Slide Menu
Search Help Show/Hide Menu
Short Citation:
Office of Response and Restoration, 2023: Aleutian Islands Coastal Resources Inventory and Environmental Sensitivity Maps: NESTS (Nest Polygons),

Item Identification

Title: Aleutian Islands Coastal Resources Inventory and Environmental Sensitivity Maps: NESTS (Nest Polygons)
Short Name: Aleutian_NESTS
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2002-05

This data set contains biological resource data for alcids, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, pelagic birds, gulls and terns in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Points in this data set represent locations of bird nesting sites. Species-specific abundance, seasonality, status, life history, and source information are stored in relational data tables (described below) designed to be used in conjunction with this spatial data layer.This data set comprises a portion of the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) data for Aleutians East Borough and Aleutians West Coastal Resource Service Area (CRSA). These data identify the marine and coastal environments and wildlife. The ESI data include information for three main components: shoreline habitats, sensitive biological resources, and human-use resources. See also the BIRDS (Bird Polygons) data layer, part of the larger Aleutians East/Aleutians West ESI database, for additional bird information.


The ESI data were collected, mapped, and digitized to provide environmental data for oil spill planning and response. The Clean Water Act with amendments by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires response plans for immediate and effective protection of sensitive resources.



Other Citation Details:

Prepared by Research Planning, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service, Office of Response and Restoration, Hazardous Materials Response Division, Seattle, Washington; Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute; Aleutians West Coastal Resource Service Area (CRSA); Aleutians East Borough; Alaska Chadux Corporation; United States Coast Guard; and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

Supplemental Information:

Resource Description - ESI Atlas for the Aleutian Islands


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
NOS Topic Category Environmental Monitoring
None Bird
None Coastal resources
None Coastal Zone Management
None ESI
None Nest
None Oil spill planning
None Sensitivity maps
None Wildlife

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Aleutian Islands

Physical Location

Organization: Office of Response and Restoration
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Data Presentation Form: Digital vector data
Entity Attribute Overview:

In addition to the geographic data layers, six relational attribute or data tables, BIORES, BREED, SEASONAL, SOURCES, SPECIES, and STATUS, are used to store the complex biological data in the ESI data structure. The geographic data layer containing biological resource information (in this case, NESTS) is linked to the Biological Resources table (BIORES) using the unique ID and the lookup table BIO_LUT, or it can be linked directly using RARNUM. The ID is a unique combination of the atlas number (for the Aleutian Islands atlas, the number is 72), an element/layer specific number (BIRDS are layer 1, FISH are layer 2, etc.), and a unique record number. The RARNUM represents a unique combination of species, seasonalities, concentrations, and source information. For each of these groupings, a number is generated. That number is concatenated with the atlas number to create a "resource at risk" number that is unique across atlases. BIORES and the other relational data tables are described below in detail. See the Browse_Graphic section for a link to the entity-relationship diagram, which describes the way these tables relate to the geographic data layers and other attribute tables in the ESI data structure.Due to the complexity of the relational database model, the data items are also post-processed into a flat file format. This table, called BIOFILE, may be used in place of the relational files described below to ease simple data queries. The items in the flat file are ELEMENT, SUBELEMENT, NAME, GEN_SPEC, S_F, T_E, NHP, DATE_PUB, CONC, JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC, BREED1, BREED2, BREED3, BREED4, BREED5, RARNUM, G_SOURCE, S_SOURCE, and BREED. All of these items are the same as their counterparts in the individual data tables described below, except the BREED1-BREED5 and BREED items. BREED is a newly generated variable used to link to the BREED_DT data table, a modified, more compact version of the relational BREED data table. BREED1-BREED5 give a text summary of when each life stage occurs within the associated map object. The life stages referred to are the same as those listed in the Detailed_Description of the BREED data table. The link to the BIOFILE may be made through the BIO_LUT, using ID to link to RARNUM, or BIOFILE may be linked directly to the RARNUM in each of the geographic layer's attribute data tables. As mentioned, BREED_DT is an auxiliary support data table to the flat file structure, which allows the user to do searches based on month for seasonal breeding activities. The link from the flat file to BREED_DT is the BREED item. A second supporting data table is SOURCES. This is the same as the source file described above, and the link from the flat file is both G_SOURCE and S_SOURCE. It should be noted that although the flat file eases data query, it is not a normalized database structure, and actual updates performed by the states and other responsible agencies should be done using the relational data tables. The entity-relationship diagram describing relationships between attribute tables in the ESI data structure does NOT include the BIOFILE data table, and this data table is NOT described in detail below.

