Estimating Forest and Shrub Aboveground Dry Biomass in the Tanana Valley, Alaska using Ground Plots and Airborne Lidar Data

The project is a part of the large project called “A Joint USFS-NASA Pilot Project to Estimate Forest Carbon Stocks in Interior Alaska by Integrating Field, Airborne and Satellite Data”. The project is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Carbon Monitoring System (CMS). NASA CMS is designed to make significant contributions in characterizing, quantifying, understanding, and predicting the evolution of global carbon sources and sinks through improved monitoring of carbon stocks and fluxes.

Description – Statement of Work:
The project builds on the projects in Hedmark and Tanzania and the objectives of this joint research project between NASA and the forest inventory and monitoring group at NMBU are:

  1. apply and evaluate a new statistical framework implemented by NMBU for large-area estimation of forest biomass by combining airborne lasers and field plots. The laser data have been collected by NASA while the field plots have been collected by NASA and the US Forest Service.
  2. investigate field, remote sensing, and statistical techniques that will permit analysts to accurately and precisely estimate shrub biomass
  3. compare these results to results generated for the same study areas using different statistical estimators.

The project will include statistical two-phase model-dependent estimation. In total data from five different study areas of varying size will be analyzed. All study areas are located in southeastern Alaska and include:

  1. The Tanana Inventory Unit (~135,000 km2);
  2. The Tanana Valley State Forest (7331 km2);
  3. The Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge (2835 km2);
  4. Caribou-Poker Creeks Experimental Watersheds (104 km2), and
  5. Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest (33.6 km2).

Project period: 2015 – 2016

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