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New center uses data to help government and landowners manage natural resources

June 13, 2014 – In keeping with its commitment to advance the science of sustainability, the College of Natural Resources and Environment created the Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support. The center will draw on data and expertise from within the college, as well as outside sources, to provide its clients — policymakers, government agencies, and private firms that hold large tracts of land — with information they need to make informed decisions about natural resources.

“Our first task will be to answer the question, ‘Are we using our forest resources in a sustainable manner?’” said Professor Stephen Prisley, the center’s director.

“As important as forests are to our quality of life, it is critical that we sustain them — that we use only what we and nature can replace,” Prisley said. “Yet the data and analytical tools needed for assessment and projections are not as precise nor as flexible as they need to be.”

“For example,” Prisley said, “forest inventory data from the U.S. Forest Service are useful for assessments covering entire states or regions, but they can miss critical changes that happen at smaller, multi-county areas within a state. We’re working to fill those gaps.”  (continue reading the story....)


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