Dewberry Awarded USGS Alaska Hydrography Task Order

Firm will provide geospatial services to update elevation-derived hydrography for the state.


Alaska’s Beaver Creek flowlines are mapped for the National Hydrography Dataset. Image courtesy of Dewberry.

Fairfax, VA—December 7, 2020 – Dewberry, a privately held professional services firm, has announced that is has been awarded a task order under the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geospatial and Services Contract 3 (GPSC3) to complete updated hydrography for use by the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) for approximately 9,880 square miles in northern Alaska.

In the early 2000s, due to the remote and uninhabited vastness of the state of Alaska, traditional survey and mapping methods were not applicable for feature extraction. Between 2010 and 2020, Dewberry mapped the state of Alaska, with quality level 5 (QL5) interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) data, including hydro-enforced digital terrain models (DTM) with cell-size resolution of five meters. Dewberry used this IFSAR data and applied a semi-automated approach to create new hydrographic flowlines and connectors meeting specifications of the 1:24,000 scale NHD. The updated network will result in approximately three times the number of NHD features as before.

“The collaborative efforts of USGS, local stakeholders, and private companies such as Dewberry are paramount to making a project like this succeed,” says Dewberry Associate Vice President, Mark Safran. “The updated hydrographic features of the NHD will be a benefit to all inhabitants as well as preserving the wilderness that Alaska, is known for, for generations to come.”

USGS is spearheading the collaboration of federal, state, and private industry officials to leverage the GPSC contract vehicle for updating NHD. Dewberry is supporting this effort to improve the geographic data for those that live, work, preserve, and protect the state of Alaska.

About Dewberry
Dewberry is a leading, market-facing firm with a proven history of providing professional services to a wide variety of public- and private-sector clients. Recognized for combining unsurpassed commitment to client service with deep subject matter expertise, Dewberry is dedicated to solving clients’ most complex challenges and transforming their communities. Established in 1956, Dewberry is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with more than 50 locations and 2,000+ professionals nationwide. To learn more, visit