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Forest Mapping: When the Budworms come to Dinner

Catalyzed by a seed grant from the Northeast Cyberteam Program, a team from the University of Maine use AI to map the evolution of an insect infestation affecting forestry in the region.

Motivated by an eastern spruce budworm outbreak traveling down from Canada, researchers in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine and colleagues in the U Maine Advanced Computing Group have been applying machine learning techniques to map the evolving state of the forest to provide accurate and up-to-date information as the outbreak develops. Coupling improvements to their algorithms with more efficient data handling, the collaboration is developing software that will support locally adaptive mapping of forest resources and environmental conditions across increased spatial scales.

PI Kasey Legaard and Team
Christian Wilson, Noah Howard, Kasey Legaard, Larry Whitsel. Noah Howard, the student participant, is a second year computer science major, especially interested in machine learning. Christian Wilson and Larry Whitsel from the University of Maine’s Advanced Computing Group were his computer science mentors. Kasey Legaard is the project PI – image courtesy the researchers.

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Forest Mapping: When the Budworms come to Dinner
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The Trickiness of Talking to Computers
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