Forest Futures

AI, the Forest, and Artisans

Posted by on June 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm

The quickening pace of technology offers the promise of greater productivity and better decision-making within modern society, but there’s a downside to that potential.  The use of robots and artificial intelligence within industry threatens to displace not only low-skilled human workers, but also many in white-collar positions as AI improves in its competence in offering […]

Before We Let Robots Reclaim the Sahara . . .

Posted by on June 6, 2017 at 10:05 pm

With the fast pace of modern technology, it’s no surprise that serious attention has been focused on how it might be applied to reclaiming some of the millions of square miles of non-polar desert which comprise approximately 13% of the Earth’s dry land surface.  It’s not a new idea, but previous attempts have been hampered […]

Forest Futures: A Bionic Leaf: An Unsuspecting Hero?

Posted by on May 10, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Perhaps you may remember and was a fan of the 1970s-television series The Six Million Dollar Man, in which actor Lee Majors plays Colonel Steve Austin, an astronaut turned cyborg-like superhuman following a catastrophic accident, who uses his nuclear-powered bionic limbs and implants on behalf of the US government to battle evil for the good […]

Coming Home to the Forest

Posted by on May 7, 2017 at 5:58 pm

The Roman historian Tacitus recorded how Julius Caesar once interviewed men who had journeyed for two months from Poland to Gaul (France) without ever once glimpsing sunlight.  Since those days, however, it seems like civilization has been measured largely by how far the forest eaves could be pushed back from the farmland and the city […]

Forest Futures: Catch ‘Em While They’re Small

Posted by on March 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

A valuable tool for fighting large wildfires are manned aerial water tankers that can carry anywhere from hundreds to thousands of gallons of water or fire retardant.  The Forest Service has stated in the past that it is well-served by the flexibility provided by moderate-sized aircraft, as opposed to large jets such as 747s or […]

Forest Futures: Flash Towns in the Forest?

Posted by on March 1, 2017 at 9:28 am

There are a great variety of things we have to look forward in the near future:  automated vehicles and aircraft for travel; the increasing ability for drones to provide service and goods on command; the capability of personal communication devices to leverage peer-to-peer connections; semi-luxurious, yet highly portable shelters and modular tents; the ease of […]

Forest Futures: Increasing Resiliency

Posted by on January 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm

Forests have been around a lot longer than humans. Thick and mighty, they represent the powerful unknown while sheltering the wild and inspiring the stuff of fairy tales. Though resilient in some aspects, many forests are vulnerable to human and environmental stressors, and they are the subject of much research considering conservation and sustainable resource […]

From Christmas Tree to Coffee Table: Pine Needles are Full of Potential

Posted by on December 28, 2016 at 9:13 am

Pine trees are the world’s main source of timber. When pine trees are cut down, the needles are often left behind as waste. With pine needles contributing to about 30 percent of the tree’s mass, that adds up to an enormous amount of material being left behind. That was until Tamara Orjola of the Design […]

Forest Futures: Knowing Each Tree in the Forest

Posted by on December 14, 2016 at 5:20 pm

There’s no doubt the forest is different than the sum of its parts — its more than a collection of specimens who happen to cohabitate. It just so happens we’ve designated some of those specimens as a resource commodity.  The moment we as society ascribe value to the health, origin, uniqueness, age and care of trees within […]

Promising Technologies in Forest Monitoring

Posted by on November 25, 2016 at 9:02 am

New technologies in forestry monitoring Terrestrial LiDAR Ground-based approach generating “a high number of points … able to describe with high accuracy the understory of the forest (Henry et. al. 2015) “Potential to estimate in a standardized and automatic way tree diameters, tree height, tree volume, and thus tree biomass” (Henry et. al. 2015) Suggests […]