GIS and Spatial Analysis

GIS and geospatial analysis play an intrinsic role in our projects.  For data collection efforts, our GIS team provides our scientists with all the necessary support to collect, document, and archive their data. We carefully integrate our GIS into survey protocols to ensure a seamless data transition from fieldwork to desktop, while enforcing data accuracy and quality. Using innovative spatial analysis techniques, we allow our scientists to explore the trends, patterns, and relationships of different ecosystems, management scenarios, and impacts of human activities on physical and biological systems. Our GIS analysts collaborate closely with the rest of our staff in the following areas:

  • Watershed modeling and characterization
  • Watershed planning in the context of land-use and climate change impacts
  • Geomorphic processes and sediment modeling (landslides, production, delivery)
  • Fish distribution and habitat assessment; Limiting factors analysis
  • Modeling and mapping of riparian vegetation dynamics
  • Revegetation, restoration, and habitat planning
  • Wetland delineation, mitigation design  and monitoring
  • Water temperature and water quality modeling and assessment
  • Special-status species habitat distribution, and focal species analysis
  • Species distribution modeling under climate change scenarios (MAXENT)


Our GIS professionals provide countless ‘every day’ GIS work products, from high-end cartography for reports, projects, and presentations, to data generation and geoprocessing. We work with both ESRI and open-source GIS products, in desktop and mobile platforms. Our GIS staff is highly experienced and creative, with strong backgrounds in:

  • Computerized mapping, spatial analysis and modeling
  • River network morphology and characterization
  • GIS programming and custom geoprocessing tool development (Python, VBA, Model Builder)
  • Interactive cartography and geographic data visualization (API mashups, javascript, Adobe Flash)
  • Surface modeling (LIDAR, DEM, DTM)

We provide GIS and Spatial Analysis services for Federal agencies through our GSA contract.


From data collection to data visualization, our GIS team plays a crucial role in understanding the project landscape.


Rafael Real De Asua
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GIS supports instream flow decisions

Effective GIS analysis allows project managers and non-technical staff alike to visualize the potential impacts of instream flow on fish habitat—and to therefore make scientifically-appropriate flow prescriptions. As part of the relicensing of the McCloud-Pit Hydroelectric Project, Stillwater helped PG&E identify suitable fish habitat by life-history stage at each of five flow scenarios on the McCloud River. Our skilled GIS staff generated the high resolution depth and velocity surfaces used to identify suitable habitat, using both traditional survey methods and an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler for bathymetric surveys.