Pete Kauhanen's picture

Pete Kauhanen

GIS Manager
Environmental Informatics Program
Geographic Information Systems
510-746-7370

Pete Kauhanen is an experienced environmental scientist, planner, UAS expert and GIS specialist with over 10 years' experience generating, obtaining, and analyzing GIS data for environmental projects.  He has a background in watershed ecology, green infrastructure planning, habitat mapping, fire management, utilizing indigenous knowledge to achieve conservation goals, as well as large and small scale mitigation and conservation projects and initiatives.  He earned both his MA and BA from Stanford University where his studies focused on ecology, behavioral ecology and using GIS to study environmental anthropology. For his Masters thesis he created a 10 year fire history for a section of the Western Desert of Australia to highlight the effects of the Australian Aboriginal Martu people on local ecology, habitat types, and predictive capabilities for biodiversity.  His findings resulted in changing the prescribed burn policy of Western Australia’s Department for Environmental Conservation and have broad implications for fire management and climate change adaptation. Most recently, Pete has been utilizing UAS (or drones) in order to map and model wetlands and other natural resources in order to address issues such as erosion, wetland health and trash quantification. Pete continues to bring his GIS experience to bear on projects where scientific research intersects policy and management decisions.

Related Projects, News, and Events

Santa Clara Valley Water District Priority D5 Project's Watershed Condition Assessments (2010 to present) (Project)

https://www.valleywater.org/project-updates/2012-d5-ecological-data-collection-and-analysisSFEI and the Santa Clara Valley Water District's (Valley Water) Priority D-5 Project have been conducting baseline ecological condition assessments in Santa Clara County, CA to characterize the distribution and abundance of stream and wetlands in five major watersheds, and to assess the overall ecological conditions of streams in the watersheds based on the California Rapic Assessment Method for streams (CRAM).  The surveys employ the state's recommended Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan's watershed aproach that includes the use of GIS-base maps of aquatice resources (BAARI), and spatially-balanced ambient stream condition surveys using CRAM.

GreenPlan-IT (Project)

Green infrastructure (GI), such as permeable pavement, rain gardens, tree-well planters, or bioswales, can be used as cost-effective, resilient approaches to managing stormwater at its source while delivering environmental, social, and economic benefits for your community. GreenPlan-IT is a versatile open-source toolset that helps aid municipalities with their efforts to plan and evaluate the placement of green infrastructure in the landscape and track the effectiveness of these installations in reducing stormwater run-off, PCB, and mercury in receiving waters.

GreenPlan-IT Toolbox evolving quickly to meet increased demand (News)

With the conclusion of the first round of funding for the Green Plan Bay Area project http://www.sfestuary.org/our-projects/water-quality-improvement/greenplanning/, SFEI produced GreenPlan-IT in collaboration with SFEP, a technical advisory committee, pilot partners, and BASMAA. GreenPlan-IT is an innovative planning tool to help municipalities evaluate multiple management alternatives for green infrastructure in the urban landscape.

GreenPlan-IT featured in the newsletter of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (News)

GreenPlan-IT, a toolset created in a collaboration with SFEP, US EPA, and local partners, has been featured in the newsletter of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council, which has in turn been distributed broadly to subscribers throughout the nation and beyond.

GreenPlan-IT Site Locator Tool v2.1 Update (News)

SFEI’s GreenPlan-IT is a planning level toolkit which help municipalities with green infrastructure planning, assessment and reporting. Green infrastructure is a multi benefit tool that helps to restore the natural water cycle of infiltration and filtration (most notably of mercury and PCBs) within the urban environment.

GreenPlan-IT Phase II nears completion (News)

SFEI has completed development of Phase II of our GreenPlan-IT application -- a toolset to empower municipalities to plan, assess, track, and report their green infrastructure investments. This helps restore the water cycle and improve filtration of water quality contaminants. In the latest round of implementation work, we collaborated with the cities of Richmond, Oakland, Sunnyvale, and the county of Contra Costa to meet their green infrastructure planning and reporting needs, while also providing needed enhancements to the toolset in response to user feedback.

