Nebraska GAP Project

Land Cover Classification of NebraskaFigure 1. Detailed land cover map of Nebraska prepared for the Nebraska GAP project.

The Nebraska GAP project includes numerous data downloads provided by CALMIT in our Publications & Data section.

 Principal Investigator: Geoffrey M. Henebry, CALMIT Fellow, currently at Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence (GIScCE) South Dakota State University. Other Investigators: James W. Merchant, CALMIT, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Background: A Gap Analysis consists of mapping three data layers — land cover, predicted distributions of vertebrate species, and a stewardship layer depicting both location and conservation status of protected areas. This data is then assessed to determine how much of a target species’ (plant or animal) habitat is in conserved areas. From this assessment, planning decisions can be made about whether further protection is merited.

Project Goal: The effort seeks to identify the degree to which all native plant and animal species and natural communities are or are not represented in our present-day mix of conservation lands. Species-rich areas, vertebrate species and land cover types that are not adequately managed for the long-term maintenance of native species and natural ecosystems constitute conservation "gaps."


  • map existing statewide vegetation and other land cover;
  • predict the present distributions of native animal species;
  • determine the extent and importance of places of native species richness;
  • compare the distributions of vegetation communities with existing land management goals;
  • compare places of species richness with existing land management goals;
  • provide an objective basis for a statewide biodiversity management strategy.

Funding for this project was provided through

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