There’s an ongoing need to apply spatial and temporal intelligence to make sense of change. The Pacific Marine Analysis and Research Association (PacMARA is an organization that is applying decision support tools for ecosystem-based decision making for marine spatial planning. Sensors & Systems (S&S) special correspondent Matteo Luccio spoke with Henry Kucera, director of the board of PacMARA and president of Swiftsure Spatial Systems, about the need for a systematic approach to understanding global change, the evolution of spatial tools, and the effort to train the next generation.
S&S: What is your relationship with PacMARA?
Kucera: I was the Executive Director of PacMARA from 2008 to 2011. With the difficulties in raising funds because of the recession, we moved away from having a full-time Executive Director. Now I am a director on the board, which is an unfunded position. We recruited Heather Coleman to become our Science Director and hired a Science Coordinator to run the program. The board and directors are now performing on a volunteer basis, except when working on specific funded projects.
S&S: You are an expert in “designing spatial and temporal intelligence and decision support systems” and in “strategic systems-based approaches to organizational development, planning, and project management.” What are the key principles and methods involved and what is “marine spatial planning”?
Kucera: When I first started working on designing spatial and temporal intelligence systems, one of the biggest challenges was the data and the interoperability of the systems. I was programming methods, designing languages, and designing interfaces. Our company worked with many of the key software companies that are all part of the mainstream now. Once the software was working better and was interoperable, and we could actually begin to exchange and integrate information and deal with quality issues, I got more involved with the strategic side. My focus changed to “How can we best use this technology and information? How do you get people to communicate and understand what it is they are doing?”