Shown on Success Stories Page

Lynker leads project on Snake River Plain Aquifer System

The Eastern Snake Plain region of Idaho produces approximately 21 percent of the state’s goods and services, resulting in an estimated value of $10 billion annually, and water is the critical element in the region’s productivity. The development of both groundwater and surface-water water use across the Eastern Snake Plain has led to conjunctive management of the common water resource. In an on-going contract with the Idaho Ground Water Appropriators (IGWA), Lynker provides oversight on both development of a regional groundwater model of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPAM) and its application in water resource management. ESPAM is a groundwater model developed by the State of Idaho as a tool to help quantify the impacts of current water use practices and/or proposed alternatives on the common water resource of the State across the Eastern Snake Plain.

Over the course of the multi-year, multi-task relationship, Lynker has provided the following services to the groundwater appropriators: water rights and expert witness support, groundwater modeling, conjunctive used analysis, consumptive use modeling, development and review of mitigation plans, and hydrologic baseline and historical water use analysis.

Lynker leads stream stewardship project through citizen science and adaptive management

Lynker staff developed an adaptive management framework for Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group that serves as an outline to ensure success of stream restoration for Left Hand Creek. Lynker, along with LVBrown Studio, developed a conceptual model which described the changes of Left Hand Creek watershed during floods. This model illustrates how the channel, riparian zones, and components of the ecological community in the creek changes over time. Lynker worked with project stakeholders to develop the Monitoring and Assessment Framework. These stream assessment protocols were used by citizen scientists to evaluate fish habitat, riparian habitat, wildlife, and invasive species. The project ended with a pilot test of the citizen science monitoring protocols including an analysis of results comparing citizen scientist scores to professional scores.

This monitoring and assessment framework serves as a living document for Lefthand leaders to use for future citizen science projects, and an outline for other agencies to develop their own adaptive management programs to ensure continued success of restoration projects.

Lynker’s Pacific Islands Observer Program Debriefers Win Federal Executive Board Team Award

Lynker’s Pacific Islands Observer Program Debriefers were recognized with a Federal Executive Board team award for their efforts to finalize the 2019 data earlier than the deadline. Our team also played an instrumental role in transitioning the NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Islands Region legacy database to a new system, as well as the hard work and dedication they bring to the program every day. Said Dawn Golden, NOAA Pacific Islands Region Observer Program Lead “This would not have been possible without your staff so I wanted to pass this along to you.  Jim, Lynn, and Kyle all played key roles in this effort.” Kudos to the Lynker Debriefer team!

Lynker Scientists Working with State of Colorado on First-of-its-Kind Climate Risk Analysis Project

Lynker scientists are currently working with the State of Colorado on a first-of-its-kind climate risk analysis project – Future Avoided Cost Explorer (FACE: Colorado Hazards). This statewide study estimates dollar-value damages from future floods, droughts, wildfires across select sectors of Colorado’s economy. The State of Colorado has recognized that these hazards are likely to worsen as the impacts of climate change intensify the severity of the hazards and as population growth increases the number of people at risk.

By helping Coloradans better understand their current and future economic risks from flood, drought, and wildfire, this tool can help stimulate the implementation of smart adaptation strategies and policy frameworks that can improve the prospects for sustainable prosperity in a rapidly changing environment.

View and explore the FACE: Hazards dashboards to understand how changes in global climate patterns can lead to more frequent and intense hazards in Colorado.

Future Avoided Cost Explorer: Colorado Hazards (FACE:Hazards)

 

 

 

 

NOAA Fisheries’ ESA & MMPA Programs Receives Award

The US Secretary of Commerce recognized NOAA Fisheries’ ESA and MMPA programs with a Gold Medal Award for their contribution to regulatory efficiencies and effectiveness in protecting and sustaining at-risk marine and ocean living resources. The Department of Commerce Gold Medal is the highest honor award of the United States Department of Commerce.  Since 1949, the Gold Medal is presented by the Secretary of Commerce for distinguished performance. Particularly noted, Lynker’s Dean-Lorenz Szumylo spearheaded the implementation of the ESA Section 7 Mapper, an interactive, GIS-driven visualization tool NOAA scientists, federal action agencies, and the general public use to help identify ESA-listed species and critical habitats along the East Coast.  Dean was previously awarded NMFS Team Member of the Year for his efforts regarding this tool.

The innovative Mapper tool provides a dynamic web interface used to locate areas where Section 7 Consultations are recommended due to the presence of ESA-listed fish, marine mammals, or sea turtles at various life stages, exhibiting specific behaviors (such as migrating, foraging, spawning, rearing, or calving). The Mapper currently covers consultation areas along major waterways and marine zones of the Greater Atlantic Region and is expanding to include the South Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico later this year. The tool allows users to draw a project site on a map, determine which consultation areas overlap, and generate a detailed report of ESA species found there. In addition to greatly expediting the process of determining whether further consultation with NOAA Fisheries is necessary, the tool has reduced the number of unnecessary consultation requests received and has improved the quality, accuracy, and reliability of data needed to support regulatory compliance.

Version 2 is now out and represents a major update to the underlying Section 7 Consultation Area data. In the new version of the mapper, users now have increased control over the map display.  They can toggle individual data layers on and off, rearrange the drawing order of data layers, and use a new tool that easily allows them to “swipe” away the data to view the underlying basemap.

Lynker Visualizes Colorado’s Drought Plan: A Story Map

Lynker, as part of a project for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, a division of the state’s Department of Natural Resources, has launched an interactive dashboard that displays drought vulnerability at the state and county level based on Colorado’s 2018 Drought Plan. To more easily visualize drought vulnerability throughout the state, Lynker created an Esri Story Map. The platform takes users through visual summaries of Colorado drought risk by sectors, using images and graphs to provide an interactive and engaging experience.

The complete interactive Story Map can be viewed here.

The opening screen of the Story Map provides an overview of County Drought Risk Scores across Colorado as well as a snapshot of drought vulnerability risk by sector. Similar to the 2018 updated Plan, the Story Map also drills down into content specific to different sectors: agriculture, recreation, socioeconomic, environment, energy, and state assets. State assets include state buildings and critical infrastructure (dams), land board revenue, state-based recreation and park visitation, aquatic species and habitat (fisheries), and protected state-owned areas.

Further information on Colorado’s 2018 Drought Plan is available at drought.gov.

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.