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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.


Markway recognized as 2015 Fort Worth Regulator of the Year

By Khadija Patterson
Fort Worth District
Public Affairs Office

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District selected Heather Markway as the 2015 Regulator of the Year. Heather is a Compliance and Enforcement Regulatory Specialist that has been with the Fort Worth District for almost 8 years.

Markway has a very diverse educational background which led to her success in the Regulatory field. She attended high school at the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences, four hours from her hometown of Saddle, Arkansas. During high school, she spent a summer interning at Boeing in Huntington Beach, California through the NASA Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program. She attended college at the University of Arkansas. While attending college, she took the opportunity to study abroad at the Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“I encourage others to search out opportunities to expand your education, especially in out-of-the ordinary ways,” said Markway. “The opportunities that I’ve searched out have not only increased my knowledge base, but also provided me with a network of professionals and friends around the world.”

Between graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental, Soil and Water science and working at the Corps, Markway worked at New York & Co. and Starbucks as a barista.

While managing a full permitting workload, Heather has many key responsibilities such as representing for the Fort Worth District Regulatory Division on the national Operations and Maintenance Business Information Link Regulatory Module 2 database team, being a liaison for Office of Counsel for Regulatory related Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, representing Regulatory on the Flood Fight team and managing the Regulatory website.

Markway’s daily task include reviewing applications, permit modifications, after-the-fact permits, potential violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 permits.

Aside from work, she enjoys reading, swimming, taking her dog to the dog park and going to Texas Rangers’ games.

“Heather constantly searches for more efficient and effective ways to accomplish Regulatory goals. She is an extremely hard-working, organized individual who has consistently maintained a high level of performance and significantly contributes to the success of the Fort Worth District Regulatory team,” said David Madden, chief, Compliance and Enforcement Branch, Regulatory Division.

Lt. Col. Clay Morgan, Acting Commander for the Fort Worth District presents Heather Markway with the 2015 Regulator of the Year award.
Lt. Col. Clay Morgan, Acting Commander for the Fort Worth District presents Heather Markway with the 2015 Regulator of the Year award.

The official U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division publication