SFEI's journal article on Green Stormwater Infrastructure featured as the Editor's Choice (News)

A team led by Dr. Jing Wu penned a paper in January on using Green Stormwater Infrastructure to protect the Bay from PCBs and other contaminants. "Optimal Selection and Placement of Green Infrastructure in Urban Watersheds for PCB Control" is now featured in the Editor’s Choice section of the Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment for the American Society of Civil Engineers. 

Next Generation Urban Greening (Project)

SFEI is working with partners across the Bay Area to design tools to help cities achieve biodiversity, stormwater, and climate benefits through multifunctional green infrastructure.

Trees, Hydrology, Urban-Greening, and Nature-Based Solutions (News)

Two key reports support nature-based solutions. Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and enhancements to the urban tree canopy offer benefits to stormwater management, urban ecological improvements, and complementary urban greening activities.

On KGO TV, these projects were featured on July 1, 2021.

EcoAtlas (Project)

EcoAtlas is a set of tools for generating, assembling, storing, visualizing, sharing, and reporting environmental data and information.

California Aquatic Resource Inventory (CARI) (Project)

The California Aquatic Resources Inventory (CARI) is a Geographic Information System (GIS) based map of wetlands, streams, and riparian areas within California that is hosted online through EcoAtlas.

Russian River Watershed Projects at the San Francisco Estuary Institute (Project)

Our projects in the Russian River Watershed help us to understand our past, understand our present, and envision our future. Learn more about what SFEI is doing in partnership with others to advance our scientific understanding of this valuable landscape.

Sediment for Survival report released (News)

SFEI worked with local, state, and federal science experts to develop the new Sediment for Survival report. The report provides a regional sediment strategy aimed at examining the future of sediment in the Bay and informing sediment management for the resilience of tidal marshes and tidal flats to climate change.

Sediment for Survival (Project)

The tidal marshes and tidal flats along the San Francisco Bay shoreline depend on sediment delivered by the tides. Healthy sediment supplies are essential for maintaining resilient marshes and tidal flats that can persist into the future and build up as sea level continues to rise. Currently, the sediment supply in the Bay is adequate to meet the sediment needed by tidal marshes and tidal flats. However, as sea level rise accelerates in the coming decades, the sediment needed for these habitats to survive will increase considerably.

Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands (Project)

Through the EPA-funded Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands project, SFEI and sixteen partner organizations are developing multi-benefit tools to enhance climate change resilience in San Francisco Bay. Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands has two major components: Multi-benefit Urban Greening and Tidal Wetlands Restoration. Through both components, we have developed strategies that inform  policy, planning, and design of innovative implementation projects.

Trees and Hydrology in Urban Landscapes (Project)

Effective implementation of urban greening strategies is needed to address legacies of landscape change and environmental degradation, ongoing development pressures, and the urgency of the climate crisis. With limited space and resources, these challenges will not be met through single-issue or individual-sector management and planning. Increasingly, local governments, regulatory agencies, and other urban planning organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area are expanding upon the holistic, portfolio-based, and multi-benefit approaches.

Preparing for the Storm (Project)

Preparing for the Storm is an innovative public-private partnership funded by the US EPA to improve watershed health and resilience in the Alameda Creek watershed.

Coastal Wetlands, Beaches and Watersheds Inventory (Project)

The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and SFEI will develop an inventory of the wetlands and other surface waters of all California’s coastal HUC-8 watersheds,  including the inland Delta of the San Francisco Estuary, to help implement the OPC’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.  The inventory will include a dashboard and other online tools that enable the OPC and the public to track progress toward multiple OPC strategic targets, and to more generally summarize information about the current distribution, abundance, diversity, and condition of sur

California Trash Monitoring Playbook now available (News)

With the Ocean Protection Council-funded trash monitoring project concluded, the project team is eager to deliver its results to you. The team has compiled its data, composed its reports, and is now ready to share with you two reports, intended for use by trash-monitoring practitioners and the diverse constellation of stakeholders who benefit from trash-monitoring efforts. Now available on trashmonitoring.org are:

California Trash Monitoring Methods Project (Project)

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), in close partnership with the State Water Board, has recognized the importance of standard methods for trash monitoring and has funded this project. The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) and San Francisco Bay Estuary Institute (SFEI) have partnered up to test multiple trash monitoring methods with a goal of developing a library of methods with known levels of precision, accuracy, and cross-comparability of results, and linking these methods to specific management questions.