MISSOURI—Recently, a consortium of experts across disciplines, geographic locations and agencies came together in Missouri to exchange ideas and techniques foundational to Terrestrial Ecological Unit Inventory.
Also known as eco-mapping, TEUI is an integrated process that delineates ecological boundaries and provides interpretations of factors that contribute to ecosystem dynamics and land productivity. The primary factors mapped and interpreted include: vegetation, climate, landform, hydrology, disturbance dynamics and soils. TEUI mapping products help streamline planning and analysis efforts at both a landscape and project scale, creating efficiencies and increasing capacity to complete priority work.
Kicking off this collaborative effort was a TEUI Technology Exchange meeting in February where the Southwestern Region shared an innovative “strike team” approach to eco-mapping and lessons learned with counterparts in the Eastern Region. The second training, in May, was expanded to include resource professionals from the Forest Service’s Washington Office and Northern Research Station, USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, Department of Interior’s National Park Service and the University of Missouri.
Collective knowledge exchanged at both of these meetings highlights the importance of working across boundaries. Thanks to this collaboration, we ensure a comprehensive approach to developing TEUI mapping products. This is of particular importance to R9 as it works with the Washington Office to ramp up TEUI efforts ahead of upcoming forest/prairie plan revisions. Forests and prairies will benefit from the collaborative model—developing better products with less strain.