Extending Alaska Region National Hydrography Dataset Editing Protocols and Data Production to Accommodate Wetlands and other Value Added Attributes

The summary for the Extending Alaska Region National Hydrography Dataset Editing Protocols and Data Production to Accommodate Wetlands and other Value Added Attributes grant is detailed below. This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants. Verify the accuracy of the data FederalGrants.com provides by visiting the webpage noted in the Link to Full Announcement section or by contacting the appropriate person listed as the Grant Announcement Contact. If any section is incomplete, please visit the website for the National Park Service, which is the U.S. government agency offering this grant.
Extending Alaska Region National Hydrography Dataset Editing Protocols and Data Production to Accommodate Wetlands and other Value Added Attributes: This Funding Announcement is not a request for applications. This announcement is to provide public notice of the National Park Service (NPS), intention to fund the following project activities without competition.

Funding Announcement P15AC00448
Project Title Extending Alaska Region National Hydrography Dataset Editing Protocols and Data Production to Accommodate Wetlands and other Value Added Attributes
Recipient Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Total Anticipated Award Amount $250,000
Cost Share None
Anticipated Length of Agreement 2 years
Anticipated Period of Performance 6/15/2015– 6/30/2017
Award Instrument CESU Task Agreement
Statutory Authority 54 USC §101702(b)
CFDA # and Title 15.945, Cooperative Research and Training Programs – Resources of the National Park System (CESU)
Single Source Justification Criteria Cited (2) Continuation and (4) Unique Qualifications
NPS Point of Contact Erica Cordeiro


This project is a collaborative effort between the Alaska Region of the National Park Service (NPS) and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMUMN) to extend previously developed National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) editing protocols to accommodate wetlands and other value added attributes (e.g, fish spawning locations) in the data development process. This project will provide a set of data development protocols that are compliant with both US Geological Survey (USGS) NHD and AKHydro spatial data formats and extend the ability to capture additional hydrographic features and characteristics associated with traditional NHD data elements (i.e. streams, rivers and lakes). The capture of these additional features will provide a more comprehensive hydrographic database for ongoing mapping efforts (e.g., updating USGS US Topo map production) and will promote enhanced modeling and analysis capabilities including migration to the USGS NHDPlus data model. The project will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will focus on the incorporation of wetland features into the NHD data development process to provide a more complete representation of surface hydrography. Methods development will utilize both traditional image interpretation and automated classification techniques to delineate and classify wetland features. Implementation of these techniques will be tested in a data production setting by conducting a large area NHD update exercise within Wrangell St. Elias National Park (WRST). Pending successful completion of phase one, the second phase of this project will test the implementation of these data development processes in additional ecological regions of state, particularly the Arctic Region in Noatak National Preserve. Expected products include new procedures for delineation and classification of wetlands using automated and manual techniques for the publicly available NHD, a webinar, and a final report.


This project will be conducted in two phases. This Task Agreement funds Phase 1, but may be modified to add future phases, subject to the availability of funding and satisfactory progress of project work.

Investigators from SMUMN and NPS staff will collaborate to accomplish the following specific objectives.

The objectives of Phase 1 are to develop extended NHD data collection protocols to include:
• Identifying suitable test areas within the Boreal (WRST) and Polar (NOAT) ecoregions of Alaska for applying NHD data collection protocols and testing update methods. At a minimum, these test locations must have complete coverage of Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative (SDMI) processed SPOT5 satellite imagery and SDMI IfSAR derived elevation data.
• Developing a hybrid mapping process for delineation and classification of wetlands using a combination of software based tools for feature recognition and automated classification supported by traditional manual interpretation techniques.
• Conducting a large area test of hydrography updates using extended feature mapping protocols within WRST.
• Incorporation of resulting wetland features into both the AKHydro (i.e., the Alaska model for stewardship of hydrography data that complements NHD) and NHD data models as 2D area features.
• Describing the US Geological Survey (USGS) NHD compliant development or edit workflow, starting with project identification, data checkout, data editing, conflation, NPS and USGS quality control (QC) processes, and final data check in to the USGS master database.
• A description of the minimum data requirements to support NHD data development incorporating wetlands and other related hydrographic features.
• A description of the project management process to data development, coordination, and product delivery. The process will describe milestones, responsibilities, resource requirements, and product or output expectations.

