywhere on roads and highways. Recently, there have been increasing reports of potholes. Potholes have even been causing many drivers to be stranded on roads and highways in the icy weather with flat tires. Potholes are also a potential cause of automobile accidents, traffic problems, and other types of car damage. Drivers are unaware of presence of potholes and danger that they are facing. pothole To better inform municipal governments and other drivers unaware of the presence and dangers of potholes, we have created a community map that can be accessed by the mobile web or via the Mappler app. There are two maps; for users in New Jersey and New York City. Community members can log details for potholes such as location, size, depth, width and approximate location of the pothole on the road. This information can be used by municipal governments to get to working on patching up the potholes and start easing road hazards. Please help us spread the word to get as many participants as possible! Share links NJ Potholes: http://mappler.net/njpothole NYC Potholes: http://mappler.net/nycpothole For more information, contact Wansoo Im at gis@vertices.com or (732) 418-9135.

Interactive Environmental Health Mapping Using Online Mapping Tools

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Online mapping is an extremely useful tool for conveying geographic information. It’s capability to be largely public and community based is largely what makes it so powerful. Organizations can create beautiful and informative maps with existing data as a way of conveying a message to a community. Online mapping can also be much more broad, showing national or worldwide trends in data. A brilliant example of an online community-based mapping website is Mappler. This site gives the user the ability to either add GPS point data at their location with attribute data of the individual’s location, through the mobile app MapplerK, or previously acquired data in the form of points, lines, polygons and raster data sets. Sites like this are very versatile and can be applied to any field from ecology, to the environment, to health care, to planning and asset inventory. Mapping is in the hands of the user(s). envhealth The screenshot above is an example of what online mapping sites can do. This site is one created using Mappler, and shows the correlation between environmental and human health. The map can be viewed at http://www.mappler.net/envhealth/.   For more information on the Mappler site, visit the hompage at http://mappler.net/. Colin Munro, Intern gis@vertices.com

Apply for the EPA Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreements Program

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“The goal of our Environmental Justice Team is to ensure that all people are protected from disproportionate impacts of environmental hazards. Environmental Justice is about real people facing real problems and designing practical solutions to address challenging environmental issues. The environmental justice movement advocates programs that promote environmental protection within the context of sustainable development.” -EPA, Environmental Justice website. epa-ej The EPA is looking to make further progress in their ongoing goal to incorporate environmental justice into EPA programs. In doing so, they are taking applications for the 2014 Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program. Awards will be made in amounts of $120,000 per award for a 2-year period, for deserving applicants involved in projects that address local environmental and/or public health issues within an affected community. The deadline for applications is February 18, 2014. Any potential applicants who are interested in using mapping should think about using Mappler! For more information, check out the EPA website and grant guidelines. Source: http://www.epa.gov/region06/6dra/oejta/ej/index.html Colin Munro, Intern gis@vertices.com