Scientific Publications

You can find all of my scientific publications on the Center for Watershed Sciences website.

Click here to view my scientific publications

Reports, Policy Briefs, Books, and Book Chapters

GIS for Watershed Analysis: A Spatial Workbook (2017) – A pay-what-you-want book of in-depth tutorials on ArcGIS use for water and ecosystems analysis.

Sierra Climate Change Toolkit (2010)- A document I co-authored while I was at the Sierra Nevada Alliance. It help groups and agencies in California’s Sierra Nevada reduce their carbon footprint and prepare for and adapt to climate change.

Consumption, Climate Change, and the Environment (2013) – A chapter I wrote in a book of essays called Millenials Speak: Essays on the 21st Century.

LED Standard Traffic Signals (2007) – coauthered policy brief for the Roosevelt Institution’s 25 Ideas for Energy and the Environment series.

Congestion Charging in Metropolitan Areas (2007) – Policy Brief for the Roosevelt Institution’s 25 Ideas for Energy and the Environment series.


I’ve written on many sites around the web, including for prior employers. Here’s some of my prior writing:

  • Truncating GeoJSON Coordinate Precision with Regular Expressions
    So, this isn’t anything particularly magical, but it’s a fast way to get rid of extra decimals on GeoJSON without loading up any GIS packages and it’s something I need every so often, so I figured I’d save it here and share it at the same time. It’s great when I only have Notepad++ available, which can search and replace with regular expressions, or when I’m on Linux and don’t want to install spatial tools ... Read More
    Written on: This SitePublished on 2020-07-09By Nick
  • Ansible Deploys from Windows Using WSL, Hyper-V, and Vagrant
    So, I want to manage my infrastructure with Ansible and test deploys with Vagrant, but I’m running Windows as my development machine, which is unsupported by Ansible. This is relatively straightforward if we use Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), but has a few caveats. But what if I also want to test my Ansible deploys with clean VMs using Vagrant? That configuration has a few more caveats. This post includes some notes on how this ... Read More
    Written on: This SitePublished on 2020-05-14By Nick
  • Preliminary Analysis of Hurricane Harvey Flooding in Harris County, Texas
    by Nicholas Pinter, Nicholas Santos, and Rui Hui Located in Harris County, Texas, Houston is the 4th most populous city in the US.  The flooding now unfolding in the Houston area is a human and economic disaster likely to rank … Continue reading ... Read More
    Written on: California WaterBlog (CWS)Published on 2017-09-01By UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
  • New Baton Rouge flood map show limits of current risk and planning methods
    by Nicholas Pinter, Nicholas Santos, Rui Hui, Kathleen Schaefer The flooding in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas of Louisiana is a major disaster, claiming an estimated 13 lives and displacing more than 100,000 people from their homes. The National Weather … Continue reading ... Read More
    Written on: California WaterBlog (CWS)Published on 2016-08-29By UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
  • Troubleshooting Error 999999 in ArcMap and ArcGIS
    If you’ve worked with ArcGIS, you’ve certainly had your fair share of errors while running geoprocessing tools – many of them are quite descriptive and tell you exactly what’s wrong, while some are specific but cryptic. But one error message, with error code 999999, is painful to get because it means something went wrong, and even the software isn’t sure what it is. It is usually accompanied by misleading messages such as “the table was ... Read More
    Written on: CWS Help Website – ArcGISPublished on 2016-08-01By Nicholas Santos
  • Setting Up Your Own Conda Env With ArcGIS Pro 1.3 – Switching from VirtualEnv
    Until ArcGIS Pro 1.3, I successfully used virtualenv-based workflows with ArcGIS in order to isolate my package installations from the main Python installation that contains ArcGIS’ arcpy package. With ArcGIS Pro 1.3, I had the opportunity to leverage conda, a package manager and environment manager that makes scientific computing a little easier, so I gave it a try – migration wasn’t super straightforward though. Moved executables First, ArcGIS Pro no longer needs a separate Python ... Read More
    Written on: CWS Help Website – ArcGISPublished on 2016-07-11By Nicholas Santos
  • A reckless disregard for facts and a hunger for retribution
    Everywhere I look in this election, there’s something to be concerned about, but I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly what I’m…Continue reading on » ... Read More
    Written on: MediumPublished on 2016-06-09By Nick Santos
  • I’m curious about how you see these cultural issues getting resolved.
    I’m curious about how you see these cultural issues getting resolved. There are two problems with the echochambers you mention — first, there are echochambers that won’t hire people outside their bubble, and second are the echochambers that will, but that aren’t inclusive enough environments to make people outside their bubble want to stick around. This latter type is what I hear you saying StackOverflow is— it’s an open community, but it makes most women not want ... Read More
    Written on: MediumPublished on 2016-03-18By Nick Santos
  • Finally, a one-stop shop for locating California’s fishes
