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Ecotrust Expert Bios

Mike Mertens
Director of Spatial Analysis / GIS Manager
Ecotrust, Portland, Oregon
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Ecotrust projects of special interest:

Ecotrust Consulting Initiatives, Vivid Picture Project, Forestry 2100 Project, OCEAN tool development, Ventura Landscape Capacity Analysis, Willamette Modeling Collaborative, Siuslaw Watershed Assessment, Bioregional Information System (Inforain.org), Tualatin River Watershed Information System, Kawesas Watershed Assessment.

Areas of professional expertise:

Spatial analysis, geographic information systems and science, Internet mapping, remote sensing, spatial statistics, enterprise data management, spatially based simulation and modeling tools, technical workshop and graduate level instruction.

Mike Mertens is Ecotrust's Director of Spatial Analysis / GIS Manager. In this role, Mertens is responsible for maintaining and strengthening the organization's overall technical geographic information system capacity. He supervises all GIS staff, including GIS analysts, technicians, interns and volunteers, including Portland and field based GIS staff. He works with the Vice President of Knowledge Systems and other senior staff to allocate these staff to projects and programs based on priority needs. Mertens is the primary liaison with other internal staff and staff of affiliate organizations for GIS services. As Manager of Ecotrust's Mapdesk, he oversees the fulfillment of mapping needs for multiple clients.

Mertens also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Portland State University where he teaches a graduate level class on the theory and application of Geographic Information Systems.

From 2001 to 2005, Mertens worked as Ecotrust's GIS manager and a Senior GIS Analyst. In this position, Mertens performed quantitative analysis supporting the Vivid Picture project, which developed a blueprint for sustainable food systems in California. He served as lead analyst on the Forestry 2100 Project, and was responsible for oversight of analytic framework developed for assessing probable future scenarios under different forest management objectives in the Pacific Northwest. During this time, Mertens also oversaw the development and deployment of an enterprise-wide Spatial Database Engine. While he worked laterally with other staff to provide the best support to the organization in obtaining, publicizing, categorizing, evaluating quality, transforming, analyzing, and making appropriate use of data resources needed by the organization, Mertens also represented Ecotrust's interests in negotiations with vendors and partners regarding data sharing and licensing agreements.

As Ecotrust's Senior Information Analyst/Programmer from 1998 to 2002, Mertens was the principal investigator and lead analyst on classification of forest composition and structure for the coastal temperate rainforest of North America using remotely sensed information, geographic information systems and multivariate statistical analysis. He served as the principal analyst on the Siuslaw watershed assessment, providing all mapping and spatial analysis, coordinating data development and co-authoring the assessment document. During this time, Mertens also worked as the GIS and remote sensing analyst on a project with Metro to map forest canopy cover, land cover and natural areas in the greater Portland Metropolitan area using Landsat TM satellite imagery and other ancillary data.

Prior to joining Ecotrust, Mertens worked as a GIS Analyst for Interrain Pacific from 1995 to 1998. Interrain Pacific — a non-profit organization leading the development of public access to geographic information systems — has since been integrated into the work of Ecotrust Knowledge Systems. In this position, Mertens was responsible for construction and maintenance of an Internet based Bioregional Information System including development of multiple on-line interactive mapping applications, management of active web pages for searching, viewing and downloading data through form based queries. He served as project manger and principal analyst on several significant assessment projects, including the Coastal Access project with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. During this time, he developed custom comprehensive mapping and information retrieval applications as well as database design, data compilation and creation, map production, data documentation and analysis of GIS data. In all of his GIS work, Mertens has utilized advanced techniques, such as surface modeling, viewshed analysis, ERDAS Imagine and advanced remote sensing techniques.

Mertens received a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Planning and Geography from Humboldt State University. He studied ArcSDE using ArcGIS 9 and programming MapObjects with Visual Basic through ESRI GIS Education Solutions.

Publications include:

Mertens, M. and Howard Silverman. 2007 (in progress)."Agro-ecologic Zone Analysis and Evaluation of Correlated Crops in 2030 in California."

Morgan, L. E., P. Etnoyer, A. J. Scholz, M. Mertens, M. Powell. 2004. "Conservation and Management Implications of Deep-Sea Coral Distributions and Fishing Effort in the Northeast Pacific Ocean." A. Freiwald and J. M. Roberts (eds.), Deep-water corals and ecosystems, Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.

Scholz, A. J., M. Mertens, D. Sohm, C. Steinback, M. Bellman. 2005. "Spatially integrated tools for assessing the socioeconomic impact dimensions of marine resource management on the West Coast of the United States," Bulletin of Marine Science, Special Issue: 4th Mote International Symposium — Confronting Tradeoffs in the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management.

Related Web links:

Ecotrust Knowledge Systems: www.ecotrust.org/knowledgesystems
Bioregional Information System: www.inforain.org
Biographical information: http://web.pdx.edu/~mmertens

Other Staff Bios

Brent Davies, Vice President, Forests and Ecosystem Services

Mike Mertens, Director of Spatial Analysis / GIS Manager

Dr. Astrid Scholz, Executive Vice President

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