Success stories/projects we want to feature on the overall Success stories page.

Lynker drives implementation of groundbreaking American Samoa Ocean Plan (ASOP)

Lynker’s Sarah Pautzke (third from the right) drove the development of the American Samoa Ocean Plan (ASOP) finalized and released December 2018. Ms. Pautzke worked with a team of American Samoa Government (ASG) and federal employees and the assistance of a consultant, Miranda Foley (fourth from the left), with whom Lynker partners.  And, it was formatted and turned into its final product by another Lynker employee, Melanie Jordan. Well done!
 
The ASOP is the first ocean plan to be completed by the United States for the Western Pacific jurisdictions. The purpose of the plan is to ensure compatible ocean use and conservation of ocean resources to ensure the vibrant coastal and ocean environments.  There are several tasks that require data collection, particularly GIS data.  Please download the plan and have a think about how best Lynker can assist in accomplishing these tasks by partnering with
federal and ASG agencies.
 
The ASOP is now “owned” by the AS Department of Commerce, who is responsible for its implementation.  Thus, it is housed on the AS DOC website.
 

 

Links of importance:
Great job by our teammates!   

If you have any questions about the plan or how to use it, please reach out to Sarah Pautzke, spautzke@lynkertech.com so she can guide you to the correct person with whom to work.

ESA Section 7 Mapper

Lynker spearheaded the development and implementation of NOAA Fisheries’ new ESA Section 7 Mapper, an interactive, GIS-driven visualization tool NOAA scientists, federal action agencies, and the general public can use to help identify ESA-listed species and critical habitats in project action areas along the East Coast. We designed and implemented new GIS datasets for each Section 7 Consultation Area, locating where and when ESA-listed species (sturgeons, salmon, whales, turtles) of a given life stage (adult, juveniles, larvae, etc.) are found exhibiting relevant behaviors (migrating, foraging, spawning, rearing, calving) along major waterways and marine zones. The resulting interactive web map application allows Action Agencies to draw a project site, determine which Consultation Areas overlap, and generate a detailed report, expediting the process of determining whether further consultation with NOAA Fisheries is necessary. Lynker’s ESA Section 7 Mapper will reduce the number of unnecessary consultation requests and improve the quality and accuracy of necessary consultation requests. This easy-to-use mapping interface achieves those goals by publishing our agency’s current understanding of where the best available data dictates consultations are recommended.

Said the NOAA Federal project lead “This is some VERY GOOD news.  Congrats to all who worked so hard on making this happen.  I am quite excited to see how this goes and how this mapping tool helps our action agencies.”

Click here to access the mapper from the NOAA website.

NOAA Chart Tile Service

Lynker’s Chart Tile Service (CTS) project demonstrates our ability to bring innovative solutions using emerging technologies. Lynker began a NOS/OCS internally-funded mobile application demonstration project in 2011 that eventually evolved into the highly visible CTS infrastructure initiative, which has added tremendous value to NOAA in terms of reducing redundancies, streamlining secure data sharing, and improving overall quality of NOAA charting products. As critical, CTS has also met NOAA’s mission goal of increasing the usefulness, accuracy, and availability of its services to a wide range of stakeholders, many of whose businesses, safety, and livelihoods depend on MCD’s outputs.

Understanding that consuming nautical chart information on mobile devices would become increasingly important, Lynker began an Internal Research & Development (IR&D) project of a mobile app for mariners. The purpose was to display NOAA’s suite of 2,172 nautical chart datasets with Coast Pilot books. NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey (OCS) liked the idea, and tasked Lynker to develop the prototype into a production-level NOAA technology demonstration project, with a one-year lifespan. The app was called MyNOAACharts, and was released on Google Play in May 2013. MyNOAACharts was widely considered a great success, with thousands of users and an excellent 4.6 rating.

Feedback on the demonstration app uncovered issues within other commercial chart plotters and mobile chart viewer apps. Many of these systems were reformatting NOAA charts, without any standard, and were not updating charts frequently for their customers due to the complexity and cost of the effort. This resulted in out-of-date and incomplete data, creating dangers to navigation.

That is when OCS and Lynker had an idea. What if, instead of offering a single NOAA mobile app directly to mariners and boaters, NOAA created the enterprise architecture and infrastructure to provide a free, standard, Cloud-based, pre-packaged chart tile service, updated weekly, with a defined Application Programming Interface (API) to the maritime electronics industry? Industry would add value-added content and determine the end products. This way, NOAA would provide a portal of chart information to industry that would be leveraged to millions of their customers – a force multiplier. Lynker, in collaboration with OCS, confirmed strong industry interest at Lynker-hosted industry days, and OCS directed Lynker to begin work on the CTS. Lynker developed a relationship with Amazon Web Services and deployed the prototypes on the Amazon cloud. This successful strategy facilitated a smooth integration with NOAA’s Integrated Dissemination Portal (IDP), our current hosting environment.

CTS completed its successful first public release in December 2015. One user on Facebook happily reported that “I’m super-impressed with the NOAA developers (Lynker employees)” Lynker helped OCS recognize an opportunity to increase the value of existing chart products and services to thousands of stakeholders, leveraging cloud and mobile technologies.

West Coast Region Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program

Lynker works with NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program to coordinate emergency responses to sick, injured, distressed, or dead marine mammals throughout an area covering over 3,700 statute miles (4,306 nautical miles) of shoreline in Washington, Oregon and California.  Member groups include cooperating scientific investigators and institutions, wildlife and fisheries agencies, state and federal law enforcement, volunteer networks and individuals.  In this high profile role, we ensure timely and professional response to hotline calls, and collect and assess data on entanglements, ship strikes, and other human interactions.  Affected by human impacts, fisheries and environmental changes, each marine mammal stranding event is handled on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on local capability, available resources, personnel, and logistics.

