IAN staff hold workshop with Shenandoah National Park Resource Managers

Park Service and IAN staffIAN staff Bill Dennison, Joanna Woerner, and Ben Fertig traveled to Shenandoah National Park Headquarters on Feb 25-26 to design a booklet entitled, "A conceptual basis for natural resource monitoring: Shenandoah National Park". The booklet discusses Shenandoah's key features, major threats, and monitoring programs. A central issue that emerged was visibility from mountain vistas of the surrounding valleys along Skyline Drive, as affected by atmospheric haze. In addition, there were effects of atmospheric deposition on mountain streams and hardwood forests. Furthermore, climate change and conversion of adjacent farmland to residential land use affect this National Park.

NCRN Vital Signs Data Portal

NCRN Data PortalThe National Capital Region Network (NCRN) of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program has identified 22 indicators of ecological condition within the National Capital Region (NCR), which are commonly called vital signs. Together with the I&M program, IAN developed the NCRN Vital Signs Data Portal to provide access to vital signs data through a graphically oriented interface. Users can query data via vital sign, national park, or ecological system and they can view the data through dynamically generated tables, graphs, maps, and excel downloads as well as gain access to a variety of photos from the parks. The website includes an interactive website tour to give users a detailed overview of the available features.

Ben Longstaff moves to Lake Simcoe, Canada

Ben with IAN sweaterAfter four and a half years with the Integration and Application Network, Dr. Ben Longstaff is leaving to join the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ben will be utilizing his science communication and integration skills in a newly created position at the Authority. As part of his transition, he will continue to work with IAN staff to finalize the various environmental report cards and publication projects underway over the next months. Ben plans to explore the waterways of the north woods with his family, enhanced by proximity to his wife Andrea's extended family. We will miss Ben, Andrea, Matthew and Alex and wish them all well in their new adventure. Ben's new email address is the following: B.Longstaff@lsrca.on.ca.

Heath Kelsey joins IAN's EcoCheck team

Heath Kelsey fishing on boatHeath joins EcoCheck after being an ecological modeler at NOAA's Cooperative Oxford Lab since 2006. His research interests include GIS and spatial analysis, bacterial water quality modeling, and creating model-based tools for the regulation and management community. Heath finished his doctoral research on fecal pollution modeling and bacterial source tracking in 2006, at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health. Prior to that he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Papua New Guinea from 1995 - 1998. His move back to the Chesapeake region is a sort of homecoming - Heath received his Bachelor's Degree in biology from St. Mary's College of Maryland in 1988, and grew up in the Washington metro area, sailing and boating in Chesapeake Bay. When he's not being a modeling geek, Heath enjoys being a kid again with his wife Anne and two young children in Cambridge, MD.