GIS applications in rangeland research on the Jornada Experimental Range

TitleGIS applications in rangeland research on the Jornada Experimental Range
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsMason J.B., Gibbens, Robert P., Havstad K
Conference NameAnnual Meeting, Society for Range Management
Date Published1991
KeywordsGIS, Jornada Experimental Range, long-term database, monitoring rangeland conditions, rangeland research, remote sensing techniques
AbstractThe Jornada Experimental Range occupies 193,000 acres of semiarid land in south-central New Mexico and has been operated continuously as a research facility since 1915. The long-term database includes forage biomass, stocking, precipitation from up to 54 gauges, and brush control measures. A geographic information system (GIS) has been used to organize, document, and provide analytical tools for this database. Basic map coverages, including roads, pastures, stock water, rain gauges, topography, soils, vegetation, and boundaries, have been converted to digital form. The GIS combines ready access to tabular data through attribute tables with a unique capability for visualization and analysis through map overlays. We have used it to analyze rainfall distributions, measure wildlife home ranges, and record aerial coverages of herbicide application. At present, it is being used to provide overlay maps for satellite imagery in support of remote sensing research. In that work, topography overlays aid in registration of the imagery and vegetation overlays are used to verify spectral image classifications and identify components of each classification. Results are expected to improve remote sensing techniques for rapid monitoring of semiarid rangeland conditions.