CECS research is focused on four central efforts:
- Developing consistent, integrated geospatial datasets to quantify the effects of past and ongoing disturbances to land surface characteristics, including biomass, water balance, vegetation, and fire
- Determining the effects of past and ongoing land management activities on land surface characteristics
- Building publicly available online tools to inform management decisions, including tools for data download, visualization, assessment of proposed management, and ecosystem service valuation
- Valuing the multiple benefits of land management practices in order to incentivize financing of future projects
In the first 18 months of this project, CECS researchers have made significant progress toward the first three efforts, and work on the fourth is just getting underway. A full summary of CECS progress through September 2020 is available in our Year 1 Annual Report.
CECS is developing the remote sensing and geospatial tools needed to consistently quantify and integrate the effects of past and ongoing management on four critical characteristics of the land surface:
- Biomass stocks and carbon dynamics over time
- Water balance and the delivery of runoff to rivers and groundwater
- Vegetation resilience and susceptibility to die-off during drought
- Surface fuels and wildfire spread and severity across the landscape.
Efforts thus far have involved collecting and homogenizing existing data; improving data about past management and disturbances; creating new datasets for surface fuels, detrital carbon stocks, and water and carbon exchanges; and testing revised data layers. This work is core to determining the effects of past management.