Research dates: 2014
Investigator(s): Tara Rodgers, Steve DeMaso, Nicholas Enwright, Mark Shafer
SCIPP collaborated with the Gulf Coast Joint Venture to examine weather effects on wintering waterfowl habitat along the Texas Gulf Coast. The goal was to identify indices that can help predict the acreage of flooded habitat, suitable for waterfowl, each year. Three different time periods were used to assess habitat conditions: early season (late summer/fall), mid-season (winter), and late season (late winter/early spring). The project combines a variety of weather and climate indices with satellite-based estimates of flooded habitat (wetlands for waterfowl). In particular, drought indices were obtained from the Drought Risk Atlas, along with temperature and precipitation data from National Weather Service observing stations. Results show that some variables have significant correlations and that these variables and strength of the relationship vary during the three periods. Current research focuses on expanding the number of data sources and comparing to other regions along the Gulf Coast.