Entity Attribute Detail Citation:


Distribution Liability:

Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA regarding the utility of the data on any other system, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. NOAA warrants the delivery of this product in computer-readable format, and will offer a replacement copy of the product when the product is determined unreadable by computer-input peripherals, or when the physical medium is delivered in damaged condition.

Data Set Credit: This project was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service, Office of Response and Restoration, Hazardous Materials Response Division, Seattle, Washington; Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute; Aleutians West Coastal Resource Service Area (CRSA); Aleutians East Borough; Alaska Chadux Corporation; United States Coast Guard; and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 504154
Date Effective From: 2002-05
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


CC ID: 504156
Date Effective From: 2002-05
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 504157
Date Effective From: 2002-05
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 504155
Date Effective From: 2002-05
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


Currentness Reference: The biological data were compiled during 2000-2001. The currentness dates for these data range from 2000 to 2001 and are documented in the Source_Information section

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 504160
W° Bound: 172.42
E° Bound: -158.81002
N° Bound: 58.13312
S° Bound: 48.351629

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 504159
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2000
End: 2001

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Vector: Yes

Vector Representation 1

CC ID: 588108
Point Object Present?: Yes
Point Object Count: 379

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Procedure:

Contact NOAA for distribution options (see Distributor). ESI data are processed into multiple formats to make them useful to a wider community of GIS/mapping users. Distribution formats include ARC export, MOSS and Shape files, and MARPLOT map folders. An ArcView ESI project and ESI_Viewer product are also included on the distribution CDs for ease of use of the ESI data. The database files are distributed both in the NOAA standard relational database format (see NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS ORCA 115) and in a simplified desktop flat file format. This metadata document includes information on both of these database formats.;

Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

DO NOT USE MAPS FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES.Besides the above warning, there are no use constraints on these data. Note that the ESI database should not be used to the exclusion of other pertinent data or information held by state or federal agencies or other organizations. Likewise, information contained in the database cannot be used in place of consultations with environmental, natural resource, and cultural resource agencies, or in place of field surveys. Recognize that the information contained in the ESI database represents known concentration areas or occurrences of natural, cultural, and human-use resources, but does not necessarily represent the full distribution or range of each species or resource. This is particularly important to recognize when considering potential impacts to protected resources, such as endangered species, wetlands, etc. Acknowledgment of the originators, publishers, contributors, and sources listed would be appreciated in products derived from these data.



CC ID: 504152
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 504174
Activity Date/Time: 2002-05

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 504173
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

Converted from Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 588106
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 602504
Activity Date/Time: 2017-11-01

Replaced entire Lineage section to populate new Source Contribution field.

Activity Log 5

CC ID: 719047
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Technical Environment


The software packages used to develop the atlas are Environmental Systems Research Institute's ARC/INFO(r) (version 8.0.2) and ORACLE(r) RDBMS (version The hardware configuration is Hewlett Packard workstations (models 715/50 and 712/80i) with UNIX operating system (HP-UX Release A.10.20), and PC's with Windows Operating System (NT4.0/2000). The Spatial_Data_Organization Information section refers only to the source files in the ARC export format. The following files are included in that data set: birds.e00, bio_lut.e00, biofile.e00, biores.e00, breed.e00, breed_dt.e00, esi.e00, faults.e00, fish.e00, fishl.e00, geo.e00, habitats.e00, hydro.e00, index.e00, invert.e00, m_mammal.e00, m_mampt.e00, mgt.e00, nests.e00, seasonal.e00, soc_dat.e00, soc_lut.e00, socecon.e00, sources.e00, species.e00, status.e00, volcanos.e00. Associated relational and desktop data tables provided in Arc export and text format are bio_lut, biofile, biores, breed, breed_dt, seasonal, soc_dat, soc_lut, socecon, sources, species, and status.

Data Quality


A multi-stage error checking process is used to verify both attribute accuracy and logical consistency throughout data production. The process includes a standardized data entry methodology, hardcopy data review by in-house and external resource experts, a final Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) process, and multiple automated logical consistency checks. Quantitative data (such as densities, counts, abundances, or concentrations) provided by resource experts for inclusion in the data set may vary widely in attribute accuracy, depending upon the methodology used to collect and compile such data. For a more detailed evaluation of source data attribute accuracy, contact the sources listed in the Lineage section.