Phase 2, subject to the successful completion of Phase 1, includes expanding application of this extended NHD data collection protocol to additional ecoregions within Alaska where hydrologic conditions vary and additional classification parameters must be assessed. Work in this phase will focus on updating wetlands and other surface hydrology features with the Polar ecoregion of Alaska, particularly NOAT. Work will also include the compilation of a list of additional value added attributes that are important for description, modeling, and analysis of surface hydrology in Alaska. This list will be developed through coordinated discussions with NPS staff and other federal agencies in Alaska, such as the US Forest Service, who are conducting similar NHD updates.

Given that both Phase 1 and 2 will involve some level of NHD data production and submission, the project also has the following general objectives:
• Extracting existing NHD data from USGS and evaluating completeness, accuracy, and areas of improvement.
• Compiling base datasets (aerial photography, elevation data, and edited hydrography) for use in updating NHD.
• Correcting of stream locations, flow paths, and connectivity.
• Establishment of a flow network that meets USGS NHD standards.
• Correction of coastline features using best available data.
• Correcting and populating feature attributes such as stream name, stream order and reach code.
• Using NHD conflation tools, integrating modified data into existing data and reconciling inconsistencies.
• Submitting new data back to NHD for upload into the national dataset.


SMUMN, in collaboration with NPS, will develop extended NHD data editing protocols that include: procedures for the incorporation of additional surface hydrology features within the AKHydro and NHD data models; a hybrid mapping process for delineation and classification of wetlands based on automated and traditional methodologies; applying developed methodologies in a large area test of NHD updates for WRST; incorporating resulting NHD data edits in both the AKHydro geodatabase and the USGS National Map using established validation and conflation tools to ensure data integrity; description of the minimum data requirements to support extended NHD data development; and description of the SMUMN data development process. SMUMN will provide all supporting data (GIS-related geodatabases, metadata, and documentation) from the project, including a brief final technical report detailing processing methodology and accuracy assessment.


Substantial involvement on the part of the National Park Service is anticipated for the successful completion of the objectives to be funded by this award. In particular, the NPS will be responsible for the following:

NPS will collaborate with SMUMN to determine the most appropriate areas to use for testing the new protocols and the appropriate level of attribution of the new wetlands classification. NPS will participate in feature mapping as well as coordination of quality assurance by park staff with local (park specific) hydrological knowledge. NPS will coordinate input from fisheries biologists and aquatic ecologists in the description of the minimum data requirements for wetlands and other related hydrographic features to support NHD data development. NPS will collaborate with SMUMN to establish wetland feature collection and criteria for data validation. NPS will also review and comment on data, draft reports, and all publishable material submitted from this project.



Department of the Interior Policy (505 DM 2) requires a written justification which explains why competition is not practicable for each single-source award. The justification must address one or more of the following criteria as well as discussion of the program legislative history, unique capabilities of the proposed recipient, and cost-sharing contribution offered by the proposed recipient, as applicable.

In order for an assistance award to be made without competition, the award must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

(1) Unsolicited Proposal – The proposed award is the result of an unsolicited assistance application which represents a unique or innovative idea, method, or approach which is not the subject of a current or planned contract or assistance award, but which is deemed advantageous to the program objectives;

(2) Continuation – The activity to be funded is necessary to the satisfactory completion of, or is a continuation of an activity presently being funded, and for which competition would have a significant adverse effect on the continuity or completion of the activity;

(3) Legislative intent – The language in the applicable authorizing legislation or legislative history clearly indicates Congress’ intent to restrict the award to a particular recipient of purpose;

(4) Unique Qualifications – The applicant is uniquely qualified to perform the activity based upon a variety of demonstrable factors such as location, property ownership, voluntary support capacity, cost-sharing ability if applicable, technical expertise, or other such unique qualifications;

(5) Emergencies – Program/award where there is insufficient time available (due to a compelling and unusual urgency, or substantial danger to health or safety) for adequate competitive procedures to be followed.

