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Tracey Frescino

Forester

Address: 
507 25th Street
Ogden, UT 84401
Phone: 
801-625-5402
Contact Tracey Frescino

Current Research

My work involves integration of research and tools to enhance and increase efficiencies for the Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. Current projects include:1. Analysis of digital, large-scale aerial photography as an ancillary data source for collection of forest inventory data, such as percent tree canopy cover. 2. Development and integration of tools for automating estimation and mapping routines commonly used for data analysis and reporting.3. Organization, compilation, and analysis of data for a collaborative effort to understand the response of Western North America conifer species to projected climate change.

Research Interests

My interests are to further develop my current research, including: (1) analyzing the utility of large scale aerial photography to enhance inventories; (2) developing tools for automating estimation and mapping procedures; and (3) extending efforts to investigate the effects of climate change on the distribution of Western North America conifers with focus on elevation gradient shifts.

Past Research

My work is important because it is focused towards understanding the role and integration of progressive technology into our traditional inventory methods for increasing efficiencies and providing enhancements to our overall business. As technology advances and ecological questions change, large scale aerial photography can be a more efficient and practical means for collecting inventory data. With the current and potential depletion of Forest Service budgets, it is important to consider alternatives to meet the basic needs of our mission. Developing automated tools for estimation and mapping procedures increases efficiency, consistency, and added value to the current reporting strategies of the FIA program. This provides more effective products for managers and scientists to make better decisions. The effects of climate change have brought up many questions on the response of individual plant species and vegetative communities. Understanding ecological consequences and potential species distributional shifts is important for current and future natural resource planning.

Why This Research is Important

My past research implemented similar goals as my current work, aiming towards increasing efficiencies to the FIA program, while providing enhancements such as spatially-explicit map products as reporting tools. Past projects include:1. Development of procedures and tools for a photo-based inventory project, involving photo interpretation of large-scale aerial photography throughout the state of Nevada.2. Investigation of Quickbird imagery, a high resolution remotely-sensed data source for delineation and classification of tree crowns.3. Modeling and mapping forest resource attributes using non-parametric statistical modeling tools to integrate FIA resource data to remotely-sensed satellite imagery and other ancillary digital data products.

Education

  • SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, B.S., Environmental Science, 1998
  • Utah State University, M.S., Fisheries and Wildlife, 1991
  • Featured Publications

    Publications

    Cooke, Brian; Freeman, Elizabeth; Moisen, Gretchen; Frescino, Tracey, 2017. Painting a picture across the landscape with ModelMap
    Frescino, Tracey; Moisen, Gretchen; Patterson, Paul L.; Freeman, Elizabeth; Menlove, James S., 2016. Nevada Photo-Based Inventory Pilot (NPIP) resource estimates (2004-2005)
    Frescino, Tracey; Patterson, Paul L.; Moisen, Gretchen; Freeman, Elizabeth, 2015. FIESTA—An R estimation tool for FIA analysts
    Megown, Kevin; Lister, Andy; Patterson, Paul L.; Frescino, Tracey; Jacobs, Dennis; Webb, Jeremy; Daniels, Nicholas; Finco, Mark., 2015. Image-based change estimation (ICE): monitoring land use, land cover and agent of change information for all lands
    Matyjasik, M.; Moisen, Gretchen; Combe, C.; Hathcock, T.; Mitts, S.; Hernandez, M.; Frescino, Tracey; Schroeder, T., 2014. Effects of historic forest disturbance on water quality and flow in the Interior Western U.S
    Schroeder, Todd A.; Healey, Sean P.; Moisen, Gretchen; Frescino, Tracey; Cohen, Warren B.; Huang, Chengquan; Kennedy, Robert E.; Yang, Zhiqiang, 2014. Improving estimates of forest disturbance by combining observations from Landsat time series with U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis data
    Frescino, Tracey; Moisen, Gretchen; Adachi, K.; Breidt, J., 2014. Small-area estimation of forest attributes within fire boundaries
    Gibson, Jacob; Moisen, Gretchen; Frescino, Tracey; Edwards, Thomas C. Jr., 2012. Expansion and contraction tension zones in western pinon-juniper woodlands under projected climate change
    Frescino, Tracey; Patterson, Paul L.; Freeman, Elizabeth; Moisen, Gretchen, 2012. Using FIESTA , an R-based tool for analysts, to look at temporal trends in forest estimates
    Perry, Charles H. (Hobie); Nelson, Mark D.; Toney, J. Christopher; Frescino, Tracey; Hoppus, Michael L., 2009. Mapping forest resources of the United States
    Williams, Bill; Frescino, Tracey; DeBlander, Larry T.; Woudenberg, Sharon W.; Wilson, Michael J., 2006. A report on the potential use of USDA Forest Service forest inventory and analysis data by the Bureau of Land Management
    A world map displaying the density of ModelMap downloads
    Working in the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program, we have access to a valuable collection of detailed information about forests on thousands of sample plots distributed across the country. This information is used to produce summaries of forestland characteristics for a variety of geographic areas such as states or individual national forests. We wanted a simple tool to extend this sample data and make detailed maps of forest characteristics for all the land in between the study locations.
    Drylands view from a Sky Mountain
    Drylands, characterized by scarcity of water, globally support about two billion people. While most of these people live in developing nations, drylands in North America cover an extensive area and have a variety of uses. Drylands are experiencing noticeable stress and degradation from increasing populations and a changing climate, so it is important to know the current conditions and changes that have occurred over time for sustainable management and restoration of these areas. Drylands, characterized by scarcity of water, globally support about two billion people. While most of these people live in developing nations, drylands in North America cover an extensive area and have a variety of uses. Drylands are experiencing noticeable stress and degradation from increasing populations and a changing climate, so it is important to know the current conditions and changes that have occurred over time for sustainable management and restoration of these areas. 
    Paul Patterson presenting during the R and Open Foris Calc Workshop in Lima, Peru
    Carbon sequestration is an important element in the discussion towards limiting the impacts of climate change. There are proposals to pay tropical countries to maintain their forests to maximize carbon sequestration. Vital to this proposal is the existence of a National Forest Inventory with statistically valid estimates of forest attributes.
    Pinyon jays perched atop berry-laden juniper tree.
    Over the past century, many pinyon-juniper woodlands in the Great Basin have expanded their range and increased their stand densities. These changes in structure and extent have effects on both the species that use the woodlands and to species whose habitat is being encroached by them. We observed and described where pinyon jays prefer to cache seeds in order to gain an understanding on how and where expansion and infill is likely to occur and to what extent jays are facilitating these processes.
    Forest Inventory ESTimation & Analysis (FIESTA) is a research tool for analysts who use data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program and work in the open-source, R statistical programming environment.

    National Strategic Program Areas: 
    Inventory and Monitoring
    RMRS Science Program Areas: 
    Inventory and Monitoring