Project FA16d: Rocky Mountain forest expansion

Project FA16d: Rocky Mountain forest expansion
Researcher: Catherine Airey Lauvaux cta5060@psu.edu
Position type: GIS, data analysis
Application deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, 2016
Application URL: http://www.geog.psu.edu/uroc-apply

Project and position description

Naturally functioning forest landscapes are among the gemstones of the American west. However, many forests underwent significant changes following Euro-American settlement. Understanding how forest landscapes functioned in the past and how they are changing is important to efforts to restore and maintain healthy forest ecosystems into the future. This project will investigate patterns of vegetation change over the last 75 years in the Rocky Mountains. The student will geo-reference historical aerial photographs, map areas of forest expansion across the landscape, and analyze environmental characteristics of historically shrub dominated sites that have become treed. This work is part of a larger project to understand historical vegetation patterns in a topographically and vegetative complex landscape with a focus on the processes that maintained these patterns and the influence of land-use changes such as fire suppression and livestock grazing on current patterns.

Desired qualifications

Substantial experience with GIS software including experience geo-referencing aerial photographs.

To apply

Prospective candidates should complete the application form at http://www.geog.psu.edu/uroc-apply by 5:00 p.m. on the indicated date. Follow all instructions.

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uroc