Geospatial tools have become a critical component to most wildlife studies and management questions. With a diversity of approaches available, current and future wildlife professionals deserve guidance on the most important tools to answer these questions. Younger professionals may be expected to know a separate set of skills from those required further on in their career. We conducted an online survey and a year-long search of job advertisements to identify the most important geospatial approaches, techniques, programs, and ancillary skills for wildlife professionals. We provide the results of these 2 efforts so that wildlife professionals interested in geospatial tools can prioritize those most valued in our field. Habitat modeling and home range analysis were the 2 highest-ranked tools. Highly ranked programs included ArcGIS, R, Google Earth, and Geospatial Modeling Environment. We suggest that wildlife professionals should have a geospatial program they are comfortable with and be conversant with the major approaches (e.g., habitat modeling, home range analysis, remote sensing, and mobile mapping) but need not be experts in each field. Younger professionals should focus on the “big picture” tools such as ArcGIS, while professionals further in their career are expected to have some expertise in multiple areas, including knowledge of current and emerging trends.
The data provided here consist of 123 unique responses to a survey administered online via a Google Form to wildlife professionals, from March 13 through May 26, 2015. Respondents were asked a series of questions related to their workplace, their experience with spatial tools related to wildlife management, their estimated value of a suite of spatial tools, and the value of a spatially-based curriculum for wildlife professionals. These data were analyzed and presented in a manuscript in Wildlife Society Bulletin (in press).
Bean, William; Baumbusch, Ryan C.; Berger, Brooke; Delheimer, Matthew; Hecker, Lee J.; Lau, Matthew; and Milligan, Megan C., "What Should Go in a Wildlife Professional’s Geospatial Toolbox? (Response Data)" (2017). Research Data Sets. 2.