Dr iLaria Marengo

GIS Specialist and Project Manager

iLaria gained an honours degree in Geography at the University of Genoa (Italy). She also has an MSc in Remote sensing and image processing from Dundee University and a PhD (developing a GIS and spatial statistics based method for tackling the landscape character assessment of the Scottish landscape) from Stirling University. Since graduation iLaria’s interest has been in GIS since she recognised that they were useful tools to apply geography to real case studies and consequently improve analysis of geographical data and provide support to decision makers.  iLaria has gained experience in the field of GIS and database development and management throughout the last 13 years by being involved in several projects and on different subjects in italy, at the JRC centre and at the University of Turin, and in Scotland, at HHA and NAFC Marine centre in Shetland and at JNCC in Aberdeen. The broad variety of studies to which iLaria’s has applied her knowledge on GIS and database helped her to keep a curious mind, the desire to learn new skills/ techniques and the passion for problem solving. Her challenging task in SAERI is to manage and collaborate with the setting up the South Atlantic Information Management and GIS Centre.

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Current projects

Information Management System and GIS data centre. The project is funded by JNCC in agreement with the Falkland Islands and Saint Helena Governments for two years (end in September 2015). Two posts were created within the agreement, a project manager for the Falkland Islands based at SAERI and a project Officer for Saint Helena based at the Environmental Management Division in Jamestown. Although the two posts are only in two UKOTs, the project embraces the entire South Atlantic region including also the territories of Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha, and South Georgia.

The project was born in order to address data issues particularly evident and common to all the SA UKOTs: Inconsistencies in data collection, absence of a data catalogue and overall poor management. Up to nowadays data collected by independent researchers, academic or private research institutes, NGOs and governmental departments were not integrated in any sort of data system, rather their management was left with their owners.

The project is about the realisation of two interlinked units:

1) An Information Management System which aims at establishing a data strategy in order to address the data issues identified for the Territories in the South Atlantic region. The strategy comprises of: a) the development and implementation of best practice guideline for ensuring consistent data collection across the whole region; b) the compilation of metadata forms (ISO 19115) for each recent and future data and the realisation of a metadata catalogue online which becomes the first gateway to the data of the SA OTs; c) the setting up of servers in each territory where data are securely stored and managed (updated and quality checked); d) the development of webGIS services to make the public data widely accessible.  

2) A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data centre which will allow people to become familiar with concepts and techniques of spatial data analysis and mapping. GIS are efficient tools for problem solving and for providing support to decision making. The GIS data centre has already provided training in QGIS (the open source software used in the South Atlantic) in the Falklands, Ascension and Saint Helena. Another course is planned in 2015 in Tristan da Cunha as well as other training activities for the SA OTs.

More details about the way the IMS-GIS data centre is structure are available here.

Support to local projects. Up to today GIS support, in terms of analyses and mapping, has been provided to assist local researchers in the Falkland Islands in the delivery of their projects. The GIS data centre was involved in: the Stanley harbour 2013 bird survey led by Sally Poncet; the Protected Areas project led by Clare Cockwell; the variation within breeding colonies of Gentoo penguins led by Andy Stanworth; the development of a database of planning and land permission led by Environmental Planning Department, Public Work Department and Attorney Generals Chamber.   

Consultancy services

GIS support has been provided to Premier Oil Exploration and Production Ltd. For the preparation of the following documents: Environmental Baseline Description for Sea Lion field (Jan 2014); Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (due by end of August); Coastal sensitivity and vulnerability to oil spill study for an Inshore Transfer Program (due by the end of September).

Scientific publications

J.F.Tweddle, I. Marengo, L. Gray, C. Kelly, R. Shucksmith, Developing regional locational guidance for wave and tidal energy in the Shetland Islands Marine Policy vol50 PartA 53-66

J.F.Tweddle, I. Marengo, L. Gray, C. Kelly, R. Shucksmith, FROM NATIONAL TO REGIONAL LOCATIONAL GUIDANCE FOR RENEWABLES Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies (EIMR2014), 28 April – 02 May 2014, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. www.eimr.org