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Developing the scientific foundation for the green economy

Innovations & Tools

TOOL: Revised ForGATE .xls Forest Sector Greenhouse Gas Assessment Tool. Now includes a wood pellet heat module. See Hennigar et al. 2013 for documentation  of original tool. 

Hennigar, Chris; Amos-Binks, Luke; Cameron, Ryan; Gunn, John; MacLean, David A.; Twery, Mark. 2013. ForGATE - A Forest Sector Greenhouse Gas Assessment Tool for Maine: Calibration and Overview. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-116. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 54 p. Publication Link


RESOURCE:  Northern Forest Pellet Heat GHG Analysis Supplemental Information

Heating homes with wood pellets is widespread in the US Northern Forest region located across Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Recent research on the climate benefits of this forest-based energy source has generated mixed results. This study explores greenhouse gas (GHG) implications of locally-sourced and produced wood pellets to heat homes in the Northern Forest. Based on regional pellet industry survey data, and forest inventory and harvest data, we analyzed GHG emissions from pellet production across a range of harvest and economic scenarios. A comprehensive report on this study has been submitted to an open-access journal for peer review. If accepted, a link to the paper will be provided. In the meantime, a methods summary is provided in the link above. 


RESOURCE : The Coordination and Vertical Integration of Climate Actions

Scott Muller, SIG Senior Scientist, shares the latest Working Paper from the Working Group on Subnational Integration of the the LEDS Global Partnership


Non-state actors (NSAs) are fundamental agents to help achieve both national and international development goals. While disparate climate actions by NSAs do contribute towards filling the GHG emissions gap, there are significant additional benefits to be gained by improving the coordination and vertical integration of these sub-national climate actions.


This working paper summarizes principal themes and observations that have emerged during the past two years of activities from the Working Group on Sub-national Integration (SNI-WG) of the Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership. It also highlights lessons on multi-level governance from the other two major multilateral agreements this year on sustainable development and climate change—the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Download the Working Paper


UAS: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), senseFly eBee

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne of the Spatial Informatics Group and University of Vermont has been busy with his Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). In October he was called upon by the Vermont Agency of Transportation to support a disaster response team in the aftermath of an Amtrak train derailment in Northfield, Vermont. Jarlath's blog describes the effort.


RESOURCE : GHG Calculator Supplemental Information


Colnes, A., Doshi, K., Emick, H., Evans, A., Perschel, R., Robards, T. et al. 2012. Biomass Supply and Carbon Accounting for Southeastern Forests. Southern Environmental Law Center, Charlottesville, Virginia, 132 pages.

http://www.southernenvironment.org/uploads/publications/biomass-carbon-study-FINAL.pdf It is provided here as reference material for the Southeast US Biomass Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator tool developed by Spatial Informatics Group.


NEW PRODUCT : Synergy SIG Team Presents Several LiDAR Based Projects in Lake Tahoe


Several SIG researchers, including Dave Saah, Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne, Qi Chen, Tadashi Moody, Travis Freed, Jason Moghaddas, and Gary Johnson, along with USFS and PSW cooperators, have been working on multiple LiDAR based projects in Lake Tahoe. They include an assessment of fire hazard and risk in the wildland urban interface and riparian areas, assessing and mapping all live trees as part of a larger wildlife habitat assessment, and mapping all impervious surfaces. These projects cover the entire terrestrial area of the Lake Tahoe Basin-over 200,000 acres. Click here for more information on SIG's LiDAR work.



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