Dr. Sergio Bernardes from the Center for Geospatial Research (CGR) is training federal and state agencies on the use of geospatial tools to monitor the performance of mitigation features associated with large engineering projects. The series of workshops offered by Dr. Bernardes focus on the ongoing Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) and include the monitoring of fish populations using capture/tagging, spatio-temporal tracking of sturgeon individuals, as well as the near-real time monitoring of water quality using gage networks and groundwater sensors. Workshops are being attended by representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), Georgia Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia Ports, and other groups.
SHEP is a $973 million project funded by federal and Georgia funds and involves deepening the Savannah Harbor federal shipping channel to allow larger and more heavily-loaded vessels to use the Savannah Port. Dr. Bernardes is the PI for the GIS/Database component of SHEP and the project has brought over $1.2 million to the Department of Geography at UGA. Resources from SHEP have funded two post-docs and have provided assistantships to many MSc and PhD students in the department, who assist with data processing/analysis and environmental database maintenance.