Forest ThreatNet

Volume 1, Issue 3 - Spring/Summer 2008

EFETAC In the News


Landcover Live on Google Earth

Google Earth logoYou can now view details about landcover across the continental U.S. or even just in your neighborhood! Kurt Riitters, landscape ecologist with EFETAC’s Forest Health Monitoring team, has processed data from the 2001 National Landcover Database to create interactive Google Earth maps showing forest spatial patterns, forest density, and mixtures of land use. The maps are visualization tools that can be used to analyze and assess land use change and forest fragmentation. Visit to learn more and to see the maps.

Western Carolina Student STEPs info EFETAC

Josephine FalconeJosephine Falcone, a master’s biology student at Western Carolina University (WCU), joins EFETAC as a STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) biological science technician working with ecologist Qinfeng Guo. She is helping to develop and populate Guo’s invasive and exotic plants database, a comprehensive catalog of non-native plants in North America used for continent-scale ecological analyses of these key threats to native ecosystems. At WCU, Falcone is studying effects of an insecticide treatment for hemlock woolly adelgid on food availability for insectivorous birds.

EFETAC Scientist Discusses Acid Rain

Steve McNulty, EFETAC’s Southern Global Change Program (SGCP) team leader, presented at the Critical Loads Ad-hoc Committee (CLAD) meeting of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) April 28-29 in Pensacola, FL. He updated the group on research he is conducting with Erika Cohen, SGCP resource information specialist, on the effects of critical loads in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. "Critical loads are the estimated levels of pollution above which forest health is at risk. They are just one component of a larger ecosystem stress model, so we are working to determine how interactions among critical loads, climate change, insects, and fire can affect forest health," says McNulty. Visit the NADP website at for more information about the program and the CLAD meeting.

Multiple Risks Cause Research Challenges

William (Bill) HargroveEFETAC ecologist Bill Hargrove is collaborating with other Forest Service researchers to develop a multi-criteria decision support system (MCDSS) capable of generating a set of National Environmental Threat Assessment Maps (NETAM). "Measuring the interactions among multiple risks, and including both economic and non-economic valuation in risk calculations, remains particularly challenging," says Hargrove, who attended a NETAM workshop at the Remote Sensing Applications Center in Salt Lake City, UT, May 6-8. Sponsored by the Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center, the workshop brought together researchers and mapping experts working to depict risk from various forest threats at the national scale and provided them an opportunity to compare and contrast the many approaches to mapping threats, hazards, and risks. For more information about the NETAM project or the workshop, contact Ken Brewer at or 801-975-3754.

Hargrove Wins People's Choice Award

Hargrove was also among the scientists who won the People’s Choice Awards gold medal at the 2008 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Science Team Meeting in Norfolk, VA. The award honored Hargrove and scientific partners for their development of a poster titled "A Cluster Analysis Approach to Comparing Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Data and Global Climate Model Results." The People’s Choice Awards, new to this year’s meeting, were awarded based on votes from all of the ARM scientists attending the meeting. This poster, along with the second and third place winners, can be seen at

Sino-Eco Names Sun President

Ge SunSGCP research hydrologist Ge Sun was recently elected president of Sino-Ecologists Association Overseas (Sino-Eco) for its 2008-2010 term. In an unofficial capacity, he assumed presidential responsibilities May 1. Sino-Eco is a non-profit academic organization established in 1988 to encourage the exchange of ideas and knowledge among Chinese ecologists in China and around the world. Additional information can be found at

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