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Alyssa Aaby's M.S. Degree, 2004

Testing the ArcGIS Marine Data Model: Using Spatial Information to Examine Habitat Utilization Patterns of Reef Fish along the West Coast of Hawaii

Master of Science, Geography, Oregon State University, Spring 2004
Emphasis in Geographic Information Science, Minor in Resource Geography

Graduate committee: D. Wright, Larry Becker, B. Tissot (WSU-Vancouver), A. Sleight

Alyssa Aaby
Dept of Geosciences, Oregon State Univ
Corvallis, OR 97331-5506

In response to anthropogenic pressures that have degraded habitat and put marine resources at risk (Leslie et al., 2003, Mumby et al., 2001, Puniwai et al., 2003), there has been a growing interest in the use of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a management tool to help slow, prevent or reverse negative anthropogenic changes. Recent studies have shown that the most effective marine reserves are those which represent a full range of habitat types (Leslie et al., 2003, Carr et al., 2003). Yet, available scientific research has not evaluated the near-shore marine habitat utilization in West Hawaii at the large-scales utilized by resource managers. Thus, this study focused on identifying the regional habitat utilization patterns for selected Hawaiian reef fish species to determine the most effective combination of habitat types. In addition, the habitat utilization analysis was used as one of several case studies to test the ArcGIS Marine Data Model (MDM) (Wright et al., 2001) itself in its adaptability in working with real-world data and performing real-world analyses, as well as meeting the five goals outlined by the MDM Working Group (Wright et al., 2001). Created in 2001, by researchers from Oregon State University, Duke, NOAA, the Danish Hydrologic Institute and ESRI, the MDM is a geodatabase template tailored to meet the GIS needs of the marine community. Ultimately, this analysis will aid marine managers as it establishes correlations between small and large-scale habitat information, which provides a regional look at habitat utilization. Also, by testing the functionality of the MDM, its strengths and weaknesses will be identified so that it can be improved to better serve the marine GIS user community.

Download Thesis (4.1 Mb PDF file)
Also available in the ScholarsArchive@OSU permanent collection

Defense Presentation

ESRI User Conference Paper
ESRI User Conference PPT (3.9 Mb)

Link to ArcGIS Marine Data Model Tutorial

Link to main ArcGIS Marine Data Model web site

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