Volume 10, Issue 5 - Nov. / Dec. 2016
Common Goals Bridge SRS and South Korean Hydrology Researchers
Many years of war including World War II and the Korean War destroyed many of Korea’s forests. Major reforestation efforts began in the 1960s. Today, 64% of the land area in South Korea is forested, and forests are playing an important role in protecting the wellbeing of 50 million people facing environmental change across the Korean peninsula. At the invitation of Dr. Hyung Tae Choi and supported by Korea's National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS) located in Seoul, Eastern Threat Center research hydrologist Ge Sun presented a seminar to NIFoS scientists on forest hydrology and toured several long-term field hydrologic research installations that focus on forest ecological restoration to sustain water supply. In December, Sun hosted Dr. Choi and NIFoS colleague Dr. Won Seok Kang during a visit to Southern Research Station (SRS) facilities in North Carolina, including Eastern Threat Center offices in Raleigh and Asheville and the SRS Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in Otto. In addition to touring SRS hydrology research sites, Choi and Kang learned about forest monitoring techniques using the satellite-based ForWarn system. Of particular interest to Choi and Kang were recent wildfires across the Southeast due to their concerns about wildfire impacts on water supplies across South Korea’s relatively small land area. SRS and NIFoS scientists are continuing to explore collaboration opportunities to achieve common research goals.
Pictured: From left to right, Kang, Sun, Choi, and SRS research hydrologist Peter Caldwell toured research sites at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. Photo by U.S. Forest Service.