Tony Hale's picture

Tony Hale, PhD

Program Director
Environmental Informatics Program
Design and Communications
Geographic Information Systems
Information Technology Systems
510-746-7381

Dr. Tony Hale worked in a range of corporate and educational organizations, as well as both private nonprofit and public institutions, before establishing himself as an environmental science technologist. As Program Director for Environmental Informatics, Dr. Hale represents five technical teams: Geographic Information Systems, Application Development, Data Services, IT Systems, and Design & Communications. He always pursues compelling ways to promote technology initiatives, environmental stewardship, and meaningful, collaborative innovations.

While completing his doctorate at UC Berkeley, Dr. Hale consulted in technology for several years before launching a career at Mills College where he eventually served four years as an IT Director. He then progressed to become head of the enterprise applications team for Peralta Community College District, the second-largest educational organization in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Making the transition to environmental science, Dr. Hale joined the California Ocean Science Trust and led the development of OceanSpaces, an online community to foster new knowledge of ocean health. He also served as member of several state-level committees including the California Coastal & Marine Geospatial Workgroup. He is currently co-chair of the Data Management Workgroup, affiliated with the California Water Quality Monitoring Council.

With SFEI, Dr. Hale has advanced the Institute’s communications practices, overseen the development of new data visualization technologies, and partnered with state and federal agencies to address complex data management challenges.

Related Projects, News, and Events

Development of a Trash Monitoring Method for Tobacco Product Waste (Project)

Smoking has long been known to lead to tobacco-related diseases and harmful health outcomes, including heightened risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Not only is tobacco harmful to individual health outcomes, but it also harmful to the environment. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter and an estimated 4.5 trillion butts are improperly discarded every year worldwide. Cigarette butts contain at least 4,000 chemicals, and about 50 of these are carcinogenic.

Wetlands Regional Monitoring Project (Project)

This Prop 50 - funded project was a three-year effort to monitor and track changes in Bay Area wetland condition. This wetland monitoring toolkit meets basic information needs for managing wetlands: to develop a scientific framework with standard methods for monitoring wetlands and for interpreting the results, and to regularly report the findings to the public. These monitoring tools are intended to help provide a public measure of the environmental costs or benefits of most wetland management actions.

EcoPrinciples Connect (Project)

The EcoPrinciples Connect tool provides a way for coastal managers to improve the effectiveness of planning decisions regarding the ecosystems they are mandated to protect. Using this tool will help coastal managers identify and apply ecological data to link relevant plans and policies to key ecological principles.

Coyote Creek Native Ecosystem Enhancement Tool (Project)

The Coyote Creek Native Ecosystem Enhancement Tool (CCNEET, neet. ecoatlas.org) is an online decision-support tool to identify opportunities to improve ecological conditions. CCNEET was inspired by the need for a watershed approach to environmental resource management. Available ecological and environmental information is synthesized by objectives, management questions, and enhancement actions to identify and justify potential habitat improvements along the creek corridor. The overarching goal of CCNEET is to help coordinate habitat conservation and enhancement along so that multiple projects and limited funding can result in meaningful ecological improvement.

Resilient Silicon Valley (Project)

Tools for the creation of a resilient Silicon Valley ecosystem.

SF Estuary Wetlands Regional Program Plan Released! (News)

The Wetland Regional Monitoring Program (WRMP) Plan has been released! The WRMP will improve wetland restoration project success by putting in place regional-scale monitoring increasing the impact, utility and application of permit-driven monitoring to inform science-based decision-making.

Bay Area Trash Tracker (Project)

This password protected tool allows Bay Area municipalities dealing with trash control issues to research available trash capture devices and add information on maintenance events.  Each municipality has a page  enter location information and condition/maintenance notes for devices installed. All of this information can be downloaded for record-keeping and permit compliance reporting purposes. 

South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project: GIS & Web Services (Project)

The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project is the largest tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast. When complete, the project will restore 15,100 acres of industrial salt ponds to a rich mosaic of tidal wetlands and other habitats.

Visualizing and Sharing Intensive Data Assessments (Project)

With California's drought rapidly changing the outlook for natural resources, decision-makers must be equipped with information and tools that facilitate clear and rapid decisions. The proposed grant would fund the standardization, visualization, and sharing of Level 3 data. 

San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas: Working with Nature to Plan for Sea Level Rise (Project)

In partnership with SPUR, The Operational Landscape Units project, funded by the SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, will create a new way of looking at the Bay.

Statewide Wetland Tracking, Science, and Policy Development Support (Project)

SFEI’s Wetland Science Focus Area’s Director, Josh Collins, is a leader in the coordination of statewide science advisory teams and acquiring funding to develop monitoring and assessment tools that support the State’s Wetland and Riparian Area Protection Policy.

Riparian zone decision support tool just released! (News)

In April 2015, SFEI released a GIS-based decision support tool called the Riparian Zone Estimation Tool (RipZET). RipZET was developed with funding by the State Water Resources Control Board to assist watershed managers and restoration practitioners in the visualization and characterization of riparian areas next to streams and wetlands. The tool’s innovative approach uses readily accessible data to determine “functional riparian width,” which varies throughout a watershed based on local vegetation and topographic conditions.

EcoAtlas: New CARI Editor and Modern Delta Habitat Types (News)

An accurate basemap is fundamental to watershed planning and assessments. The California Aquatic Resources Inventory, or CARI, offers such a basemap for aquatic resource identification and classification. But to keep it current and enhance its details, SFEI-ASC must leverage local knowledge. The new CARI Editor promotes regional stewardship and allows users to submit updates, deletions or new features for streams and wetlands.

BCDC GIS, Graphics, and Technological Services (Project)

The San Francisco Estuary Institute is working to provide support for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) though Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Graphics, and Technological Services.

SF Bay Nutrients Visualization Tool (Project)

This visualization tool facilitates intuitive comparison of continuous data from around the Bay, and across a variety of analytes, to demonstrate the potential for collaborative monitoring across programs.

Care in the Time of Corona (News)

We offer you a simple tool that we created for our 75-person “work community” to help each other that yours might also find helpful. This is a mapping tool, which we call Care in the Time of Corona. It helps us locate and efficiently provide the support that our SFEI staff might offer one another. Quite simply, it facilitates assistance within our organization so that people can help their colleagues deal with challenges of this unprecedented situation. The errands, food, medicine, or even compassionate discussion they need can be addressed through a convenient and filterable map. We hope this guidance and the spirit behind it will help support your community and sustain a sense of well-being as we meet this challenge head on together.

Featured in Forbes: Drones And Artificial Intelligence Help Combat The San Francisco Bay’s Trash Problem (News)

In a partnership with Kinetica, a data analytics start-up, and Oracle, SFEI and SCCWRP leveraged public funding from the California Ocean Protection Council to advance automated trash detection capabilities. The team deployed servers in the @Oracle Cloud to increase performance dynamically. Learn more about this project...

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.

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.