Counting wildlife populations to assess their status requires applying systematic methodologies across time and space. For years, I have worked extensively on improving the management of wildlife survey data. I started working with survey data when I worked for Wildlife Conservation Society in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support wildlife monitoring, forest monitoring, and landuse planning efforts.
Large-scale foot surveys were repeated roughly every 4-5 years so as to inform local management and prioritization within the conservation community. Forest surveys require painstaking on-foot missions which record.
It is vital that key parameters be collected and packaged with survey data for future longitudinal analysis. My work has focused on creating a standardized Central Africa data dictionary for use with SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool). I teamed with World Resources Institute to develop a bilingual data dictionary and schema for forest large mammal data in Central Africa.
I am currently working on forest survey data again, this time to standardize newer datasets to the common model, including common metadata requirements. This data will be used in a range-wide population assessment of forest elephants.
Savannah surveys are an effective way of monitoring elephants, giraffe, rhino, and other large mammals. These surveys require systematic flight patterns, including consistent speed and height above ground, over open habitat and well-trained observers to identify the wildlife from the air.
My role supported the data infrastructure for conducting the Great Elephant Census, a nearly continent-wide assessment of savannah elephants.
Mapping Critical Conservation Areas
In 2014-2015, I worked with the Worldwide Fund for Nature to assess the existing protected area network in DRC. Like many other countries, DRC has pledged to protect a certain proportion of their land and marine domain. However, DRC lacks clarity about the current extent of its protected domain, and opted to conduct a comprehensive review of the state of its protected areas. My work involved reviewing the original texts (in French) which defined each protected area, many of which were officially gazetted during the colonial area. The output of this work was an updated map of the protected area network.
In my role at Vulcan, I combined data from NGO customers with open data, like OpenStreetMap to add important details to web maps which form the main interface of DAS, now EarthRanger, which is a real-time park management software deployed in several parks in Africa.
Locating and Mapping Critical Assets
Cascadia Archaeology, my client conducted cultural resource assessments to understand how any given project would impact assets of critical importance, such as burial sites, ancient art, or other s
I built data dictionaries for Cascadia to use on their Garmin devices for capturing the critical information required for their assessments, processed data, and designed maps for their reports.