National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2007

GeoModeler—Integration of a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) model and an individual-based model (IBM) with a geographic information system (GIS)

Vance, T.C., B.A. Megrey, and C.W. Moore

In ICES 2006 Annual Science Conference—Theme session M (Data Management), Maastricht, The Netherlands, 19–23 September 2006, 12 pp, Paper M:27 (2006)

Ideally, spatial ecological models should be easily linked to a geographic information system (GIS). In the past, these two have not been well integrated for scientific uses. Lack of true integration hinders the ability of managers and scientists to create interactive, GIS-based models for management and research. However, GIS packages are starting to provide programming constructs, by exposing code and objects, to allow closer coupling of core GIS functionality and analytical/modeling tools. In creating GeoModeler, we have provided a prototype of how one might integrate a GIS with a number of oceanographic and fisheries models. With this tool, scientists and managers are able to use a graphical interface to display datasets, select the data to be used in a scenario, set the weights for factors in the model and execute the model. The results are returned to the GIS for display and spatial analysis. The project creates a framework for linking to other types of back-end fisheries, oceanographic, and ecosystem models written in a variety of programming languages. The final goal is an application to visualize and analyze the results of two fisheries models; a model for predator-prey interactions and a model to look at the effects of climate change on the recruitment of an economically important fish species. The first model is an individual-based model (IBM) that models the fate of individuals using characteristics such as age, size and prey consumption. The second model is a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) model looking at the effects of climate change on the early life history of fish. Current prototype applications include two examples - one an oceanographic model and the other an example of scenario testing. The first involves setting parameters for a regional ocean modeling system (ROMS) model and displaying results draped over a three-dimensional globe. The second allows the setting of sources for a tsunami-generating earthquakes in the Pacific and using the specified sources to calculate, from pre-computed model outputs, the height and travel time for potential tsunamis.

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