This summer Woodam Chung, associate professor of forest operations, instructed a course in precision forestry for an international network of forest scientists. The International Union of Forest Resource Organizations (IUFRO) ran its first ever summer school for graduate students and natural resource professionals during two weeks in Warsaw, Poland. The focus on precision forestry taught participants how to utilize forest data gathered through technologies like remote sensing and GIS. More than 30 forestry professionals from 12 countries learned from Chung and faculty from five other universities how to use that data in fire, forest, and environmental management.
Chung's instruction focused on two tools he developed to support forest planning. The first, SNAP for ArcGIS, helps forest managers make tactical decisions about where, when, how, and the timing to apply fuel treatments based on spatial data. It helps forest managers plan timber harvests to maximize revenue while managing for other impacts and values. The second tool helps in operational planning of timber harvests by using highly precise forest maps to make decisions about what type of equipment to use and where to locate the equipment.One aim of IUFRO, the world's largest network of forest scientists, is to improve forest science education. This year's summer learning initiative shared new forest science knowledge and practical tools with graduate students and early-career forest managers.