FEMC Data Rescue Hits a Milestone!
The FEMC has sought to alleviate the risk of losing inaccessible data by engaging with natural resources organizations to identify vulnerable datasets and documents across the Northeast. Matthias Sirch, FEMC Data Technician, has been spearheading this effort over the past year, traveling from the Catskills in New York all the way to Baxter State Park in Maine to rescue data at risk.
The initial phase of the Data Rescue project began by contacting researchers and land managers across the region from a broad range of disciplines. These contacts worked for non-profits, educational institutions, and state and federal agencies. From their responses, FEMC staff compiled the Data Rescue inventory to shed light on where this material is and what is required for its preservation. These may be air and water quality studies, soil analyses, and forest or wildlife surveys, all collected within or contributing to our understanding of northeastern forests.
With help from the FEMC team, including interns and staff affiliates Brenna Christensen, Kira Cincotta, Gene Desideraggio, Daria Etchings, Lukas Kopacki, Lucyanna Labadie, Yoshiya Ohno, Julia Pupko, Maddie Quill, and Skylar Roach, the Data Rescue project has scanned and archived more than 18,000 pages of datasheets, field notes, reports, aerial imagery, and photo documentation while also digitizing over 1,000 pages from this collection. We also assisted with data management for retiring individuals in an effort to retain valuable institutional knowledge. Through this process, we were able to identify many old forest health surveys that can serve as baselines for our ecosystem monitoring.
With no limit to the extent of this undertaking, the FEMC is still searching for data to save. If you know of any material you wish to include in the Data Rescue inventory, contact the FEMC here. For more information about the process, check out the new promotional video on the Data Rescue's homepage.
FEMC is hiring for multiple forest health monitoring technicians and field crew leaders for the coming field season. The technicians and crew leads will work with FEMC staff on a number of monitoring projects but primarily focus on surveying Forest Health Monitoring plots throughout New England.
To Apply: to apply: Send a resume, cover letter, and contact information for two references to John.firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the subject line please put the positiont that you are applying for, either field technician or crew leader. FEMC Staff will begin reviewing
applications on February 18th
With impacts of a global climate crisis increasingly experienced throughout northeastern forested regions, the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative prepares for action at our 2019 Conference. This year’s overarching theme "Monitoring for Impacts of Climate Change: Tracking and measuring outcomes in northeastern forests” will present updates and research on a wide range of topic categories.
Our morning plenary includes a talk by Richard Primack, conservation biologist of Boston University, who will focus on his current work which highlights the effects of climate change on the flowering, leafing out, fruiting, and leaf senescence times of plants, the migration times of birds and flight times of insects in Massachusetts, and the potential for ecological mismatches among species caused by changes in timing. Professionals will speak on the various initiatives involved in monitoring and measuring aspects of climate change and forest ecosystem responses, pests and disease, technology and partnerships, forest management, forest and alpine ecology, wildlife and forested rivers and streams.
In addition to the contributed talks there will be an opportunity to participate in moderated working sessions in which windows for discussion will encourage insight from numerous perspectives. Over the course of the day, our scheduled presentations will be separated by coffee, lunch and snack breaks providing a chance to view a display of exhibited posters, make new connections and catch up with colleagues. As part of FEMC’s effort to connect across boundaries in the scientific community, we are excited to welcome researchers, educators, natural resource managers, and non-profit from a range of disciplines, all of whom are supporting the Cooperative goals of sharing information and making connections.
All accepted abstracts will be published online as a part of the 2019 Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative Conference Proceedings (check out last year’s proceedings).
We also provide the opportunity for participant-led working sessions in the afternoon, where you can convene collaborators to focus on a topic of your design. If you are interested in proposing a working session, you can learn more and submit your idea at https://www.uvm.edu/femc/cooperative/conference/2019/work_session. Working sessions are approved on a rolling basis until we run out of rooms or November 8th, whichever comes first. FEMC staff are happy to discuss session ideas before submission if that is helpful.
The DEN was highlighted on the USFS NRS website as a featured resource. The DEN is one-stop-shop for dendroecological and associated forest ecology data for the discovery, exploration, and sharing of that data. Check out the post at The DEN.
FEMC partnered with Bard College's Water Lab to increase the availability and accessibility of the data from their water quality program. This program focuses on water quality monitoring in the Saw Kill water shed and the Roeliff Jansen Kill in the state of New York. The FEMC worked with Bard College's Water Lab to design a webtool that is integrated directly onto their website. The tool now displays their data directly on their site in the form of a map, table, and graph. Graphs and maps can be downloaded as images and shapefiles while the raw data can be downloaded directly from their site. Additionally users are able to filter and choose the locations and attributes that they are looking for. This effort was design with the end goal of producing a comprehensive tool that would enable the Bard College Water Lab's website users to access all things related to the water quality monitoring program. The webtools can be accessed at Roe-Jan and Sawkill.
After much deliberation, the FEMC has begun rescuing dozens of projects across the Northeast. Our Data Technicians have been feverishly converting files, digitizing maps, and scanning documents dating back to the 1950’s. So much valuable information! Topics range from monitoring mercury concentrations in largemouth bass to studying population trends of a harmful insect called the pear thrips to scanning rooms full of handwritten field notes from the Catskills. To learn more about the data rescue project go to Data Rescue, and read more about the project’s July highlights here.
The FEMC Database and Web Developer supports FEMC’s data archiving, sharing, integration and exploration mission by overseeing and implementing the development and management of the FEMC data archive, website and associated cyberinfrastructure. Responsible for creating and managing complex databases to archive and serve data from forest health and other environmental monitoring/research projects; administering the FEMC website, including maintenance, development of new features, and troubleshooting; developing new online data access and visualization tools; and assisting FEMC staff and cooperators with data access and analysis tasks. Assist FEMC staff in creating and maintaining automated data collection protocols, collecting air quality monitoring samples in the field, servicing environmental sensors and field stations, and related technical and administrative tasks.
We’re happy to announce that our post-meeting content page is up on our site at
https://www.uvm.edu/femc/cooperative/conference/2018/content. There, you can access video recordings and presentations from most of the talks at the conference, as well as view the posters
presented during our poster session, so if you missed something, check it out or refer back to it for the points you missed. We are hard at work developing the proceedings from the conference, including executive summaries of the morning sessions and the working
sessions, so stay tuned for that.
We are offering a 30-minute webinar on
Wednesday, November 28th, at 11 am to introduce the content, benefits, and search capabilities of the DEN.
The mission of the DendroEcological Network (DEN) is to provide an online repository for dendrochronological and associated forest ecology data, as well as offer a cyberinfrastructure for the discovery, exploration, and sharing of that
data. Using this portal, users can find data on over 4000 cores (and counting!) from 2500 trees across multiple projects, making it easier and faster to integrate data across projects and answer key questions about how our region’s trees are growing.
Click here to register for the DendroEcological Network Webinar.