Category Archives: Galveston District

USACE Galveston District creates ESRI Operation Dashboard to monitor water levels

GIS Technology
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District created the ESRI Operation Dashboard, a geographic information system (GIS) tool, that allows Corps employees, partners and community to monitor water levels throughout the district’s area of operation along the Texas coast.

By USACE Galveston District Public Affairs Office

GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District created the ESRI Operation Dashboard, a geographic information system (GIS) tool, that allows Corps employees, partners and community to monitor water levels throughout the district’s area of operation along the Texas coast.

The tool customizes and consolidates data layers from the U.S. Geological Survey, National Weather Service and Corps with a base map, and allows interested parties to share information related to federal projects that may be affected by rainfall and increases in river or stream elevation.

“Due to the high number of data sets we must monitor during a weather event or disaster, it can often be difficult to go back and forth between websites and agencies to get all the data required to make informed decisions,” said Mike DeMasi, emergency management chief for the USACE Galveston District. “Pulling all the information for a particular type event, such as the recent flooding in Texas, allows us to see where the rain is falling, what streams and rivers are rising and/or falling and where the federal projects are in relation.”

According to DeMasi, while the tool does not provide analytical instruments, it does consolidate all the information into a single viewer and is usable on any smartphone, providing the capability for staff to get into the field with data readily available in hand.

“We discussed the various data that we were monitoring with our GIS team and asked if they could pull all of the various data providers’ data into a single map, usable by anyone,” said DeMasi. “The GIS team linked our base map, which included all of our areas of responsibility and projects, with data that is maintained by many other agencies.”

A feature currently being tested is the ability to upload images to the site in real time, which will allow users to see graphics of river elevations at specifics points on the map.

To view the ESRI Operation Dashboard, click on the following link: http://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboard/index.html#/ad46e3dcae3048ed89706314ed68fce3.

The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. Its main missions include navigation, ecosystem restoration, emergency management, flood risk management and regulatory oversight.

For more news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.


Galveston District Spotlight on Ron Wooten

If you were to ask Fort Worth native Ron Wooten what his favorite job has been throughout his career, you’d be surprised  to learn he’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades, having worked as an advanced placement high school teacher, research fisheries biologist, mentor, landscape and irrigation company owner and photojournalist.
If you were to ask Fort Worth native Ron Wooten what his favorite job has been throughout his career, you’d be surprised to learn he’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades, having worked as an advanced placement high school teacher, research fisheries biologist, mentor, landscape and irrigation company owner and photojournalist.

 

By USACE Galveston District Public Affairs Office

GALVESTON, Texas – If you were to ask Fort Worth native Ron Wooten what his favorite job has been throughout his career, you’d be surprised to learn he’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades, having worked as an advanced placement high school teacher, research fisheries biologist, mentor, landscape and irrigation company owner and photojournalist.

With a variety of skill sets under his belt, Wooten is learning to master an important role as a Department of the Army Intern and regulatory specialist in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District’s Regulatory Branch, helping to protect the nation’s aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions – a position he’s held since September 2013.

“I’ve grown to love coastal living and have really come to appreciate how important our coastal and wetland natural resources are to our planet,” said Wooten. “This is one of the few fields in which man’s activities that lead to wetland or watery habitat destruction or degradation can be evaluated for impacts and prevented or mitigated.”

The Department of the Army Intern Program is a vital source of new talent for the Army.

Participants enjoy a wide variety of education and training opportunities that introduce them to the Army mission, culture and business enterprises and develop their early career competencies, allowing rapid advancement to the journeyman level while building a foundation for future professional growth and promotion.

“Everything I am asked to do – I try to do to the best of my abilities,” said Wooten. “I’ve had the opportunity to partake in rotational assignments throughout various divisions here at the Corps, and I am currently working in the Regulatory Branch’s Compliance Division, conducting jurisdictional determinations, wetland delineations and evaluating unauthorized activities.”

The intern program provides a broad variety of projects, each offering their own unique challenges and opportunities for learning.

“I assisted the district’s Office of Counsel in processing Freedom of Information Act requests, in addition to evaluating several jurisdictional determination requests,” said Wooten. “If you work in waters of the United States or discharge fill material into a wetland area over which the Corps has jurisdiction, without first obtaining authorization from the Corps, you may be in violation of federal regulations. Violations can be very expensive to rectify and my result in civil penalties.”

Wooten notes it’s important to contact the Corps if you believe a permit is required to perform work in your area. Staff can assist the community in navigating through the application process.

Wooten’s earned multiple accolades for his work throughout his career, including having been named one of Galveston’s Top 50 Teachers, a commendation for service during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, multiple photojournalism honors and awards of Excellence in Craft from the Texas Outdoor Writers Association.

While he’s only been with the Galveston District for nearly a year and a half, he says he’s grateful for the opportunity to work at the Corps and looks forward to learning and growing professionally. Wooten earned a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries in 1990 from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in Marine Resource Management in 2013 from Texas A&M University at Galveston.

He is a member of the Texas Outdoor Writer’s Association and plans to earn his Professional Wetland Scientist certification. In his spare time, Wooten enjoys photography, camping with his family, enjoying the outdoors and writing.

He is married to his wife, Trisha Wooten, and has two daughters, Allison and Emily.

For more news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.