Conservation Planning Tools Assessment

Tools: Awareness, Use, and Proficiency

  • 74% of all respondents reported that their organization uses GIS tools either frequently (34%) or always (40%) (see Figure 4 below).

Figure 4: How often does your organization utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools for conservation planning (%)?

Figure 4. How often does your organization use GIS tools for conservation planning?

  • Community VIZ was the most cited (42%) tool among those who were aware. UrbanSim was the second most cited at 23%. The rest of the tools were significantly less well known, mostly unknown. 51% of all respondents reported awareness of at least one tool. 49% gave no answer (see Figure 5 below).

Figure 5: Which of the following open space conservation planning tools are you aware of (%)?

Figure 5. Which of the following open space conservation planning tools are you aware of?

  • 51% (960) of respondents reported awareness of at least one of the conservation planning tools listed.
  • Of the 51% (960) aware of at least one tool, less than half claimed to actually use them in their work (see Figure 6 below). Furthermore, those who used the tools reported that they provided minimal usefulness to their organization/primary jurisdiction (see Figure 7 below).

Figure 6: Respondents who were "aware of tool, but do not use"

Tool Aware, But Don't Use (Percent/Number) No Answer (Percent/Number)
UrbanSim 60% (259) 12% (53)
Miradi 59% (22) 22% (8)
Climate Wizard 56% (60) 14% (15)
Community VIZ 53% (415) 9% (74)
FunConn 53% (18) 24% (8)
Maxent or Other SDM 53% (17) 22% (7)
Circuitscape 52% (38) 19% (14)
Corridor Designer 50% (62) 10% (13)
Natureserve Vista 49% (60) 11% (14)
MARXAN or Zonation 47% (23) 20% (10)
RAMAS GIS 46% (45) 10% (10)

Figure 7: Usefulness: Those who ranked each tool a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale, whereby 5=very useful and 1=not at all useful

Tool Ranked 4 or 5 (Percent/Number)
Natureserve Vista 23% (28)
RAMAS GIS 22% (22)
Corridor Designer 19% (23)
MARXAN/Zonation 18% (9)
FunConn 18% (6)
Community VIZ 16% (125)
Miradi 11% (4)
Climate Wizard 10% (11)
Circuitscape 10% (7)
Maxent/other SDM 9% (3)
UrbanSim 9% (39)
  • The number of people who reported any level of proficiency in the tools was very low (see Figure 8 below)

Figure 8: Proficiency: Those who ranked their skill level for each tool, whereby 5=very proficient and 1=not at all proficient

Tool Ranked 4 or 5 (Percent/Number)
Miradi 57% (4)
FunConn 50% (4)
Maxent or other SDM 38% (3)
Natureserve Vista 22% (11)
MARXAN/Zonation 19% (3)
Corridor Designer 18% (9)
Circuitscape 14% (3)
RAMAS GIS 14% (6)
Community VIZ 12% (35)
Climate Wizard 6% (2)
UrbanSim 6% (7)
  • As a multi-part question, the drop-off rate from respondents' awareness to their actual use and, finally, to their proficiency in each tool is extremely high. In other words, very few reported using these tools in their work, and for the ones that have used them; their proficiency is very low. Figure 9 below illustrates the steep drop-off rate. The blue lines represent the total number of respondents from the assessment. The red lines show how many respondents were aware of each tool. The green lines show those who actually use the tool in their work. And the purple, which is barely visible, represents the number of proficient users for each tool.

Figure 9: Awareness, Use, & Proficiency of Conservation Planning Tools

Figure 9. Awareness and use of conservation tools chart

LEGEND
Blue: Total Number of Respondents
Red: Total Number Aware of Tool
Green: Total Number of Tool Users
Purple: Total Number of Proficient Users