Science and sound resource management depend on accurate and timely environmental data. In experimental forests and ranges throughout the United States, the USDA Forest Service is investing in digital sensors and telecommunications capacity to create an integrated monitoring and research program for the nation’s air, water, and forest resources, whether in rural or densely-populated areas. Currently, a number of Northern Research Station’s experimental forests are building infrastructure to participate in the Smart Forest Network.
Smart forest technology will:
- Collect and wirelessly transmit to the internet a fundamental set of environmental measurements at sites that are distributed strategically across major geographic, climatic and vegetation gradients, oftentimes at well-established research sites where existing long-term data have provided state-of-the-art science on the nation’s forests, water, and air resources.
- Develop and implement cyber infrastructure to upgrade and enhance environmental monitoring at sites that are distributed strategically across major geographic, climatic and vegetation gradients.
- Provide real-time access to environmental sensor data from established research sites to a single point of entry web site.
- Apply visualization and outreach tools to engage researchers, resource managers, educators and the public with ‘Smart Forest’ data.
Currently, the following Northern Research Station experimental forests and research sites are participating in the Smart Forest Network:
- Bartlett Experimental Forest in New Hampshire
- Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia
- Howland Cooperating Experimental Forest in Maine
- Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire
- New York City Urban Field Station
- Marcell Experimental Forest in Minnesota
- Silas Little Experimental Forest in New Jersey
- Sinkin Experimental Forest in Missouri
As this monitoring network is developed and expands, archived and near-real-time data from these locations will be available via webpages.
The data include air temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, soil temperature and moisture, stream flow (at hydrologic sites), and a webcam to monitor tree phenology. Information and data can be accessed at:http://smartforests.org/.
Northern Research Station science will be enhanced in myriad ways by the higher-frequency and highly accurate data provided through our Smart Forest initiative. These new tools and techniques will help them visualize that data, and offer them new ways of understanding air, water, and forest resources. In addition, the data will be available to the public, educators, and resource managers.
Campbell, John L.; Rustad, Lindsey E.; Porter, John H.; Taylor, Jeffrey R.; Dereszynski, Ethan W.; Shanley, James B.; Gries, Corinna; Henshaw, Donald L.; Martin, Mary E.; Sheldon, Wade. M.; Boose, Emery R. 2013. Quantity is nothing without quality: automated QA/QC for streaming sensor networks. BioScience. 63(7): 574-585.
- US Forest Service - Northern Research Station
- Lindsey Rustad, Team Leader / Research Ecologist
- Stephen Sebestyen, Research Hydrologist
- Thomas Schuler, Project Leader / Research Forester
- John Campbell, Research Ecologist
- John Kabrick, Research Forester
- Randy Kolka, Team Leader / Research Soil Scientist
- Rich Hallett, Research Ecologist
- Chris Woodall, Project Leader / Research Forester
- Dave Hollinger, Project Leader / Plant Physiologist
- University of New Hampshire - Mary Martin
Last Modified: February 2, 2015
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