Integrating Spatial Data: Mapping Social Values in Relation to Energy and Water Resources in the Western US

Overview

Efforts to place human beliefs into geospatial representations of landscapes are increasingly being used to inform natural resource planning and management. In this seminar, we investigate ways in which mapping of social data can help to address issues stemming from people’s dependence on energy and water resources in the western U.S. First, we explore The Nature Conservancy’s work on mapping human preferences for energy development in Wyoming in relation to other values, participants' homes, and existing development. We then investigate the Colorado Water Institute’s mapping techniques for identifying locations where new initiatives for water use, sharing, and conservation may be implemented. Inherent to these two projects is a greater need for integration of social and biological data when addressing complex resource issues.