Judy Teague is a Senior Regional Ecologist with NatureServe. She has been working for 15 years creating vegetation classifications and mapping for the National Park Service, Department of Defense, and other agencies. Diane Pavek is Research Coordinator with the Urban Ecology Research Learning Alliance, which is committed to communicating results from science studies and research.
This presentation will give an overview of a joint project (www.ExploreNaturalCommunities.org) between NatureServe and the National Park Service, National Capital Region, Urban Ecology Research Learning Alliance. ExploreNaturalCommunities.org website is a conservation tool that allows land managers to easily use the complex geospatial patterns of mapped terrestrial plant communities scaled up to ecological systems when planning projects such as creating park resource stewardship strategies. The interactive website is accessible and mobile friendly, serving information about natural communities and natural history to park stewards and visitors alike. Participants will see the current web development for parks in the National Capital Region, but this website is designed to gradually scale up to include an ever-growing number of public lands with vegetation maps. Land managers, interpreters, cultural resource managers, and visitors can use this website to recognize patterns in the landscape and to easily identify other parks or public lands with similar resources. Interactive maps of natural communities on public lands like national parks allow users to dig deeper for descriptions, explanations, and photos of the plants, animals, environment, and natural processes. Users will gain a greater awareness and appreciation of conservation on public lands using this multiscale framework: www.ExploreNaturalCommunities.org