A multi-scale decision support system for the analysis of the effects of USDA NRCS conservation programs in Michigan

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



This presentation summarizes a 4 year Cooperative Agreement between the Michigan NRCS and the Michigan Tech Research Institute that has focused on the integration of geospatial data to assess and quantify the effectiveness of farm conservation programs in the state of Michigan. We review projects from a small watershed scale to a statewide analysis of environmental factors affected by NRCS conservation programs. On the local scale, we have characterized and analyzed 2005-2007 water quality and land-use data to investigate how a study watershed responds to storm events and changing agricultural land use. On the statewide scale, we have completed an example of an Environmental Quality Index (EQI) that includes geospatial data on soil condition, surface water health, land habitat integrity, and air quality. Geospatial results are derived from imagery analysis, published models, and GIS data sources. The data is integrated into a web-based decision support system that provides access to the model with weightings based on expert NRCS input and the ability to customize weights to analyze the effect of different conservation practices. The EQI tool enables the MI NRCS to compare environmental quality to levels of conservation effort, and includes examples of longer-term change for water quality and riparian habitat.

Publisher's Statement

© 2008 American Geophysical Union.

Publication Title

AGU Fall Meeting 2008