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Friday, February 27 • 8:30am - 10:00am
What's Up with the Trees and Forests?

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One of North Carolina's most valuable commodities is it's trees and forests. This is true for many other parts of our country as well. However, they are constantly under attack from a wide-range of threats and therefore require constant monitoring and analysis. This session will show how GIS and remote sensing play a critical role in their health and management.

  • Airborne LiDAR for Evaluating the Impacts of Development on Urban Forest: A Case Study in the City of Charlotte
             Christopher Godwin
    Urban development continues to reshape forest landscapes and influence the carbon storage capacity of trees. To date, the impact of urban patterns on forest carbon density remains to be systematically evaluated. A major challenge is the lack of accurate and spatially explicit estimates of forest carbon storage over the entire urbanized area. In this study, we first develop an integrated approach that synergizes LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and aerial photography to efficiently map the landscape-level carbon storage per unit of tree cover with field measurements in an urban environment. Using a case study in the Charlotte Metropolitan Region, USA, we were able to determine the total amount of carbon stored in the local forests to be 3.8 million tonnes ($298 million value), with an average carbon density of 53.6 tonnes per hectare (t/ha). We further develop four separate models linking urban patterns (quantified using landscape metrics) and forest carbon density in four types of residential neighborhoods (categorized by the percent built-up ranging from low, medium-low, medium-high, to high). Results indicate a decrease of forest carbon density and an increase of carbon variance in neighborhoods where the intensity of development becomes higher. The landscape metrics that could significantly influence forest carbon density were also found to vary among these neighborhoods, demonstrating a non-stationary relationship between urban patterns and forest carbon storage. Hence, a proper design of the neighborhood level urban spatial patterns is essential to maximizing forest carbon storage at the landscape level.

  • Using Geospatial Applications to Build ForWarn
             Bill Hargrove
    ForWarn is a satellite-based forest disturbance monitoring system for the conterminous United States. It delivers new forest change products every eight days and provides tools for attributing abnormalities to insects, disease, wildfire, storms, human development or unusual weather. Archived data provide disturbance tracking across all lands since 2000. Interactive maps are accessible via the Forest Change Assessment Viewer.

  • A Web Application and Subscription Service for Landsat Forest Area Change Tools (LandsatFACT)
             Derek Morgan
    A web-based forest change viewer is required to deliver data to users and offer a pathway for viewing and interpreting change products. This requirement will consist of three primary deliverables: a Forest Change Viewer (FCV) web mapping application with a “latest change product” derived from various analysis methods (e.g., Normalized Difference Vegetation Index [NDVI], Normalized Difference Moisture Index [NDMI], Band 7 differencing, etc.); server-side file management, database transaction, and geoprocessing scripts; and data architecture designed in such a way to support the interface and scripts.

avatar for Jim Fox

Jim Fox

Director, UNC-A, National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center
Jim Fox serves as Director of UNC Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center. He oversees a variety of GIS projects primarily focused on the environment and land use. He works directly with such organizations as NOAA, USFS, and other state and local agencies... Read More →

avatar for Christopher Godwin

Christopher Godwin

Research Assistant, UNC-Charlotte (Formerly)
I am a graduate of UNC Charlotte with a degree in geography. Currently I am seeking employment within the field of geographic information systems. I am interested in finding more efficient ways of managing our environment and resources through the use of geospatial technologies... Read More →
avatar for Bill Hargrove

Bill Hargrove

Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service
Bill Hargrove received an M.S. in Entomology from University of Georgia in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from University of Georgia in 1988. He moved to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1990, and joined the ORNL staff in 2000 as a part of the Geographic Information and Spatial Technologies... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Derek Morgan

Dr. Derek Morgan

Senior Research Scientist, UNC-A, National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center
Derek joined the NEMAC team in October 2011 as Applied Research Software Designer. He has a strong research interest in developing novel geographic information systems (GIS) solutions to emerging challenges at the environment/society interface. Derek has taught GIS courses (GIS Customization... Read More →

Friday February 27, 2015 8:30am - 10:00am
Room 302 A

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