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NASA Grant

Research Announcement 00-OES-08NASA Carbon-0000-0270 Carbon Cycle Science and Related Opportunities in Biology and Biogeochemistry of Ecosystems and Applications(NRA-00-OES-08)

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    We propose to develop an application system using forest inventory, water monitoring, historical land use change evaluation, and remote sensing technologies to identify, characterize and quantify carbon sources and sinks for the Delaware River Basin (DRB).  For this system, standardized approaches and scaling methodologies will be developed for understanding and incorporating local processes into models to give regional estimates of carbon stocks and fluxes.
   The strategy follows the “Framework for Environmental Monitoring and Related Research” proposed by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources (CENR).  The CENR Framework, co-authored by NASA, links existing intensive ecological research and monitoring stations, through collaboration among regional surveys, fixed-site monitoring networks and remote sensing programs, in order to track complex environmental issues at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Integration of these multiple elements of related scientific research and technology developments will establish an “applications system” that can be applied broadly to other regional monitoring and assessment activities.

    This proposal builds on the enhanced monitoring system already in place in the Delaware River Basin, which has been implemented at an annual cost to participating agencies of approximately $1,000,000. The enhanced monitoring system is designed to integrate process-level understanding from forestry and hydrological research at intensive monitoring areas with extensive regional measurements from ongoing monitoring programs: USFS Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) and Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA), USGS water monitoring stations and water-quality surveys, the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network, and operational remote sensors.

    Data from the FIA and FHM plot networks provides the basis for calculating the U.S. Forest carbon budget, which estimates regional and national forest carbon stocks and changes in stocks, and comprises the official U.S. Government statistics regarding greenhouse gas emissions reported by USDA, EPA, and DOE. Already in place is an enhancement to this standard sampling protocol, consisting of an additional 300 special FHM plots within three intensive monitoring areas; the Neversink River Basin in the Catskill Mountains of New York, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (NRA) including the watersheds of tributary streams to the Delaware River that flow through the NRA, and the French Creek watershed near Philadelphia. This enhanced sampling is designed to allow integration with process-level studies, and facilitate scaling from intensive research sites to extended regions. At each sampling tier, measurement protocols have been enhanced to address issues including productivity trends and carbon budgets.

    Specific objectives addressed by this proposal include: (1) integrate estimates of forest biomass and net primary productivity from MODIS with statistical estimates from field monitoring, (2) characterize patterns of forest fragmentation and historical land use change and associated carbon losses from Landsat TM, (3) develop and apply consistent cover type classifications for MODIS, Landsat TM, and field sample plot networks, and (4) estimate a complete basin-wide carbon budget including carbon loss by water transport.

PowerPoint Presentation:

A brief presentation and overview of this research can be seen here.

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