Team Location: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Huntsville, Alabama
Authors: Marie-therese Enga, University of Arkansas; Cory Manberg, University of Alabama, Huntsville; Amanda Myhand, University of North Alabama.
Advisors/Mentors: Dr. Jeff Luvall, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, GHCC Global Hydrology and Climate Center; Dr. Christine Ambrose, Geospatial GAPP Center, Thomas University.
Abstract: Due to fire suppression practices , the longleaf pine ecosystem has been reduced to 2 percent of its original extent (Simberloff 1993, Lander and Boyer 1999). The loss of the longleaf pine ecosystem is cause for concern because of the diversity of flora and fauna, high aesthetic appeal, and economic benefits of longleaf pine forests (Ambrose 2001). Remote sensing provides unique access to information on private lands. Because fire management is vital to maintaining healthy longleaf forests, identifying potential stands on private land in areas where prescribed burning can be conducted safely is the goal of this project. Of particular interest are degraded stands where mature longleaf trees may exist among a dense population of competing species; such a stand may be restored to a healthy longleaf ecosystem with prescribed burns.