Mapping and GIS

Who we are:

Chris Ensminger Section Supervisor
GIS Anaysis and Support
Kathryne Clark, GISP GIS Analyst - Forestry and Natural Resources
Tesfay Russell
GIS Analyst - Water and Natural Resources
Claire Hruby
GIS Analyst - Water Quality, Groundwater, Stream Mitigation
Chris Kahle GIS Analyst - LiDAR processing, Flood plain program
Calvin Wolter GIS Analyst - Hydrologic modeling and SWAT
Scott Ralston, PE Hydrologic Engineering, Floodplain Mapping
GIS Data and Applications
Casey James Kohrt NRGIS / Geospatial Administrator
Geospatial Applications Coordination / Mapping Application Developer

What we do:
The GIS section is responsible for the development, management, and distribution of the Department's Natural Resource Geographic Information System (NRGIS). This includes data collection and analysis that may be required for various resource investigations and in support of making natural resource management decisions. We deliver data in various formats to decision makers and the public. We also provide GIS support and training to other sections of the DNR.

Data Collection and Production - Making good natural resource management decisions first requires good data. The DNR has undertaken many GIS projects focused on collecting and producing basic data on Iowa's natural resources. Examples include the Iowa LiDAR Project, Geocoding Project, Historic Aerial Photography project (1930s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s), multiple recent statewide aerial photography collection projects (2002 2009), National Wetlands Inventory update, statewide floodplain mapping project, etc.

Data Analysis - Good decisions require analysis of available data. Examples include our High Resolution Land Cover project, Nutrient Reduction Strategy modeling and support, National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) conflation effort, Restorable Wetland Analysis project, etc.

Data Distribution - GIS data is primarily delivered to natural resource managers and the public through our NRGIS Library, GIS Web Services, and Web Mapping Applications.

     GIS Library -

The Natural Resources Geographic Information System (NRGIS) Library is a Geographic Information System (GIS) repository developed and maintained by the GIS Section of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It is a collection of more than 20,000 geographically referenced databases. The purpose of the NRGIS Library is to improve the availability, integration, and analysis of natural resource information and improve decisions to carry out agency responsibilities related to the management, protection and development of Iowa's natural resources. The NRGIS Library is seen as a one-stop repository for all of Iowa's natural resource, geographic information.

All geo-referenced data is projected in Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), Zone 15, North American Datum of 1983(NAD83). All datasets have Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) compliant Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM), as html files, which users are encouraged to read prior to use of these datasets.

The NRGIS Library is public information, and offered freely to encourage the wise utilization of Iowa's natural resources. This World Wide Web site is designed to acquaint you with available datasets, and assist the user in obtaining them. We encourage all with GIS databases to share them in a similar manner so that all may benefit from our aggregated investments in this valuable technology. Your comments on our Natural Resources Geographic Information System Library are always welcome. Please address them to Casey Kohrt (319-335-1353) or email

Web Services - - Live data as Web Mapping Services for use in applications.
Web Mapping Applications
AFO Siting Atlas An interactive map to site animal feeding operations.
Burial Zone Siting An interactive map to assist in selecting animal burial zones.
Coal Mine Maps An interactive map to view coal mine maps where coal was mined in Iowa.
One Stop Facility Explorer An interactive map of environmentally-regulated facilities.
Fishing Atlas An interactive map of contour maps, fishing structure locations, topography and more.
GeoSam An interactive map of geologic information from well data.
Historic Photography Viewer An interactive map to see historic aerial photography.
Hunting Atlas An interactive map to discover hunting opportunities in Iowa.
Hydrogeologic Atlas An interactive map about Iowa's aquifers and their characteristics.
Natural Areas Inventory An interactive map about Iowa's rare species.
Recreation Atlas An interactive map for discovering recreation opportunities in Iowa.
Source Water Mapping An interactive map about Iowa's drinking water sources and quality.
Water Monitoring and Watershed Atlas     An interactive map about water quality and watersheds.
Iowa Water Web An interactive map about Iowa's water.