Knowing Where the Fish Go – An Inside Look at a Paper Abstract Submission

Editor’s note: The deadline for the EsriUC 2016 Call for Papers has been extended until November 3, 2015. 

The deadline to submit abstracts for the Esri UC 2016 is THIS FRIDAY, October 30, 2015. With that in mind, we thought we’d ask a few questions of a hopeful first-time presenter at the conference.

Donovan Sherrat is a GIS Manager for the Environmental Office of the Kentucky National Guard

Meet Donovan Sherratt, a GIS Manager for the Environmental Office of the Kentucky National Guard.  He told us a little about the paper he would like to present at the conference in July.

What do you do at your organization?

My group helps move the military mission along while staying compliant with the current environmental regulations.  We also help manage the birds and bunnies on the training sites.  This means we get to do everything from surveying armories to contouring streams.

What is your educational back ground?

My Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is Field Artillery Surveyor. I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in GIS.

How did you get involved in GIS?

I started out teaching High School Biology in Arizona. After a deployment to Iraq it was time for a new direction. The GI bill was kind enough to fund my GIS degree and my military background helped me get a job at the Iowa Joint Operations Center. Their first rate GIS team taught me how to leverage the power of GIS in the real world. When my contract ended I came down to Kentucky to fill their Environmental GIS Manager slot. Their out-of-the-box thinking has led to some fun data rich projects.

Have you attended the ESRI UC before? If so how many.

I have attended two UCs.

Have you presented at the UC before?

No, this will be my first one.

Can you tell me about your paper?

Natural Resources are part of the stewardship the Kentucky National Guard Environmental Team. We started looking at the fishing numbers for several of the large lakes and noticed that one of our largest lakes was severely under producing. Common remediation for this issue is to increase the amount of habitat available for the fry and other feeder fish. We dropped fish boxes from recycled pallets, porcupine balls even dead trees over the course of several seasons.  These actions show little to no increase in the production of the lake. We took a scientific step next and contoured the lake as well as sampled for dissolved oxygen (DO).  What the map showed us was we were doing all our habitat improvements in areas of low DO, i.e. places fish wouldn’t go.  We have made some spatial adjustments to our habitat improvement and hope to see improvements in the coming seasons.

What do you like most about the EsriUC?

There is no power like nerd power and the UC is rocking with it. I hope to reach nerd status someday.

Do you have an interesting project you’d like to share with the GIS community, similar to Donovan? Or have you reached nerd status and want to toot your horn? Don’t wait to submit your abstract – the deadline is October 30.

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