A USGS research team led by Dennis Dye of the Western Geographic Science Center gave a 3-day technical training course on land remote sensing to staff of the San Carlos Apache Tribe’s Forest Resources Program in San Carlos, Arizona. The training supports the Tribe’s objectives for using ground-based observing systems (science-quality “phenocams” and other sensors) and airborne laser scanning (lidar) to support improved monitoring, analysis, and management of their natural resources.
On the San Carlos Apache Reservation in east-central Arizona, vegetation types such as ponderosa pine forests, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and grasslands have important ecological, cultural, and economic value for the Tribe. This value extends beyond the Tribal lands and across the western United States. Vegetation across the southwestern United States is susceptible to drought conditions and fluctuating water availability. Remotely sensed vegetation indices can be used to measure and monitor spatial and temporal vegetative response to these water and drought dynamics.