Shown on Success Stories Page

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.

Lynker provides Science Operations Division with Cutting Edge IT/Robotics Support

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Science Operations Division (SOD) deploys the Modular Optical Underwater Survey System (MOUSS) to estimate species-specific, size-structured abundance of commercially-important fish species in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands Region. Lynker has supported this project now on two tasks. We have performed MOUSS-BotCam comparison studies, a MOUSS technical assessment study, an inter-comparison of MaxN and MeanCount study, an assessment of MOUSS synchronization offset study, and built a MOUSS photo library for various species. In order to obtain accurate fish population estimates over the full range of bottomfish habitat, we test and incorporate new artificial LED light technology on selected MOUSS units to enable fish behavior studies as a function of wavelength to increase depth of successful video surveys and add night capabilities. These studies will help tackle various unknowns in stock assessment and distribution of this knowledge within NOAA, and also to the research community and public via publications in relevant open access journals.

PIRO Directorate for Communications Support and Website Redesign

Lynker supports the Directorate for Communications by working closely with the PIRO Communications and External Affairs Officer and communications team to design, produce, and coordinate media and messaging across multiple channels, including but not limited to:

  • graphic design/visualization
  • web/social media content development and distribution (fpir.gov, Facebook, Twitter)
  • scientific technical writing and editing
  • outreach and education efforts

Our team has been instrumental in updating and enhancing the PIRO Style Guide, driving the PIRO and PIFSC website redesign, and identifying opportunities for making the site more interactive through the use of streaming live and recorded audio/visual (e.g., Okeanos feeds), chat, maps, and other methods. Our team’s outstanding work was recognized both internally at NOAA as well as externally: we recently won 2018 Acquia Engage Award for our contribution to the website and content migration and enhancement effort.

We also serve as the Directorate’s primary technical writer and videographer. Our personnel’s articles and documentary shorts are regular feature stories in the NMFS Weekly Newsletter and NMFS website (fisheries.noaa.gov).

Technical Help Desk Support for the Information Resource Management Division

The Information Resource Management (IRM) division at GARFO is responsible for the development and maintenance of the technological infrastructure needed for fisheries management and provides GIS data and analyses both internally and externally. Lynker provides technical help desk support to GIS users, documenting and tracking GIS service needs to recognize patterns in performance. Lynker resolves over 1000 help desk tickets per month, supporting 250 internal and all external users on the east coast. Lynker and GARFO are currently collaborating to consolidate help desks into enterprise user support centers. Using HDI, ITIL, and ISO best practices we are establishing service level objectives and tying specific service level agreements (SLAs) to drive quality performance.

Innovative Portfolio Management for OCS

The Office of Coast Survey (OCS) provides navigation products and information for transportation safety. Lynker provides Enterprise Project and Portfolio Management support, helping OCS effectively manage their entire portfolio of projects. Lynker began by creating the structure to support the establishment of an enterprise level PMO. We then developed an innovative portfolio management and project life-cycle process supported by a SharePoint-based dashboard to provide OCS with portfolio level insight. The interactive dashboard has enabled overall IT improvement, mission alignment, investment review, value measurement and decision making. The dashboard has been adopted across OCS on more than 100 projects.

Interactive GIS Visualization for the Protected Resources Division

The GARFO Protected Resources Division is dedicated to managing, conserving, and rebuilding endangered and threatened marine species. Lynker designed and implemented the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 Mapper to assist Federal action agencies in identifying the ESA-listed species and critical habitat in their project action area. Awarded for being an innovative project solution, the Section 7 Mapper is an interactive GIS visualization tool combining GIS data into critical habitat layers based upon regulatory boundaries.

Innovative Data Analytics System Modernization at NCSES

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) is responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of statistical data. To support their mission, Lynker provides database maintenance, ETL development, data quality verification, and visualization, analysis, and governance. We have increased their overall data quality and recently received recognition for the value of our innovative data analytics techniques through a 30% increase in contract cap to further our efforts.

Colorado Drought Plan Update

In alignment with the State of Colorado’s commitment to address changing climate conditions, Lynker was contracted by the State to assist in updating Colorado’s Drought Mitigation and Response Plan. Project deliverables included the production of a fully updated mitigation and response plan in compliance with Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements for enhanced state hazard mitigation plans and the Emergency Management Accreditation Program standards. In addition, Lynker provided an updated drought vulnerability assessment which provides the necessary basis for an updated and comprehensive mitigation strategy. The plan is an element of meeting FEMA enhanced state plan requirements and will guide the State in determining risk and vulnerability of assets and how to mitigate impacts.  Critical to the update of the plan was an analysis of events since 2013, actions taken during those events, and incorporating the latest science and a review of monitoring and mitigation activities to improve integration of the relationship between climate change and drought in Colorado.

Salt Basin Groundwater System Appropriation—New Mexico

Lynker’s scientist, under contract with the NM State Engineer’s office developed a MODFLOW numerical groundwater model and a NETPATH geochemical model to characterize the Salt Basin aquifer in southern NM. Environmental tracers and geochemical evolutions were used to delineate recharge zones, identify groundwater flow paths, characterize fracture flow, and estimate groundwater flow rates and permeability. Radiocarbon dating of groundwater was used to calibrate the MODFLOW model to estimate annual recharge and determine appropriable water for administration by the State.

Environmental Protection Agency Economic Assessments

For more than eight years, Lynker Senior Scientist Dr. Cameron Wobus has supported the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in developing national-scale analyses to estimate and quantify the economic impacts of climate change on multiple sectors. He has developed customized models to quantify the impacts of climate change on the downhill skiing industry; damages from inland flooding events; and extreme heat metrics across the United States. Each of these studies has been published in the peer-reviewed literature, and the majority of the results were used to support the National Climate Assessment.