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

This biological data set was developed from pre-existing digital sources and reflects the positional accuracy of these original data. See the Lineage and Process_Description sections for more information on the original data source and how these data were integrated or manipulated to create the final data set. Note that biological resource data by their very nature are considered "fuzzy", and this should be understood when considering the positional accuracy of vector digital objects representing these resources.

Completeness Report:

These data were obtained from digital data on bird nesting sites. Refer to the BIRDS (Bird Polygons) data layer for additional bird distribution information. These data do not necessarily represent all bird occurrences in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The following species are included in this data set (Species_ID, Common Name, Scientific Name, if applicable): 8, Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus; 10, Pelagic cormorant, Phalacrocorax pelagicus; 36, Glaucous-winged gull, Larus glaucescens; 41, Mew gull, Larus canus; 46, Common murre, Uria aalge; 47, Pigeon guillemot, Cepphus columba; 49, Cassin's auklet, Ptychoramphus aleuticus; 50, Rhinoceros auklet, Cerorhinca monocerata; 51, Tufted puffin, Fratercula cirrhata; 68, Black oystercatcher, Haematopus bachmani; 79, Cormorant, Phalacrocorax sp.; 80, Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea; 81, Horned puffin, Fratercula corniculata; 84, Parakeet auklet, Aethia psittacula; 96, Leach's storm-petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa; 99, Red-faced cormorant, Phalacrocorax urile; 100, Black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla; 101, Aleutian tern, Sterna aleutica; 102, Fork-tailed storm-petrel, Oceanodroma furcata; 103, Common eider, Somateria mollissima; 104, Murre, Uria sp.; 105, Thick-billed murre, Uria lomvia; 106, Ancient murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus; 109, Crested auklet, Aethia cristatella; 111, Least auklet, Aethia pusilla; 129, Northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis; 130, Red-legged kittiwake, Rissa brevirostris; 345, Storm-petrels, Oceanodroma spp.; 618, Whiskered auklet, Aethia pygmaea; 1008, Terns.

Conceptual Consistency:

A multi-stage error checking process, described in the above Attribute_Accuracy_Report, is used to verify both attribute accuracy and logical consistency throughout data production. This process includes multiple automated logical consistency checks that test the files for missing or duplicate data, rules for proper coding, GIS topological consistencies (such as dangles, unnecessary node, etc.), and ORACLE(r) to ARC/INFO(r) consistencies. A final review is made by the GIS manager, where the data are written to CD-ROM and the metadata are written. After the data are delivered to NOAA, they are again subjected to a number of quality and consistency checks. In the process of checking for topological and database consistencies, new ID's and RARNUM's or HUNUM's are also generated. The new ID's are a combination of atlas number, element number, and record number. In addition, the value used to represent the element is modified to reflect the type of feature being mapped. In the case of an element that is normally represented by a point or polygon a value of 20 is added to the standard element value for mapping of linear features. In the case where an element usually mapped as a polygon is represented by a point, a value of 30 is added to the regular element value. The RARNUM's are also modified to include the atlas number, so multiple atlases can be combined and RARNUM's remain unique. RARNUM's are redefined on an element basis, so "resource at risk" groupings will contain only a single element. HUNUM's are also modified to include the atlas number.



Beringian Seabird Colony Catalog

CC ID: 602505
Contact Name: Shawn Stevenson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2000
Source Contribution:

Nesting information | Source Geospatial Form: Digital table | Type of Source Media: Electronic mail service

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 602506

The data source used to depict bird nesting locations was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Beringian Seabird Database. The positional data were used exactly as provided, and the attribute data were converted to a format compatible with the ESI data format. Following the data compilation phase, several sets of completed maps were sent out to the resource agencies for review, and edits were made based on recommendations by the resource experts. Concentration information was numerical counts of nests or individuals, where available, and unknown otherwise. In many cases, concentration information was provided by resource experts.

Process Date/Time: 2001-11-01 00:00:00

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity BIO_LUT
Entity BREED

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 40223
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:40223
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 14:50+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-05-30 18:09+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2018-02-08
Owner Org: ORR
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2018-02-08
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2019-02-08