Paper pub. date
January 2005
ISBN 9780870710575 (paperback)
272 pages. Full-color maps. Tables. Index. Companion website.

Place Matters

Geospatial Tools for Marine Science, Conservation, and Management in the Pacific Northwest

Dawn J. Wright and Astrid J. Scholz
Foreword by Sylvia A. Earle.

Although the ocean provides living space for about 97% of life on Earth, less than 5% of the ocean below the surface has actually been seen, let alone explored. Now, using the geographic information system (GIS), marine scientists are gaining new insights into a once-mysterious world. A technologically sophisticated information-management and analysis system, GIS holds tremendous potential for mapping, interpreting, and managing ocean environments- from the seafloor to the shoreline.

Place Matters explores how marine GIS is contributing to the understanding, management, and conservation of the shores and ocean of the Pacific Northwest, where scientists, resource managers, and conservationists- often in collaboration- are making advances in the way that data are collected, documented, used, shared, and saved.

The contributors to Place Matters show how together they are using GIS to handle and exploit present and future data streams from observatories, experiments, numerical models, simulations, and other sources, yielding fresh insights into oceanographic, ecological, and socioeconomic conditions of the marine environment.

The book includes a conceptual framework that lays out selected methods and models for conservation-based marine GIS, working examples of marine GIS tools and large-scale implementations, and a section on the use of GIS by environmental advocacy and local citizens' organizations. A companion website includes GIS maps and databases, as well as extensive Web-based resources. With its unique focus on the use of GIS to solve marine conservation problems, Place Matters offers an important new resource for all who study and work to protect the world's oceans.

About the author

Dawn J. Wright is Chief Scientist at ESRI and Courtesy Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University. She is a leading expert in the use of GIS as applied to marine and coastal regions. She is the editor of Undersea with GIS and co-editor of Marine and Coastal Geographical Information Systems.

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Astrid J. Scholz is Ecological Economist and Vice President of Knowledge Systems for Ecotrust in Portland, Oregon.

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