EcoWB Program Spotlight: GIS

Maps are one of humanity’s most important tools. They allow us to navigate in unfamiliar areas and visualize geographic features across the landscape. Modern maps are typically created in GIS (Geographic Information System) software packages by technicians and analysts with specialized training. In the modern era, map making and spatial analyses are also supported by remote sensing, typically in the form of satellite or aerial imagery.

Ecologists Without Borders has a specialized GIS program that supports our global projects with mapping and remote sensing expertise. Our GIS volunteer roster includes nearly 50 people whose experience level ranges from beginner to expert, allowing us to provide training opportunities for students and early-career professionals while also meeting the needs of more complex mapping and analytical projects.

The EcoWB GIS program is currently supporting the Amazon Megafish project in partnership with Juniata College. Volunteers on this project are developing a spatial database of environmental parameters to help solve the riddle of largetooth sawfish migrations, with help from multispectral satellites such as Landsat 8 and Sentinel 2. Recent work by the GIS program also includes mapping invasive water hyacinth coverage in Winam Gulf, Lake Victoria using Sentinel 1 radar imagery and habitat mapping for a scallop fishery improvement project in Sechura Bay, Perú (see figure below).


The EcoWB GIS program welcomes additional volunteers, whether they are beginners or experts. We are also looking for more opportunities to expand our impact through additional projects. Please feel free to reach out to our GIS Program Manager, James Cash (, to volunteer, propose a new project, or seek GIS assistance on a current project.

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