Research Projects

Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis Lab (RSGAL)

Conducts research into the multiscale dynamics of landscape change through the innovative application of remote sensing and geospatial tools. RSGAL promotes a transdisciplinary approach for sustainable management solutions to pressing environmental issues.


An analytical modeling tool that aids forest landowners and managers in selling ecosystem services from their working forestland. ECOSEL optimally allocates management actions to forest stands in order to produce various bundles of timber and non-timber benefits. Read more about ECOSEL.

2013 Western Washington Hardwood Assessment

Funded by: University of Washington Institute of Forest Resources and the Washington State Hardwood Commission. This study assessed the hardwood resources in western Washington for 2010 and out to 2030. The project used the Washington State Biomass Assessment database to map the volume of hardwoods by management zone, owner group, diameter class and species.

Natural Resource Lands Database: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and N. California

Funded by: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture & Food Research Initiative
In 2011, the University of Washington was awarded a grant to construct a sustainable biofuels industry in our region. Part of the proposed industry would rely on growing plantations of fast-growing hardwoods as a biomass source to feed biofuel refineries. The Precision Forestry Cooperative’s team of researchers is identifying the most suitable areas to grow up to 400,000 acres of poplar plantations that would be necessary to supply a steady and sustainable stream of biomass. They will also design and administer a web portal that will be used to support outreach efforts.

  • The UW press release with more information about the project.
  • A poster that describes the project in more detail.

Stratified LiDAR Plot Location

Funded by: Bureau of Land Management
The Precision Forestry Cooperative is working with the BLM to develop a GIS-based protocol for ground plot selection in areas with high-density LIDAR coverage.  Performed in two stages (the first in 2010 and the second in 2013), LiDAR data covering approximately 900,000 acres has been processed to stratify the BLM ownership into bins of different forest structure.  Field plots were located within these bins, and these plots will be measured on the ground.  The correlation of the LIDAR-derived forest structure metrics and the field-measured stand conditions will determine the effectiveness of this method of locating field plots.

Stand Management Cooperative

An industry, agency, and academic partnership developed to provide a continuing source of high quality information on the long-term effects of silvicultural treatments and treatment regimes on stand and tree growth and development and on wood and product quality.

Washington State Parcel Database

Digital parcel data stored in a geographic information system has become a critical source of information for resource land managers, community development, infrastructure maintenance, homeland security and business development. Washington State leaders, managers, researchers and business continually use GIS parcel data for decision making, science and resource management.

Washington State Forestland Database

To better understand where family forests are located and who owns them, the Rural Technology Initiative, the Family Forest Foundation, and the Washington Farm Forestry Association, with funding from the USDA Forest Service, are creating a statewide parcel-based forest land database.