Speaker: Dan Coker, The Nature Conservancy in Maine
While there are many approaches to achieving conservation success, influencing public policy is a critical piece of the puzzle. Providing policy makers with tools that clearly illustrate scientific information is an effective way to help them make informed decisions about conservation issues that impact their constituents and communities.
Using his current work with University of Maine faculty member Shaleen Jain to develop a high-resolution floodplain map and to model and quantify the natural infrastructure benefits floodplains provide as context, Dan will discuss approaches for building GIS models and engaging stakeholders in ways that address the needs of both natural and human communities. He’ll explore questions of stakeholder buy-in, the search for common ground amongst different types of organizations, and considerations such as the levels of information accuracy and certainty needed for decision makers. In addition, Dan will highlight examples of other modeling tools and past conservation policy successes.
Dan Coker is a Spatial Scientist at The Nature Conservancy in Maine. He is responsible for all spatial data analysis, management, and publication within the Maine chapter. In addition, he is the lead spatial analyst for the Northern Appalachian/Acadian whole system and serves as a GIS liaison with state and regional partner organizations. Before joining the Maine Chapter in 2002, he was GIS Manager at the Maine Natural Areas Program. He holds a M.S. in Wildlife Biology and a B.A. in Biology. Dan recently completed a 9-month fellowship with TNC’s Southern Andes program.