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15 Chapter Two Results Of Survey: Needs And New Approaches In this chapter methods used and survey results are presented. Survey Questions Format The results are presented in the order typical of the transporta- tion planning, development, and operations process: (1) Systems Survey questions were formulated through discussions and Long-Range Planning; (2) Project Development; (3) Construc- testing among panel members and two general open-ended tion; and (4) Maintenance and Operations. Each phase is ordered questions were decided on: according to the ecological hierarchy: (1) species and (2) ecosys- tems and landscapes. Within these ecological levels, ecological 1. What are the most pressing unmet needs for envi- survey needs and new approaches are presented. ronmental surveys that are necessary to assist in transportation planning, design, construction, and maintenance? These include data collection needs, Methods analyses, and the ability to transfer the information to professionals. (Further details of questions are Literature and Website Searches included in Appendix B.) Sources of potential information on studies, software, web- 2. This survey will also bring together information on sites, and collaborative approaches were investigated dur- recent advances in environmental survey methods, ing 20072008 before and after the electronic mail survey. such as new uses of GIS data and such technologies Resources to locate ecological survey data gathering, analy- as using genetic markers in scat to identify presence ses, and sharing sources included the following: of sensitive species. Could you please tell us about recent advances and innovations that show promise Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) in helping transportation planning and other arenas to Proceedings from the International Conference on better consider ecological resources? These methods Ecology and Transportation (ICOET) may be in use or under exploration. Sources provided by the NCHRP Topic Panel of this synthesis, including requests for information to The full survey instrument is presented in Appendix A. Natural Heritage program listserv members, the Plant These questions were electronically mailed as a Microsoft Conservation listserv members, and U.S. Forest Service Word file attached to the e-mailed requests. Responses were personnel involved with transportation ecology returned by email and hard copy through the postal service. Presentations and papers from the 2007 and 2008 TRB annual meeting Analysis of Responses Advisory committee meetings in preparation for the NCHRP SHRP 2 projects titled, "Integration of The open-ended nature of the survey made definitive analysis Conservation, Highway Planning and Environmental of exactly what the respondents intended regarding a specific Permitting Using an Outcome-Based Ecosystem consideration somewhat arduous. To better analyze the nature Approach" and "Integration of Conservation, Highway of the replies, each respondent's responses were broken into Planning, and Environmental Permitting Through subject areas related to the following: wildlife and plant spe- Development of an Outcome Based Ecosystem cies, ecosystems, processes, and new initiatives. These areas Approach and Corresponding Credits System" were the subsections presented under questions 1 and 2 in the Meetings of the committee on Wildlife and survey instrument. These subsection responses were trans- Transportation for the Western Governors' Association ferred to an Excel spreadsheet and were organized under col- (WGA) Wildlife Corridors Initiative umns titled in the same manner (wildlife and plant species, The author's contacts with those involved in transpor- ecosystems, processes, and new initiatives). Each response tation and natural resource management and research. was read and entered and key words were extracted and entered in a key word column adjacent to the subject area column. Searches for innovative methods were refined once respon- When a specific consideration was analyzed, such as the need dents' needs and innovative initiatives were revealed. for better GIS tools, key word searches were used on those