    By Nick Santos “Where?” The question is foundational to conservation biology and policy. To take a conservation action, you need to know where to act. And, yet, for decades stewards and researchers of aquatic fauna have been sorely lacking in … Continue reading ... Read More
    Written on: California WaterBlog (CWS)Published on 2015-11-08By UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
  • Resolved: Windows 10 Technical Preview 10079 Update Error 0x8024401c
    I’ve been running the Windows 10 Technical Preview for about a month now, and mostly have great impressions of it. But one of the bigger bugs is that I have not been able to install updates – a problem, but an even bigger one as they release new updates to fix the bugs in the OS. Numerous people have experienced similar issues, but few get the error code 0x8024401c – in past versions of windows and ... Read More
    Written on: This SitePublished on 2015-05-21By Nick
  • Quirks: ArcGIS Snap Rasters and Converting Polygons to Rasters
    This week, I needed to convert a number of polygon feature classes to raster. Some of these feature classes included large numbers of features that were small relative to the cell size of the raster. Because of this, they wouldn’t get captured at all in the conversion to raster using ArcGIS’ Polygon to Raster tool, with any of the settings for conversion (CELL_CENTER, MAXIMUM_AREA, or MAXIMUM_COMBINED AREA). So we went looking for alternatives. A coworker ... Read More
    Written on: This SitePublished on 2015-04-17By Nick
  • Things I learned at work today
    Had a couple interesting problems to solve today that I thought I’d note here. One was with a Python library not getting loaded correctly, and the other with some bulk email for a client going to spam. These are as much notes for me as for anyone else, so no guarantees on my writing quality here. Python won’t load modules in pth file The first problem was something I’ve done dozens of times before, and ... Read More
    Written on: This SitePublished on 2015-01-13By Nick
  • Getting to Sustainability: I Have Seen the Enemy, and He is Us
    This piece was originally published on BrightSpot Social I recently wrote about why consumer behavior matters in response to Annie Leonard’s piece on why good citizens are more important than good consumers. Without rehashing that piece, I argued that good consumers help change our consumption culture and invest in sustainability, and that’s exactly what we need to get to a sustainable society. To be frank, despite all of our “eco-consciousness,” we’re actually not doing very ... Read More
    Written on: Environmental Consumer BlogPublished on 2012-09-28By Nick
  • What Does Environmental Consumption Look Like Internationally?
    From time to time, we’ll be highlighting questions we receive from our “Ask our Helpdesk” program that we think have broad relevance. Have a question of your own? Send it our way. A reader asks: “I would like to know if there is an article about the environmental conscience around the world. If there is a country where the people are more careful than the others and why. If enviroconsumer could give that information I ... Read More
    Written on: Environmental Consumer BlogPublished on 2012-08-23By Nick
  • Reducing your Impact with Product Substitution
    Editor’s note: When we started Environmental Consumer, we swore we’d never do a top ten tips list or anything like it. In the course of developing a new initiative, this information came together as a natural set of items to work on. We’re going to be digging much deeper soon, but we hope this helps in the meantime. The first step for every environmental consumer is to make the easy swaps in your everyday shopping ... Read More
    Written on: Environmental Consumer BlogPublished on 2012-08-20By Kate
  • Environmentalism Can’t Succeed Without Good Citizens and Good Consumers
    Generally, we try to focus Environmental Consumer’s work on your power as a consumer to reduce your impact and change business practices by voting with your dollars. A discussion arose recently on the effectiveness of that, and Nick chimed in. This piece was originally posted at Next New Deal, but has been crossposted a few other places as well. We feel it is appropriate for this blog and hope you do too. Please respond with ... Read More
    Written on: Environmental Consumer BlogPublished on 2012-08-09By Nick
  • What we’re about
    There are a lot of blogs on the Internet, many of them environmentally focused.  As a drop in the bucket, I feel like I should tell you what we’re going to write about and why this one might be worth your time – and give some background on the organization in the process. I started the Environmental Consumer in late 2007 with the idea that it’s really hard to know how to be friendly to ... Read More
    Written on: Environmental Consumer BlogPublished on 2010-10-21By Nick
  • Principles of Environmental Consumerism: Intro
    In addition to a planned series on strategies for getting in the mindset of using less, we’re going to kick off a series of very short blog posts of principles to guide you as an environmental (or socially-responsible in general) consumer.  These will be tips to help pass by misconceptions and overcome small barriers. This series will come out as we think of them, so the number on each post won’t have relevance to its ... Read More
    Written on: Environmental Consumer BlogPublished on 2010-09-30By Nick