My work involves integration of research and tools to enhance and increase efficiencies for the Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. Current projects include:1. Analysis of digital, large-scale aerial photography as an ancillary data source for collection of forest inventory data, such as percent tree canopy cover. 2. Development and integration of tools for automating estimation and mapping routines commonly used for data analysis and reporting.3. Organization, compilation, and analysis of data for a collaborative effort to understand the response of Western North America conifer species to projected climate change.
My interests are to further develop my current research, including: (1) analyzing the utility of large scale aerial photography to enhance inventories; (2) developing tools for automating estimation and mapping procedures; and (3) extending efforts to investigate the effects of climate change on the distribution of Western North America conifers with focus on elevation gradient shifts.
My work is important because it is focused towards understanding the role and integration of progressive technology into our traditional inventory methods for increasing efficiencies and providing enhancements to our overall business. As technology advances and ecological questions change, large scale aerial photography can be a more efficient and practical means for collecting inventory data. With the current and potential depletion of Forest Service budgets, it is important to consider alternatives to meet the basic needs of our mission. Developing automated tools for estimation and mapping procedures increases efficiency, consistency, and added value to the current reporting strategies of the FIA program. This provides more effective products for managers and scientists to make better decisions. The effects of climate change have brought up many questions on the response of individual plant species and vegetative communities. Understanding ecological consequences and potential species distributional shifts is important for current and future natural resource planning.
My past research implemented similar goals as my current work, aiming towards increasing efficiencies to the FIA program, while providing enhancements such as spatially-explicit map products as reporting tools. Past projects include:1. Development of procedures and tools for a photo-based inventory project, involving photo interpretation of large-scale aerial photography throughout the state of Nevada.2. Investigation of Quickbird imagery, a high resolution remotely-sensed data source for delineation and classification of tree crowns.3. Modeling and mapping forest resource attributes using non-parametric statistical modeling tools to integrate FIA resource data to remotely-sensed satellite imagery and other ancillary digital data products.