Northeastern Forest Health Atlas

Northeastern Forest Health Atlas

Northeastern Forest Health Atlas

Data Compilation and Standardization Methods for the Northeastern Forest Health Atlas

Download the NEFHA Technical Report.

This page describes the methodology used to assemble the various data layers shown on the Northeastern Forest Health Atlas. You can click here to download the full technical report. Questions? Contact FEMC!

Preferred Citation

Duncan, J., Tait, E.R., Meigs, G.W., Kosiba, A.M., Pontius, J.A. and W. Keeton. 2018. The Northeastern Forest Health Atlas – Technical Report. Available online at

The Northeastern Forest Health Atlas (NEFHA) provides an online, searchable interface for assessing decades of forest disturbance monitoring and research data in maps, tables and charts. Prior to this effort, obtaining data on forest disturbance was difficult, and comparing it across years and programs was even harder. The objectives of NEFHA are to improve access to standardized data related to forest disturbance across both space and time for forest managers and researchers. The atlas is hosted and maintained by the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative (FEMC), and was developed with funds provided by the Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC). In this report, we describe the history of the effort, technical details about how we compiled data, and summaries of major aspects of the resulting dataset.

The NEFHA unifies monitoring and research data from two major sources. First, we compiled spatial disturbance data collected by individual states and the US Forest Service through aerial detection surveys. These annual aerial surveys have been conducted for decades to identify and map the locations of biotic and abiotic forest disturbances. The second source of data for NEFHA are research outputs derived from studies funded by NSRC. Since it began, NSRC has funded hundreds of studies examining forested ecosystems in the Northern Forest to better understand how these resources are changing, and how these changes may affect the people that depend on them.

The tools and data access mechanisms in NEFHA provide a novel and invaluable tool for quickly finding and mapping data on forest disturbance in the northeastern US. This resource will continue to grow in volume and relevance as a changing climate, shifting land use, and new stressors continue to spur change in forests.