2020 Past Wetland Mapping Consortium Webinars  
[2019 - 2017
2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011]

Wetland Mapping Consortium WebinarNWI Unfinished Business: The Current State of Wetland Mapping in Alaska

Held Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 3:00pm-4:30pm Eastern

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William Dooley, Policy Analyst, Association of State Wetland Managers [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]


  • Sydney Thielke, Regional Wetlands Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Region [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
  • Andy Robertson, Director, GeoSpatial Services, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]


Alaska is one-fifth the size of the entire United States and is the only state with land area north of the Arctic Circle. Approximately 65% of the nation's wetlands are located in the Alaska covering 174 million acres, or 43%, of the State's surface area. Despite its resource potential and global position, Alaska has the most limited wetland geospatial data coverage of all states in the nation. Accurate, detailed geospatial information that meets national standards is lacking for more than half of the state, adding costs to responsible development, permitting and resource conservation decisions, delaying or preventing adequate response to natural disasters and emergencies, and preventing effective measurement and monitoring of ecological processes.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service through the National Wetland Inventory Program (NWI) has the lead Federal role for developing a statewide wetland spatial database for Alaska. NWI staff have been working closely with the Alaska GeoSpatial Council Wetlands Technical Working Group to develop a strategy for completion of a statewide wetland spatial database that is compliant with national mapping standards. The first part of this presentation summarized efforts to date, detailed the partnership strategy and discussed funding opportunities and mapping standards. In the second part of the presentation, technical details of on-going wetland mapping in Alaska were summarized and new/emerging technologies and image sources were discussed. The presentations was supported by examples and graphics from current projects across the state.

Tune in to learn more about how we are addressing NWI Unfinished Business through creative collaboration, interagency partnerships, cooperative funding approaches and new technologies.


Sydney ThielkeSydney Thielke is the Regional Wetlands Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage, Alaska. Sydney grew up in Alaska and has a B.S. in Land Resources Analysis and Management from Montana State University and a M.S. in Applied Geographic Information Sciences from Northern Arizona University. Before coming to U.S. FWS Sydney worked for the Bureau of Land Management and Natural Resources Conservation Service on a variety in a variety of resource management and geographic information capacities.

Andy RobertsonAndy Robertson is currently Executive Director of GeoSpatial Services at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In this role, Andy is responsible for oversight and management of all GeoSpatial Services projects, activities and staff. GeoSpatial Services is engaged in a wide variety of projects across the Lower 48 and Alaska including: wetland inventory; National Hydrography Dataset updates; spatial data development; and natural resource condition assessments. GeoSpatial Services has been a key partner of the USFWS and has been working for over 18 years to update legacy National Wetland Inventory data across the nation. Andy is a steering committee member for the ASWM Wetland Mapping Consortium, an ASWM Board Member and is past-chair of the Alaska GeoSpatial Council Wetland Technical Working Group. 


Part 1: Introduction: William Dooley, Policy Analyst,
Association of State Wetland Managers  
Presenter: Sydney Thielke, Regional Wetlands
Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Region

      Part 2: Presenter: Andy Robertson, Director,
GeoSpatial Services, Saint Mary's University of


Past Webinars: [2019 - 20172016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011]