Mukilteo Research Station: Understanding the Life Cycle of Marine Species

Lynker serves as lead scientist for the Environmental Fisheries Sciences Division (EFS), Ecotoxicology Program in conducting studies on oil spill and urban stormwater impacts on the health of marine forage fish in Puget Sound (Pacific herring, sand lance, and surf smelt) and other nearshore species (e.g., juvenile flatfish).  We maintain the water intake and filtration system at the field station, have built and managed systems that grow herring, surf smelt, rockfish, salmon and lamprey and have developed methods and materials to raise surf smelt larvae in captivity using enriched live feeds and green water techniques. Preparing, operating and maintaining the facility and water systems for culture of larval fish food and organisms, our work directly contributes to NOAA’s understanding of the effects of oil and petroleum-based pollutants on marine fish at various life stages, informing environmental policy to limit exposure to toxins across the Puget Sound.

Alaska Fisheries Science Center Groundfish Assessment Program

For the Alaska Fisheries Science Center‘s Resource Assessment and Conservation and Engineering (RACE) Division, Lynker’s senior scientists assess deep-sea coral and sponge communities via at-sea investigations, image analysis and taxonomic research and their role in providing Essential Fish Habitat to groundfish and invertebrates. Our scientists also investigate species interactions and associations, the types of impacts fishing gear can have on benthic habitats and habitat related factors that influence fisheries productivity. In collaboration with our colleagues at NOAA, Lynker helps RACE measure the distribution and abundance of commercially important fish and crab stocks in the eastern Bering Sea, Aleutian Island and Gulf of Alaska, resources estimated at nearly $4.5 billion a year.

Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Comprehensive Support

Lynker provides comprehensive scientific, technical, and programmatic support to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) Pacific Islands Region (PIR). Our team supports the management, administrative, education and outreach, scientific research, information technology, and facilities maintenance requirements for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS), headquartered in the Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu, HI, with key locations (including a visitors’ center) in Kihei, Maui, HI and Lihue, Kauai, HI.  Our team also provides such support services to the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS), headquartered in Pago Pago, American Samoa with seven sites spread over three

 islands and two atolls, the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center; the Papahānaumokuākea National Marine Sanctuary and Monument (PNMS/PMNM)headquartered in the Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu, HI with an office in Lihue, Kauai, HI and the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo, Hawai‘i Island, HI; and the ONMS International MPA Capacity Building Program (IMPACBP), located in Silver Spring, MD.

Vessel Maintenance Program Development

Lynker developed a web-based application Vessel Maintenance Program (VMP) to manage National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) vessel maintenance related information, enforce the maintenance workflow, and provide communication tools for the boat operation/maintenance team within regional boat operation teams as well as across the NMFS. The VMP was developed in Oracle Application Express (APEX), a web application platform with the Oracle database management system and is hosted from the NOAA headquarter office.

The VMP system features were created to support 5 main objectives:

  1. Effective and efficient communication
  2. Automated notifications
  3. Management tool for resource managers and maintenance managers
  4. Standardized data and workflow
  5. User-friendly design

The development of VMP at the national level is motivated by an effort to provide boat operation management teams with tools to keep track of maintenance information, offer easily accessible communicative tools, and to create standardized workflow, protocols and reporting systems for resource managers.

Pacific Islands Region Observer Program Support

Lynker provides the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Pacific Islands Region, full operational support services for the Pacific Islands Region Observer Program (PIROP), including the recruitment, selection, supervision, and outfitting of all sea-going personnel needed to fulfill federal fisheries obligations of the program. The PIROP currently includes the Hawaii deep-set tuna and shallow-set swordfish longline fleets, and the longline fleets of American Samoa. We support NMFS’ obligation to monitor and to obtain estimates of the incidental take of sea turtles, sea birds, marine mammals, other protected species, and other by-catch in the pelagic, groundfish and other fisheries that fall under federal jurisdiction. We provide observer coverage aboard vessels with federal fishing permits as required by the “reasonable and prudent measures” (RPMs) and terms and conditions of the Incidental Take Statement (ITS) of the NMFS biological opinion on the effects on federally-listed threatened and endangered species of pelagic fisheries managed under the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region. 

 

GIS Support for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Lynker provides outstanding program, outreach and education, and operational support for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Our GIS Specialists manage thousands of data layers representing physical and biological data for the ocean. We use data compiled by local, state and federal agencies as well as stakeholders and ensure that the data has the necessary metadata so that we can track the origin and data caveats. We validate the data by overlaying it on other data to ensure management decisions are based on the right spatial and temporal scales. When outliers are identified, we contact the creator of the GIS data to ensure that it is correct.

Often, we receive data that is not GIS ready and we create GIS data layers and corresponding metadata so that the data can be viewed with other GIS data. When large novel products are completed, we present the GIS processing aspect of the project at international meetings and/or develop peer-reviewed articles with ESRI story maps which are important communication and outreach tools engaging our stakeholders. We have also created ArcGIS online data projects for staff to use which provides them with power to look at spatial data.

Within the Sanctuary system, all other permit coordinators have to rely on GIS specialists for spatial analyses and mapping but we have staff that can quickly create a wide variety of GIS products in support of permits, which makes it much more time efficient and correct. As part of the team that conducted a deep sea lost fishing gear removal project, and in addition to successfully identifying locations where the gear could be found by incorporating GIS data created from database data received from partners, we were able to utilize the ROV navigating system within a few hours, making Lynker a valuable team member ONMS.