Forest health and protection are among society's highest natural resource priorities in responding to climate change, habitat fragmentation and increased wildland fire risks. This course provides an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) with specific applications and case studies in forest management. The first two days provide an overview of online resources, hands-on exercises in a computer lab setting and outdoor exercises with GPS-enabled, smartphone apps. Over the following two weeks, students work on their own, applying selected technologies on a project of their choosing, to be presented and refined on the third day of the course. Lecture and exercise topics will include the following areas, with additional detail areas depending on student interest and experience:
- Remote sensing for forest health and trend assessment
- Wildland fire risk analysis: vegetation - fuels, weather statistics, topography and 3D modeling and ignition sources
- Forest soils analysis for reforestation and erosion mitigation
Intended audiences include field technicians wishing to gain GIS experience, as well as those familiar with GIS that would like to broaden their application and/or data acquisition experience.