Pete Kauhanen's picture

Pete Kauhanen

GIS Manager
Environmental Informatics Program
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

Images by Pete Kauhanen

SFEI Unoccupied Aerial Systems (Project)

SFEI has developed novel, cost-effective solutions to costly problems. In particular, our work with drones or Unoccupied Aerial Systems (UAS) has yielded very promising results. We have used UAS to address a number of scientific challenges and use cases. SFEI applications of UAS include, wetland monitoring, restoration monitoring, sediment volume estimations, and trash surveys leveraging machine learning algorithms. In the course of our use of UAS, we have derived some useful analyses on the technology that lend the resulting products credibility and reliability.

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.

logo created for the San Francisco Estuary Partnership by SFEI

SFEI Provides Science Leadership and Support for State of the Estuary Report and Conference (News)

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) brings together the estuarine community every two years at the State of the Estuary Conference and, periodically, SFEP also reports on the State of the Estuary, summarizing the latest scientific findings about ecosystem health. This State of the Estuary Report is the only place where a holistic view of ecosystem function is provided across both the Bay and the Delta. This year, SFEI provided scientific leadership and technical support for the report, which focuses on the ties between social and ecological resilience for our estuary.

SFEI Developed the Bay Shoreline Flood Explorer for BCDC’s ART program, with More to Come (News)

Over the past year, SFEI has been working with the Bay Conservation and Development Commission's (BCDC) Adapting to Rising Tides (ART) program to develop their new Bay Shoreline Flood Explorer. SFEI’s Environmental Informatics team has designed and developed this public-facing and relevant web tool to highlight threats posed by sea level rise. The tool’s sea-level-rise data was created by AECOM, supported by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Toll Authority, and funded with support from greenhouse gas reduction funds.

Drones for the Environment (News)

The Institute has been making use of drones for a number of projects over the past few years. However, recently, within the Environmental Informatics program, SFEI has been using UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) in particularly innovative ways.

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. 

California Trash Data Dive 2018 (News)

On November 16, 2018, the project team helped to coordinate a Trash Data Dive convened by the State Water Board’s Office of Information Management and Analysis. Hosted at SFEI’s offices, the Trash Data Dive was well-attended and drew participants from all over California to discuss the opportunities to address entrenched problems with respect to trash-related information.

GreenPlan-IT Tracker Released to the public (News)

Municipalities across the state and beyond are carefully planning and implementing green infrastructure in their developed landscape to restore key aspects of the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure helps to achieve stormwater attenuation and contaminant filtration by increasing the pervious surfaces in often sophisticated ways.

Satellite Imaging to Detect Cyanobacterial Blooms (Project)

Satellite remote sensing will aid the State of California in assessing cyanobacterial bloom threats to animal and human health across the state’s numerous large lakes. 

SFEI’s drone technology is helping track the trash across California.

Photo courtesy of Shelly Moore, SCCWRP

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.

Using Drones to Improve Corte Madera Marsh Management (News)

SFEI is increasing the use of drones to support assessing and monitoring the health of local ecosystems. We recently completed UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems), or drone, flights over Corte Madera marsh. This effort will improve marsh management by studying marsh erosion processes and detecting changes in the marsh edge due to marsh growth or attrition from winter storms.

This is the second time that SFEI has surveyed Corte Madera marsh’s edge, but this times comes with significant improvements.

Mapping Outside the Box: Visualizing Bay Landscapes in New Dimensions (News)

The most recent meeting of the San Francisco Estuary Geospatial Workgroup featured Pete Kauhanen and Lawrence Sim of SFEI's Environmental program. This meeting focused on emerging technologies for visualizing the changing Bay around us. Presenters discussed new data, tools, and approaches that are helping inform regional natural resource management.

State of the Estuary Conference on Twitter (Event)

In an event convened by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, SFEI contributed its own intellectual labor to the State of the Estuary Conference. Letitia Grenier served as the lead scientist for the State of the Estuary Report, unveiled at the gathering, and SFEI's scientists and technologists were featured prominently in the program on subjects ranging from nutrients to landscape resilience to green infrastructure to data and tools. By all measures, it was a successful conference.

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.

Sharing Information in an Open Data World

San Francisco Estuary Geospatial Workgroup Meeting: Sharing Information in an Open Data World (Event)

San Francisco Estuary
Geospatial Workgroup Meeting

Stranger Things: Sharing Information in an Open Data World

January 30, 2018
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
with time for networking after
Bay Conference Center, Tiburon, CA

AGENDA:
Welcome and Introductions
Presentations - followed by Q & A

Lahontan EcoAtlas Development (Project)

This project will create an EcoAtlas user community for the Lahontan region of the Sierra Nevada to develop capacities within the region to apply EcoAtlas through existing local, regional, state, and federal programs to track projects and summarize map-based and rapid assessment information at the watershed scale.

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.

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.

Advancing Performance Measures (Project)

This project consists of an effort to enhance EcoAtlas to serve as the shared and primary point of collection for project data, then actively transfer the data to Delta View.

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.