1975 Willow Drive
Madison, Wis. 53706-1103

Phone: 608-262-6515

David A. Hart

Assistant Director for Extension

What I do at Sea Grant

David A. Hart is a senior scientist with the University of Wisconsin Aquatic Sciences Center and serves as the assistant director for extension at Wisconsin Sea Grant. He directs a staff of outreach specialists who extend coastal science throughout Wisconsin. His research occurs at the intersection of geographic information science, urban planning and coastal management with a focus on the application of geospatial technologies to promote resilience to natural hazards.

Year Joined
1995 as coastal GIS outreach specialist, 2014 as assistant director for extension

B.S., University of Michigan, natural resources policy and management

Master of Urban and Regional Planning, University of New Orleans, environmental planning. Thesis: Regional Planning Concepts for Stormwater Management in the Lake Pontchartrain (Louisiana) Watershed. Advisor: Fritz Wagner.

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, land resources. Dissertation: Building a Horizontally and Vertically Integrated Coastal GIS Using Local Government Spatial Data: The Case of Coastal Erosion Hazards on the Lake Michigan Coast of Wisconsin. Advisor: Stephen J. Ventura.

Awards, Honors and Memberships


  • Outstanding Programming Award, Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, 2015 (as part of team for the St. Louis River Estuary Stories and Science project)
  • Distinguished Service Award, Wisconsin Land Information Association, 2007
  • Early Career Award, Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, 2007
  • Excellence in Coastal and Marine Graduate Study, 1999 Walter B. Jones Memorial and NOAA Excellence Awards for Coastal and Ocean Management


  • American Planning Association
  • American Institute of Certified Planners

Selected publications:

Eanes, F., Silbernagel, J., Robinson, P., and D. Hart. 2020. Interactive Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives for Landscape Conservation and Public Engagement. Landscape Journal. July 2020 Vol. 38, pp. 7-24.

Eanes, F., Silbernagel, J., Hart., D., Robinson, P. and M. Axler. 2018. Participatory mobile- and web-based tools for eliciting landscape knowledge and perspectives: introducing and evaluating the Wisconsin geotools project. Journal of Coastal Conservation.

Roth R., Hart, D, Mead, R., and C. Quinn. 2017. Wireframing for interactive & web-based mapping: Designing the NOAA Lake Level Viewer. Cartography and Geographic Information Science. 44 (4), 338-357.

Silbernagel, J., Host, G., Hagley, C., Hart, D., Axler, R., Fortner, R., Axler, M., Smith, V., Drewes, A., Bartsch, W. and Danz, N. 2015. Linking place-based science to people through spatial narratives of coastal stewardship. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 19(2), pp.181-198.

Roth R., Quinn, C., and D. Hart. 2015. The competitive analysis method for evaluating water level visualization tools. In: A. Vondrakova, J. Brus, and V. Vozenilek (eds) Modern Trends in Cartography, Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. Chapter 19, pp. 241-256.

Burkett, V., D. Zilkoski, and D. Hart. 2003. Sea-Level Rise and Subsidence: Implications for Flooding in New Orleans. U.S. Geological Survey Subsidence Interest Group Conference, Proceedings for the Technical Meeting. November 27-29, 2001, Galveston Island, Texas. USGS Water Resources Division, Open File Report Series. pp. 63-70.


Wisconsin Coastal Atlas

The Wisconsin Coastal Atlas serves as a gateway to interactive maps, geospatial data and decision support tools relevant to Great Lakes management and provides access to place-based learning resources about coastal issues in Wisconsin. It is intended for use by coastal resource managers, planners, researchers, educators, tourists, citizen scientists and coastal residents. The atlas is a component of a coastal spatial data infrastructure for the Great Lakes region. Wisconsin Sea Grant collaborates with the International Coastal Atlas Network to encourage and help facilitate the development of digital atlases of the global coast based on the "FAIR" data principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability and reuse.

Wisconsin Coastal Guide

The Wisconsin Coastal Guide is an interactive web-mapping site promoting coastal heritage tourism along Great Lakes Circle Tour routes. It encourages eco-tourism that strengthens local economies and increases the perception of the Wisconsin Great Lakes coasts as a special scenic resource worthy of sound stewardship. The Wisconsin Coastal Guide is supported by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program.

Geodesign to Guide Green Infrastructure for Urban Stormwater Management

Green infrastructure practices such as rain gardens, green roofs, bioswales and porous pavement hold promise for reducing urban flooding and improving water quality. This project is developing and applying an ArcGIS GeoPlanner template to support green infrastructure planning for urban stormwater management. ArcGIS GeoPlanner is a geodesign tool developed by Esri, the industry leader in geographic information systems. The template allows users to collaboratively design and visualize green infrastructure scenarios and measure the cumulative impact that these practices have on capturing and infiltrating urban stormwater runoff across different scales ranging from a development site, a neighborhood, an urban drainage catchment area, a municipality, to a watershed.

Great Lakes Quests

Great Lakes Quests are virtual learning activities about coastal topics in Wisconsin. The quests contain interactive educational components including links to external content, inquiry-based questions and quizzes. Each correct quiz answer reveals a clue that spells a word or phrase that is significant to the coastal topic and area. Existing quests focus on the coastal resilience issues of harbor infrastructure, bluff erosion, flooding, green infrastructure, beach health and dune protection. The quests were developed through a collaboration between Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center and Wisconsin Sea Grant.

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