Detecting Vegetation Change in Forests

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University of Washington doctoral student Karen Hutten and USGS scientists Christian Torgersen and Andrea Woodward presented preliminary results from our study on methods for detecting vegetation change in forests using satellite imagery in a poster titled “TimeSync: Investigating Trends in Vegetation Decline via Satellite Imagery” at the California Forest Pest Council annual meeting in McClellan, California, on November 7–8, 2012. Forests are vulnerable to multiple stresses, including exotic insects, disease, and climate change. Monitoring forest health and understanding trends in forest decline and recovery is important for land managers. Advances in remote sensing technology provide more detailed information compared to other tools for detecting forest vegetation change, which typically involve field data collection or laborious image processing techniques. TimeSync is a new tool that makes the process of detecting change in satellite imagery more efficient. Hutten demonstrated the use of TimeSync to detect landscape change and to identify areas of vegetation decline associated with disease and weather-related events.

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Christian Torgersen
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