Geospatial Science and Technology

Science Center Objects

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Southwest Biological Science Center, and more specifically, its River Ecosystem Science branch which includes the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC), is a preeminent science group that has more than 20 years of experience of providing high-quality, detailed science to resource managers and stakeholders primarily concerned with the effects of dam operations on downstream, riparian ecosystems of the Colorado River.  GCMRC's Geospatial Science and Technology project leads the Center in geospatial data management, geospatial analysis, enterprise GIS administration, and development of tools and applications for accessing geospatial data online.

As the science provider to the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP), GCMRC designs and implements scientific studies to meet the objectives put forward by resources managers and stakeholders of the GCDAMP.  In addition to its role as the science arm of GCDAMP, GCMRC is also responsible for disseminating both the data collected in support of science objectives as well as the results of the studies conducted.  Data dissemination occurs both in the form of peer-reviewed literature and through a variety of web-based services and applications that allow the public to view, query and interact with the published scientific data.  The Center has employed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) since its inception in 1998, and has continued to evolve and expand its use of GIS since then.  Similarly, the GCMRC has been involved with internet mapping applications since 2003, with capabilities at the Center expanding alongside advances made in the online mapping industry. 


The Geospatial Science and Technology team of GCMRC has expertise in both industry-standard software -- primarily with Environmental Research Systems Institutes’ (ESRI) suite of enterprise GIS (ArcGIS  Server, Portal for ArcGIS) – and several open-source platforms now available for storing, processing, analyzing and serving geospatial data.  These data represent biological and physical phenomena over large geographic areas and yet are at a high-resolution and are highly accurate.  The Center utilizes several database platforms (Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL) to store and serve many of the geospatial data sets that pertain to the physical, biological and cultural resources of the Colorado River ecosystem (CRe).  Over the last three years, GCMRC Geospatial Team has expanded its role into more advanced information technology platforms, including the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environment, as well as incorporating projects throughout the Colorado Basin and across the Southwest.  In addition to multiple database platforms, the team has access to high performance, internal servers for advanced computational processing and 3-dimensional modeling of extreme environments such as those found in the Grand Canyon region.