An Integrated Resource Management System (IRMS)

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Project Summary

Background

The Clean Water Action Plan describes the watershed approach as being the key to setting priorities and taking action to clean up rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. This grant addresses one of the key elements of the watershed approach - Unified Watershed Assessment.

Objectives

The goal of this research is to develop a user friendly Internet-based tool that addresses total resource management by integrating ecological and economic models with a geographic information system (GIS). Specifically, research is proposed to develop and implement an integrated resource management system (IRMS). This decision support system (DSS) is designed to assist natural resource-based agencies in developing management plans. For example, IRMS will be used by MDNR Soil and Water Conservation Program to prioritize Special Land Area Treatment (SALT) or EARTH projects. IRMS will also be used as screening tool for identifying costs and benefits of potential SALT projects.

IRMS is designed to be complementary with the Watershed Management Decision Support System (WAMADSS) which was developed by the Center for Agricultural, Resource and Environmental Systems (CARES) under a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation. The proposed research builds on the
lessons learned in the WAMADSS effort by developing a user friendly Internet-based tool that integrates models with a GIS.

Specific objectives of the proposed project are as follows:

  1. Develop a Internet-based Integrated Resource Management System (IRMS) that addresses changes in land use and/or its management practices by integrating economic and environmental simulation models.
  2. Develop feedback loops with IRMS end users and conduct three workshops for selected agency field staff.

Methods

The research approach for each objective is as follows:

Objective 1: Develop an Internet-based Integrated Resource Management System (IRMS) that addresses changes in land use and/or its management practices by integrating the Cost and Returns Estimator (CARE) model and Bobwhite Qual habitat models. This objective addresses the development of an Internet-based IRMS using Web technologies. The advantages of using a Web-based tool is that the Internet is an efficient and affordable way to distribute information. Field staff will only require a browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer to interact with IRMS, which resides in a centralized server. A centralized server is an efficient way to update versions of a given tool such as IRMS and for updating GIS layers in a timely fashion.

IRMS will have three components: an Internet-based geographic information system (GIS) using ArcView Internet Map Server, a graphical user interface (GUI) using HTML forms, Java and JavaScript programming, and a modeling system. The interface enables the decision maker to manipulate land use/management practice, execute the models, and view results within the GIS. The GIS layers to be incorporated in IRMS include: soils, land cover, digital orthophoto quadrangles or DOQs, hypsography, and hydrography, which are currently being developed for Missouri. Depending on the data needs of the models, other layers may also be digitized with IRMS.

Objective 2: Develop feedback loops with IRMS end users and conduct three workshops for field-level staff. Formal feedback loops will be established jointly by CARES, MoDNR, MDC and NRCS. Each agency may assign one of their field staff to serve as liaison with model developers at CARES to ensure the proper development of the tool.

Major Products

Principal Investigators: Chris Fulcher and Tony Prato

Project Manager: Yan Barnett

Project Staff: Yan Barnett, Dave Connett

Funding Source: Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)

Funding Amounts: $112,703

Project Duration: October 1, 1998 - September 30, 2001 (No-cost extension to December 31, 2001)

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