Spatial Hydro-Ecological Decision System (SHEDS)

Seamlessly linking hydro-ecological datasets, models, and decision support systems

What is SHEDS?

SHEDS is a collection of innovative data visualization and decision support tools for exploring and better understanding dynamic relationships in stream ecosystems.

SHEDS seamlessly links datasets, models, and decision support systems into a powerful platform for gaining insight, supporting transparent decision making, and improving management of hydro-ecological resources.

SHEDS Diagram


Stream Temperature Database

The stream temperature database stores regional stream temperature data across multiple organizations and state agencies in the Northeastern U.S. Registered users can upload and manage their own datasets, as well as provide public access to download their own data. This database is primarily used to support the SHEDS modeling and decision support systems.

High Resolution Catchment Delineation and GIS Characteristics

A series of GIS layers representing hydrologic catchments and flowlines spanning the Northeast region of the United States. This catchment delineation serves as the primary spatial domain for the SHEDS modeling and decision support tools. Associated with the catchment delineation are a series of GIS characteristics (e.g. land use) for each catchment.

Documentation and Downloads:


Stream Temperature Model

The stream temperature model is a nested, hierarchical, Bayesian model that predicts daily stream temperature based on catchment characteristics and weather conditions.


Published Article:

Letcher BH, Hocking DJ, O’Neil K, Whiteley AR, Nislow KH, O’Donnell MJ. (2016) A hierarchical model of daily stream temperature using air-water temperature synchronization, autocorrelation, and time lags. PeerJ 4:e1727

Northeast Brook Trout Occupancy Model

The Northeast Brook Trout Occupancy Model is a logistic mixed effects model that includes the effects of landscape, land-use, and climate variables on the probability of Brook Trout occupancy in stream reaches across the Northeast U.S.


Data Visualization and Decision Tools

Interactive Catchment Explorer

The Interactive Catchment Explorer is a dynamic visualization tool for exploring catchment characteristics and model predictions, as well as for identifying priority catchments across the Northeast region of the United States.

Customized versions of ICE are also available for the following programs and datasets:

  • ICE-CCE: Crown of the Continent Ecosystem
  • ICE-CHaMP: Columbia River Habitat Monitoring Program
  • ICE-EBTJV: Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture
  • ICE-Deerfield: Deerfield River Watershed
  • ICE-DSL: Designing Sustainable Landscapes, UMass Landscape Ecology Lab

Fish Tagging Data Visualizations

A series of interactive data visualizations for exploring fish tagging (PIT) data targeting trout and salmon in two small New England watersheds.

Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Data & Tools

Interactive GIS map featuring data layers (brook trout status and habitat patches) and tools (riparian prioritization, drainage area calculator) developed and endorsed by the EBTJV.

Flow Pictures Explorer

A simple explorer for viewing daily images and graphs of a small stream in western MA. The goal is to see whether these images and graphs can be used together to get a better understanding for how much the stream changes over time. This project is the beginning of a proof of concept to explore whether images can be used to estimate streamflow using machine learning techniques.

Project Team

  • Dr. Ben Letcher: project manager, application and model developer
  • Dr. Jeffrey D. Walker: lead application developer and model developer
  • Dr. Jason Coombs: application and model developer
  • Dr. Dan Hocking, Dr. Yoichiro Kanno, Dr. Evan Childress: model developers
  • Dr. Evan Grant, Dr. Rachel Katz: decision support researchers
  • Kyle O'Neil: database support
  • Matt Hodge: application developer
  • Ana Rosner: model developer and database support

Funding Sources

NECSC Logo NALCC Logo USGS Logo DOI Logo USGS Sandy Logo EBTJV Logo MassDOT Logo CHaMP Logo