Forests in the age of big data: measuring and monitoring Canada’s forests from space

Canada’s forests represent about 9% of the world’s total forest area and, as a result, understanding and managing them have great ecological, economical, and cultural implications at both continental and global scales. As much of Canada’s forests lie in remote areas, measuring and monitoring them is challenging without earth observation data from sensors on airplanes and satellites. In this presentation, I will describe the big data revolution in the field of forest remote sensing and describe how the availability of satellite-derived datasets can be used to observe changes, estimate composition and structure, and predict future attributes such as wildfire susceptibility in Canadian forests.

About the Speaker

Headshot of Dr Chris Mulverhill
Dr. Chris Mulverhill

Dr. Chris Mulverhill is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Integrated Remote Sensing Studio (IRSS) in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. Chris’s research interests lie in the use of remote sensing technologies and geospatial data to inform responsible environmental management and enhance the understanding of ecological processes. To do this, he utilizes a wide range of remote sensing technologies across a variety of spatial and temporal scales – from satellites to drones to handheld cameras and everything in between.

Chris holds a PhD in Forestry from UBC and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon. Chris has held two Postdoctoral Research positions – the first working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop calibration and validation data for the upcoming NISAR satellite, and the second back in the IRSS lab at UBC working on a variety of projects related to forest inventory and wildfire prediction.

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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