Forest mapping technologies are evolving in ways that will revolutionize forest monitoring. These changes include the ability to map and monitor forest change at higher spatial detail and frequency than ever before, thanks to the availability of new satellites and cloud computing. This brings great promise for mapping forest structure and composition, tracking forest health and understanding seasonal dynamics, disturbance impacts and recovery, but only if this flood of new data can be channeled in ways that make sense to those who can benefit. With this applied need in mind, this initiative is designed to foster development of map products that demonstrate what is now possible, to research ways that these can be best adapted for management use, and along the way, to learn more about eastern US forests as revealed by these remarkable technological advances.
Due to its high spatial detail and temporal frequency, our work heavily relies on 10-meter resolution Sentinel 2 imagery from the European Space Agency. We also include landscape applications of LiDAR and ways to integrate diverse data to understand forest dynamics and patterns of forest diversity. Our emphasis is on eastern US forests, with particular emphasis on the Southeast and Appalachians.