Wetland Map of Nevada

Project Description

Principal Investigator: Ken McGwire

As part of a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Desert Research Institute has compiled existing geospatial and remote sensing data for Nevada into a statewide map of wetlands. This map incorporates data from multiple sources, including:

  • USFWS National Wetlands Inventory
  • USGS National Hydrography Dataset
  • NRCS GSSURGO soils data
  • Spring locations from the Springs Stewardship Institute
  • The DRI Map of Riparian Vegetation for Nevada
  • Wet meadow maps from USFS and the University of Nevada, and
  • Landsat normalized difference vegetation index data

This map product indicates which sources contributed to the identification of a mapped wetland polygon and provides a confidence indicator based on the number and type of coincident sources.

  • The Wetland Map of Nevada product can be downloaded from this link.  

Wetland Analysis Toolbar

The Wetbar Analysis Toolbar (WetBar) was developed to facilitate mapping and Level 1 characterization of wetlands in Nevada.  WetBar is an ArcMap toolbar (Desktop version only) that links in real-time to Google Earth Engine in order to calculate time-series of climate data, vegetation vigor and waterbody extent from Landsat imagery from 1985 to current, access and past aerial photography, and other geospatial data.  Definition of study areas is like a simple paint program and requires no knowledge of ArcMap editing methods.

The toolbar application organizes information on wetland study areas, allowing the user to group and sort sites based on various criteria.  In addition to providing a number of analysis functions for Level 1 wetland assessment, the toolbar can automatically generate a standard PDF report that includes a wide variety of information for a selected site, such as descriptions of the extent and hydrological setting, soils, climate, land ownership, wetland type, phenology, interannual variability in vegetation and hydrology, and more.

The Wetbar manual is located in the top level of the unzipped directory tree.  WetBar is for research use, and users must successfully register with Google for access to Google Earth Engine (free for research use).  While some functions may work outside of the state, WetBar is only fully functional within Nevada.

*Website header photo credit – spring wetlands in Kirsch Wildlife Management Area by Janel Johnson, Nevada Natural Heritage Program


Ken McGwire, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator


Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512


Earth & Ecosystem Sciences