Dr. Michael P. Strager, associate professor in the School of Natural Resources, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, specializes in applying spatial data analysis techniques to aid in watershed analysis and management. His research covers a wide range of geospatial technologies and applications that include geographic information systems, remote sensing with UAVs, spatial statistics, and spatial decision support.
His latest project is one of many spatial decision support systems he’s helped design and create. The Fish Habitat Decision Support Tool was developed by WVU researchers, Strager and Dr. Todd Petty, in collaboration with collaboration with Downstream Strategies and Critigen as part of a public/private partnership for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
Petty led the analysis of fish-habitat and watershed-scale ecological models while Strager provided the tools to cumulatively analyze watershed connectivity and compare restoration alternatives with a ranking model. The Fish Habitat Decision Support Tool enables users to target and prioritize fish habitat conservation in the face of climate and land use change. It also allows users to establish and rank conservation priorities, predict how species like brook trout will fare under various management scenarios and evaluate long-term conservation benefits.
“The tool provides efficiency in examining the landscape to receiving water quality and habitat conditions for aquatic systems at both the local catchment and larger basin,” said Strager. “It is important and useful to researchers who wish to perform scenario analysis or futuring.”