Advanced Technological Solutions in Support of Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystem Science: Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM)

Science Center Objects

The JEM Biological Database offers secure data storage in relational databases, as well as web applications to manage, search, analyze, and report on captured data.

EverVIEW Data Viewer

EverVIEW Data Viewer

The Science Issue and Relevance: Recognized as an ecosystem of global importance, the Greater Everglades comprises over two million acres supporting an extraordinarily diverse wildlife population, including more than two dozen threatened and endangered species. Decades of land-use change and far-reaching water flow control in the 20th century, combined with a growing number of invasive species, have greatly decreased available resources and disrupted long-standing ecological patterns that allowed such an abundant native population to thrive. Aiming to reverse these effects on the landscape, the U.S. Congress in 2000 enacted the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the most substantial ecosystem restoration ever attempted. In support, the USGS has designed the Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystem Science (GEPES) program to inform and monitor the results of restoration decision-making. Through this program, the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center’s Advanced Applications Team leads the Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) community, which works to develop software for data management, visualization, and ecological modeling.

Methodology for Addressing the Issue: To encourage data sharing and tool development within the JEM community, our team created a set of Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) data conventions for CERP. Built on these standards, we developed a software framework for models which forecast habitat suitability, population change, and species distribution. The EverVIEW Data Viewer was developed to give users a platform to view, investigate, and share their standards-compliant scientific data in a spatial context. EverVIEW also includes a suite of extensions to enable scientists to manage, transform, and analyze ecological model outputs. For biological monitoring projects, the JEM Biological Database offers secure data storage in relational databases, as well as web applications to manage, search, analyze, and report on captured data. The companion JEM Biological Data Viewer exposes a subset of these data on a public map designed to inform interested parties on monitoring efforts occurring in the region.

JEM Biological Data Viewer

JEM Biological Data Viewer

Future Steps: Continued cooperation with GEPES and other Everglades scientists will result in new uses of existing technology to better inform restoration decision-makers and the general public.