The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a $75,000 grant to the University of Redlands to develop a system called a Spatial Decision Support that will calculate and map the potential impacts of energy projects on wildlife.
Work began this month on a Wyoming Pilot Project of the USFWS Landscape Scale Energy Action Plan. The University recently spoke with a team of expert modelers and scientists who will help to define areas of focus in an eight-state region bordered by Utah, Montana, North Dakota and Kansas, according to university officials.
Special attention will be given to Wyoming, where the projected impacts of energy projects on wildlife will be calculated and mapped. Results will be released in October, university officials wrote in a news release.
“We are helping the FWS to build a system that will facilitate early conversation between energy proponents and the (wildlife) service, to help reduce conflict and guide appropriate and sustainable energy development” said Jordan Henk, director of the Redlands Institute, a research wing of the University that uses Geographic Information Science and Technology to explore complex environmental and social systems.
Spatial Decision Support is a specialization of Geographic Information Science, or GISc, in which the Redlands Institute applies structured decision processes, advanced computational modeling and GIS technology to support geodesign, planning and spatially complex decisions at multiple scales of analysis, officials wrote.