Volume 6, Issue 3 - August/September 2013
ForWarn Follows National Forest Disturbances
How Green is a Healthy Forest?
As new spring leaves emerged and a wave of green moved up through the United States, the 2013 growing season began—and U.S. Forest Service researchers were watching. In forests, greenness levels change with natural rhythms called phenology, including seasonal changes, growth and mortality, year-to-year climate variation, and effects of disturbance. All of these indicators are important to forest health. To help managers of federal, state, and private lands monitor this greenness, Eastern Threat Center scientists, working with federal and university partners, developed the ForWarn forest monitoring system. Several new ForWarn features were added for the 2013 growing season to aid researchers and managers.
Researchers Get EVEREST-Sized Look at Woodland Disturbances
An exploratory visualization facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provided Eastern Threat Center ForWarn researchers with a unique view of maps used to detect and track unexpected forest change and disturbance. Researchers met with ORNL Climate Change Science Institute scientists and viewed recent ForWarn maps at an immersive facility called EVEREST, or Exploratory Visualization Environment for Research in Science and Technology – creating depth in detailed images and a high resolution 3D effect. Center researchers were visiting ORNL to analyze "big data" from several forest disturbances. They also viewed effects of past western wildfires and took a closer look at the massive Rim Fire burning in California near Yosemite National Park – courtesy of the ForWarn "Early Detect" map.
Right: On August 23, 2013, Eastern Threat Center research ecologist Bill Hargrove, left, and ORNL research scientist Forrest Hoffman use a ForWarn map to examine growing impacts of the Yosemite Rim Fire in ORNL’s EVEREST visualization facility. Image credit: Jitendra Kumar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory