Decision support smartphone application for forest health in the eastern United States

PARTNERS: University of Georgia – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (Bugwood); USDA Forest Service Southern Region Forest Health Protection

SUMMARY: The University of Georgia – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (Bugwood) has successfully developed tools to support forest health across North America. Building upon these tools, including Forestry Images, EDDMapS and Bugwood Apps, Bugwood is developing a new tool/app that helps to diagnose forest health and tree damage in the field using smartphones and tablets. With smartphones surpassing cell phones as the dominant communication device in the United States, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this trend to help manage forest health in the Eastern United States. These devices with integrated GPS, camera, and storage for both recording infestations and providing information for identification offer the ultimate invasive species and pest management tool. Since 2010, Bugwood has developed 28 smartphone applications, mostly focused on invasive species, which have been downloaded over 100,000 times. This new tool utilizes the existing images, information, and reporting structure developed and/or hosted by Bugwood as well as the I-PED protocol developed by the U.S. Forest Service and others. The resulting apps, iPhone/iPad and Android, will focus on major forest tree species in the eastern United States (Northeastern and Southern Regions of the U.S. Forest Service). It will help land managers, county Extension agents, state and county foresters, and consultants quickly differentiate between native and non-native threats. When non-native insects or pathogens are suspected, users will be able to quickly report their findings to proper regulatory authorities.

EFETAC'S ROLE: This project is supported by Eastern Threat Center funding.

STATUS: Ongoing

PROGRESS: The "Forest Health Diagnosis" Android app was released in June 2018.


"Forest Health Diagnosis" Android app

Chuck Bargeron, Associate Director for Invasive Species and Information Technology, Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health/University of Georgia, or (229) 386-3298

Updated July 2018

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