Nigel Shaw is the GIS Coordinator for the Northeast Region of the National Park Service. She works on a myriad of geospatial needs and interests for the National Parks from Virginia to Maine, including historic site and archaeological analyses, land cover change and coastal zone change in various domains and dimensions.
Currently she focuses on establishing direct access to geospatial content and functionality for staff in parks and affiliated sites, such as National Trails and Heritage Areas.
Since 2009 Nigel has worked with experts at the University of Rhode Island’s Environmental Data Center in the coastal National Parks of the northeast on three tasks related to Keeping History Above Water:
- Establish a “NPS backbone” of geodetic monumentation, one high quality benchmark every 5 km or less, that provides complete coverage for surveys in the coastal zone
- Collect high accuracy location and elevation data for approximately 300 points for key park resources and essential infrastructure
- Model the IPCC predicted sea level rise and storm surge to characterize the associated threats to these NPS sites (using a simple bathtub model, SLOSH, SLAMM).
Hurricane Sandy blew/washed through many of the National Parks involved in this project shortly before it was completed. Extensive changes on the ground were mapped with reference to the stable NPS Backbone and we documented/located specific features that had been lost, buried, or damaged by the storm. Subsequent recovery, repair and mitigation planning for vulnerable cultural resources are all based upon the site elevations, used in conjunction with FEMA flood maps to identify specific threat levels and associated mitigation requirements.