Focus on Forests

Focus on Forests

Forests sustainably manage natural resources and generate essential ecosystem services that contribute to the health of our planet. They protect people, provide a clean air environment, store carbon and stabilize the climate. Deforestation is a threat to the biodiversity that forests support, as well as human and economic development around the world.

Forests are home to a diverse variety of species, including at least 8% of the world’s plants and 5% of its animals. They store carbon, regulate climate and maintain water quality.

They also help prevent floods, landslides and earthquakes. Trees’ roots give the soil structure to absorb and retain water, protecting the surrounding land from erosion.

Planting trees is an effective way to offset greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s important to make sure the plants are planted in sustainable forests that won’t be harvested for timber. Check out a local forest nonprofit or a national conservation charity to learn more about how to donate.

Encourage your local government to conserve forests, create parks and oppose destructive suburban sprawl and other development. This is a great way to protect the ecosystem, create jobs and build community pride.

Consider a conservation easement if you own a forested property. The money you invest in a conservation easement will be used to buy forest land for future generations, rather than being spent on paving roads or building new buildings.

A Forest is a place to rest and reconnect with nature

Research shows that spending time in a forest reduces stress, improves concentration, and increases happiness. It also helps people recover from stress-related exhaustion, which can affect the immune system and cause depression and other problems.

Visiting forests provides opportunities to learn about the natural world, which in turn fosters a sense of connection to others and the environment as a whole. It can help students develop a deeper appreciation for the importance of preserving our world’s natural resources and helping to preserve forests worldwide.

Focus on Forests is a free, interactive, high school curriculum that helps students understand the ecological systems of forests, analyze interdependencies within forest ecosystems and discover how they are affected by factors like fire. It includes hands-on activities and lessons in biology, civics, ecology, economics, and forest management content areas.

Forests are a source of clean air, fresh water and food for people throughout the world. They absorb CO2 from the air and replenish oxygen in the atmosphere, while producing wood and other non-wood products that are essential to human health.

They also help reduce the global temperature through evapotranspiration and cool down our atmosphere. When a forest is destroyed, it releases large amounts of greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change.

For more information on how you can save forests, check out the World Economic Forum’s One Trillion Trees initiative or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Get involved with a local forest nonprofit and volunteer!

Aside from helping to restore habitat, reforestation also benefits local communities by providing employment and reducing poverty. In addition, reforestation creates a greenbelt to prevent flooding and landslides, which can harm homes and farms and increase the risk of disasters. It can also improve the quality of life and safety for children, by providing a healthier landscape, more recreational activities and an opportunity to connect with nature.

Treemetrics Platform to Participate in ESA Climate Change Project

Treemetrics platform

Treemetrics platform is a web-based forest management system that integrates high-resolution satellite imagery and advanced data analytics software to track changes in forest health and productivity. The system is designed to help forestry professionals and forest carbon developers monitor and manage their forests in real-time.

Founded in 2005 by Enda Keane and Garret Mullooly, Treemetrics provides world-leading forestry technology to the forestry industry worldwide. Using mobile applications, remote sensing, data mining and satellite communications technology, the company tailors its solutions to suit its customers’ needs.

The company aims to create a sustainable forest management ecosystem by making it easier for forest owners to harvest trees and get their timber carbon credits. This enables them to reduce costs and gain greater control over their forest operations.

To achieve this, the company has developed a new platform that combines Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) and Aerial Laser Scanning (ALS). The TLS data has been used to develop a model for estimating tree metrics from ALS data.

This new technology has been shown to improve the accuracy of estimating above-ground biomass, including both total volume and above-ground carbon. It also offers significant safety benefits for forestry workers working in remote locations, where cellphone coverage is poor and where a forest owner’s mobile phone may be lost or stolen.

In addition, Treemetrics has also been selected to participate in a European Space Agency (ESA) project. This project focuses on better monitoring of European forests to assist in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The project aims to develop a set of easy-to-use online tools for single tree detection and canopy mapping in forest operations. By using high resolution images from satellites, airplanes and UAV, the project will deliver a new level of accurate information to ensure that forests are managed effectively.

As a result, the company will be able to provide data that can be used by forest owners and carbon credit providers for verification. The new technology will help to increase trust and transparency in the certification process, according to Minister for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English.

A key feature of the technology is its ability to integrate different sensors in a forest area and transmit data to a central data centre. This data can be then analysed and reported to forest managers.

Another important component of the system is the integration of satellite and UAV data with field devices. This allows to measure several important parameters in regular intervals and send this data via wireless communication to a cloud-based system.

These parameters include the number of trees, their diameters and heights, and their crowns. The system can then use these data to calculate the amount of carbon each tree has sequestered in its trunk.

The system will also provide a tool to help forest managers and carbon credit providers to estimate the revenue that can be earned by harvesting certain areas of a plantation. This can help to make better decisions about how to cut and replant a forest in order to ensure maximum profitability.

Structural Health Monitoring for Infrastructures

Structural health monitoring (SHM) is a technique to detect structural damages and deterioration in civil structures. It can help engineers to assess the current condition of a structure, plan maintenance and inspections, evaluate the remaining life of an asset and predict upcoming accidents.

Various SHM techniques have been developed for different kinds of infrastructures, such as bridges and transportation facilities. The most common methods include vibration-based and local monitoring approaches, which are able to notice slight changes in mechanical properties of the structures’ components at critical locations. The most popular sensors for these local monitoring methods are strain gauges and fiber optic sensors.

To determine the durability of concrete and steel structures, a wide variety of environmental loading conditions, including temperature, pressure and wind, can be detected. These environmental factors can lead to rapid deterioration of the structures’ materials.

The main objective of SHM is to detect damage early and prevent structural failures. It can improve safety of users and the environment, increase construction and maintenance efficiencies and reduce overall life cycle costs for civil engineering projects.

Big data, cheaper sensors and increases in computing power have given transportation agencies new capabilities for bridge management and inspections. By collecting and analyzing actionable data on tilt, acceleration, strain and temperature, state and regional transportation agencies can make cost-saving decisions regarding maintenance, targeted inspections and bridge operations.

A major challenge is to find an appropriate multi-sensor approach that is sensitive enough to detect small damage. This requires a robust and accurate sensor system, which is capable of handling measurement noise and environmental influences.

This can be accomplished through the use of advanced sensor technologies, such as Large Area Electronics (LAE). These systems have the potential to enable direct sensing of key structural parameters and can be scaled up to the level required for SHM of various space, aeronautical and civil structures.

However, these sensor technologies still have several limitations. They have high energy demand, require large form factors and weigh a lot. Moreover, the detection of indirect damage is difficult due to measurement noise and uncertain environmental influences.

One way to overcome these limitations is to use a damage assessment technique that uses information from multiple sensor signals. This can be done by either raw data fusion or feature data fusion.

The latter method uses representative damage indicators and is evaluated by pattern recognition techniques, such as neural networks or clustering algorithms. Ultimately, it can identify structural damage features, such as cracks, fractures, deformations or buckling.

Typically, a multi-sensor system is equipped with sensors that are placed in strategic locations within the structure. The sensor data is then processed and transmitted to a data server.

The resulting data is then analyzed and interpreted to determine the current state of the structure. This analysis helps to ensure the structural integrity, reduce the risk of a catastrophic event and minimize maintenance costs. It is also an effective tool to verify hypotheses, reduce uncertainty and widen knowledge about the structure being monitored.