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Strengths and Challenges Managing a GIS Program in a Decentralized Model… Observations from Region 9 (FS) Geospatial ’09 Healthy Forests, Lands, Earth.

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Presentation on theme: "Strengths and Challenges Managing a GIS Program in a Decentralized Model… Observations from Region 9 (FS) Geospatial ’09 Healthy Forests, Lands, Earth."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengths and Challenges Managing a GIS Program in a Decentralized Model… Observations from Region 9 (FS) Geospatial ’09 Healthy Forests, Lands, Earth April 27 – May 1, 2009 Snowbird Conference Center, UT Presented Tues April 28 th by Mike Martischang, Region 9 GIS Coordinator

2 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government2 Subtitles to This Presentation that Merit Acknowledgement… Everywhere in the Forest Service, both horizontally and vertically, by both design and cultural habit, is decentralized… Like most things in this world, our decentralization is a mixed blessing, and… In some respects Region 9 (R9) is maybe just a little more decentralized that other places in the FS

3 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government3 Presentation Outline Geographic Topology Organizational Topology Decentralization… R9-Style GIS Management IM and GIS “Enterprise Management” Successes in R9 How Has Success Been Achieved? Questions… A Contemplation for the Day…

4 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government4 Geographic Topology of R9 15 NFS units, only two of which are contiguous 20 states (1,037 counties, ~1/3 of US total) Generally, surface ownership is fragmented and patchy Subsurface ownership is largely NOT under FS jurisdiction, exacerbating the complexities of both resource and information management

5 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government5

6 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government6 Organizational Topology of R9 1 Regional Forester + 2 Deputies (the RFs) –Since 2004 strong RF support of IM and GIS (as a component of IM) –Director of IM established in 2005; full-time presence on the Regional Leadership Team (RLT) consolidated/built to a staff of 15 Providing integrated coordination to NRIS, Infra, TIM, FACTS, Remote Sensing, Geospatial Services, & Mobile Technologies –RF requested creation of an Excellence in Information Management recognition award to be presented annually Appreciation of IM/GIS has been slowly and steadily imparted to the RLT (including Rangers) by RFs and IM Staff Appreciation of IM/GIS is steadily growing among RO Resource Management Staff

7 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government7 Organizational Topology (cont.) In particular, relative to GIS at the Regional level… Within the IM Staff there is… –1 GIS Coordinator + 1 Geospatial Services Coordinator –1 GIS Analyst/Technical Specialist –1 Remote Sensing Specialist –2 Infra persons, both with GIS Specialist skills … and a nascent, growing population of “IM/GIS appreciators and practitioners” among the RO Resource staffs

8 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government8 Decentralization… R9-Style Maximize transference of “resources” to the unit level… i.e., minimize dollars “off-the-top” by the RO (all staffs subject to this “policy”) Local line officers know their unit needs and priorities better than others There are inherent tendencies toward decentralization, attributable in part to the fact that most units in R9 have very small organizations

9 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government9 IM and GIS “Enterprise Management” Successes in R9 Timely response to the Travel Management Rule (i.e., MVUM production) Aggressive adoption of FSVegSpatial, with strong Forest support, facilitated by pre-existing Regional standard stand polys and CDS tabular data 1/3 of units (5) have all their spatial data operationally stored & maintained in their local SDE instance

10 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government10 How Has Success Been Achieved? “Show me” (Missouri is in R9). “If it works ‘as advertised’ I’ll work toward operational implementation” (e.g. FSVegSpatial, geodatabases in SDE) RO IM Staff is leading/guiding unit-level self- paced initiatives toward emerging Enterprise standards and protocols –“Nibbling”, not “chomping”, at progress on many fronts

11 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government11 Success Achieved… (cont.) RO IM Staff monitoring unit interests/needs and facilitating training and technical support to leverage their motivations toward Enterprise solutions “Sub-Regional Cooperatives”. With strategic guidance from RO, clusters of 2-4 units pooling talents and resources toward common goals (e.g., SDE, GI)

12 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government12 Success Achieved… (cont.) Many individuals from R9 units participate in various capacities with national application and protocol development and testing efforts In the end, IM/GIS successes and progress made in Region 9 could be attributed to leveraging many modest and “self-paced” efforts toward Enterprise goals and protocols by taking full advantage of deep pools of unit initiative

13 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government13 Questions… ? Contact: Mike Martischang – GIS Coordinator US Forest Service – Eastern Region 626 E. Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53202 414-297-1384 or and…

14 Tues Apr 28, 2009Policy & Government14 A contemplation to leave you with… an “information literacy” evaluation criteria to include on vacancy announcements, conceivably applicable to 75-80% of the 21 st Century FS workforce… “Ability to browse, evaluate quality, edit, use in ad-hoc analysis, and derive reports from: tabular, spatial, and/or text data and information stored in digital form on computers using standard commercial, as well as agency developed, software applications. This ability is considered an essential skill for meeting acceptable performance levels for this job. Describe examples that demonstrate your ability to use enterprise information management systems to manage, evaluate, manipulate, and report from data and information digitally stored on personal computers, servers, or the web.”

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