The National Park Service did not solicit full and open competition for this award based the following criteria:

(2) Continuation –The project is a continuation of a previous project (Task Agreement P10AC00466) between SMUMN and NPS to develop a stewardship strategy and associated data editing protocols for the compilation of National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) data within Alaska national parks. Through this work, SMUMN has knowledge of and experience working within the Enterprise ArcSDE GIS environment, where the NHD and AKHydro reside. SMUMN has established contacts and relationships with the AKHydro data stewards, the NHD data stewards, members of the Alaska Hydrography Technical Working Group (AHTWG), and Alaska NPS GIS and park science staff. SMUMN is thus well-informed in the processes and contacts needed to conduct the project. Competition would have a significant adverse effect on the continuity and completion of the current project as a new cooperator would need significant startup time and resources to develop this knowledge.

(4) Unique Qualifications – The PI and his research team have five years of work experience with numerous federal agencies and NGOs in Alaska in developing and promoting a successful NHD stewardship model for the state. Through previous projects with US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative, The Nature Conservancy, US Forest Service and the University of Alaska Southeast, SMUMN has completed initial NHD updates correcting spatial feature geometries and providing the addition of new features at a larger scale for thousands of square miles of Alaska. The PI has technical expertise in the following: the NHD and AKHydro data models; the development and application of hydrography data collection and mapping protocols; and specific requirements from the AHTWG to make value added attributes to the NHD. The PI and the SMUMN research team has extensive experience working with the USFWS National Wetland Inventory program in Alaska. Through a series of funded projects over the past decade, SMUMN has developed unique techniques for wetland mapping and classification across Alaska using traditional image interpretation techniques and a variety of new imagery. The PI has co-authored publications and presentations (listed below) regarding applications of these techniques.

Knopf, J.C and Robertson, A.G., 2007. National Wetland Inventory Delineation and Classification in Alaska Using eCognition Remote Sensing Software. Minnesota GIS/LIS Conference Presentation, Minneapolis, MN 2007.

Richtman, C.; Good, K. R; Knopf, J. C; Robertson, A. G., 2013. Compilation of an NHD Compliant Shoreline from Cape Prince of Wales to Cape Espenberg Using NOAA Extracted Vector Shoreline, Technical Report, USFWS PNW CESU Task Agreement F12AC01540. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 2013.

Robertson, A. G., Maffitt, B. L., Anderson, J. R., Knopf, J. C., 2014. Technical Analysis of IKONOS, SPOT, and Other Satellite Imagery for Use in Mapping Wetland Habitats in Western Alaska: Technical Report, USFWS PNW CESU Task Agreement F11AC00619. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 2014.

Robertson, A.G., 2014. Updating the NHD in the Goose Bay Watershed of the Matanuska-Susitna Basin, Alaska, Final Project Report, USGS Cooperative Agreement G14AC00255. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 2014.
Federal Grant Title: Extending Alaska Region National Hydrography Dataset Editing Protocols and Data Production to Accommodate Wetlands and other Value Added Attributes
Federal Agency Name: National Park Service
Grant Categories: Natural Resources
Type of Opportunity: Discretionary
Funding Opportunity Number: NPS-DOIP15AC00448
Type of Funding: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Numbers: 15.945
CFDA Descriptions: Cooperative Research and Training Programs - Resources of the National Park System
Current Application Deadline: Jun 14, 2015
Original Application Deadline: Jun 14, 2015
Posted Date: Jun 5, 2015
Creation Date: Jun 5, 2015
Archive Date: Jul 14, 2015
Total Program Funding: $250,000
Maximum Federal Grant Award: $400,000
Minimum Federal Grant Award: $1
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Cost Sharing or Matching: No
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility
This is a notice of intent to award solely to Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.
Grant Announcement Contact
Erica Cordeiro Agreement Specialist 907-644-3315

National Park Service 303-898-9819
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