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Use of GIS as a Decision-Making Tool for Rangeland Restoration – A Demonstration Project for the Worldwide Web

Project Number: 
Project Duration: 
29 months
November 18, 2003 to April 17, 2006
Institution of Principle Investigator while on this project: 
Texas A&M; University-Kingsville

Investigators (most current known information)

Associate Professor, Texas A&M; University-Kingsville, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Institute, MSC 218, Kingsville TX 78363
TEL: +1-361-593-3689, Email:
Research Scientist, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M; University-Kingsville, Kingsville TX 78363-8202
TEL: +1-361-593-3344, Email:

Proposal Abstract

Exotic species invasions, especially exotic grasses, represent a significant threat to the biodiversity of the United States. Arid and semiarid lands are even more susceptible to the negative impacts of invasive species. Geospatial technologies are powerful tools for collecting, managing, analyzing, modeling, and presenting geographic information. Because information is the major currency of present times, informed decisions about environmental management may be impossible without useful information. Therefore, we propose a demonstration project that will educate biologists, landowners, and land managers as to how various geospatial technologies (Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and precision agriculture) can be integrated and used in concert to restore and manage our native natural resources.

The demonstration area would be located on a 48-ha area owned by Texas A&M University-Kingsville. We will develop a detailed GIS database containing low-altitude aerial photography, digital terrain data, hydrology, roads, fence lines, man-made structures, and planned water improvements. A soil sampling grid will be generated using precision agriculture equipment and soil samples will be taken from specific locations to develop a detailed soils map. Soils information will be analyzed in the GIS to determine which areas are best suited to specific native grass species. Using GIS software we will create a treatment grid that will be used to apply herbicide and later that will be planted with native grass seed. Native seeds will be planted in a grid fashion using a no-till seed drill and a precision agriculture guidance system. Species composition, diversity, and abundance of vegetation, mammals, birds, and herptiles will be compared pre- and post-treatment. An interactive web site will be developed to show the entire process, complete with picture, video and internet GIS maps. The demonstration project will be evaluated with a pre- and post demonstration quiz, which will be administered on our web site, and by a feedback forum on our web site where comments and suggestions will be solicited.

Knowledge of geospatial technologies is beneficial in the planning and presenting of natural resource projects. Because our demonstration project will be placed on the internet, our natural resource projects. Because our demonstration project will be placed on the internet, our targeted clientele would be anyone in the conservation field interested in learning the benefits of geospatial technologies as a decision-making tool.


No outcomes reported


Support for this project came from the USDA Forest Service and the USDA Cooperative Research, Education, and Extension Service