With today’s technological advances, many of the laborious tasks required to complete ecological and natural resource components of a project are greatly improved. Gone are the days of field notebooks with blurred drawings and “cut-and-paste” maps. GPS units, GIS software, digital cameras, smart phones, tablets, and a host of other gadgets allow field personnel to collect and analyze data in minutes.
RS&H’s ecology and natural resource management group uses technology to save time, produce reliable data, and finish the project under budget. Every day, we strive to improve data collection by using GPS units with sub-meter accuracy and integrated GIS capabilities, high resolution digital cameras, and the latest software. We also use readily available digital databases, spatial analyses, and aerial photo interpretation for preliminary project review. This preliminary review reduces field time, and in some cases, negates field efforts all together.
A few years ago, you would call your environmental consultant and ask for a wetland determination and delineation to see if wetlands were around your project area. The consultant would give you a cost estimate to check out the area and verify whether or not wetlands were present. Turnaround time at best was two to three days. Today, you can call RS&H, give us the location of your project and in a few hours, you can have a map with potential wetlands identified near the project. The same applies for threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, and other potential permitting issues. Maybe this doesn’t cut out all field work, but now you have valuable information in hours rather than days.
Sometimes environmental issues are put on the back burner. However, with today’s technology, you can get preliminary data that will help you with budgets and planning. Instead of waiting until the last minute, give us a call to see how we can help you.
About the author
- As an environmental scientist, Kate has more than 13 years of experience including ecological surveys and field studies, functional assessments, preparing environmental reports and permits, data management, stream channel and wetland restoration, peer reviewed research, and coordinating with local, state, and federal regulatory agencies, as well as public and private stakeholders.
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