Management – Improved Approaches – Tools & Technology
UNRI scientists have developed several computer programs to help urban forest managers, scientists, and other forestry professionals who work on management of urban natural resources.
The Urban Forest Effects (UFORE) Model is a computer model designed to use field data inputs to statistically estimate urban forest characteristics and various urban forest functions and value (e.g., air pollution removal, carbon sequestration, energy conservation). Other components, such as the Field Data Collection Manuals, Palm-based collection software, Aerial Photo Interpretation Tool, and Individual Tree Carbon Calculators allow researchers to collect, analyze, and predict the needs of the trees and the communities where the trees are located.
UNRI scientists are also working on the development of a new inventory software for use in urban settings. i-Tree is a USDA Forest Service state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed, urban and community forestry analysis and benefits assessment software suite. i-Tree currently integrates four urban and community forestry inventory, analysis, assessment and forecasting tools: UFORE (Urban Forest Effects Model), STRATUM (Street Tree Resource Analysis Tool for Urban Forest Managers), MCTI (Mobile Community Tree Inventory), and the Storm Damage Assessment Protocol.
Other tools, such as OUTCOMES (OUTdoor COMfort Expert System), measure human-comfort and evaluate the impact of trees on comfort. The program, is a Windows® program that was written with the goal of providing an easy to use interface and ample on-screen help. OUTCOMES shows the shade pattern of a tree and calculates a human comfort index considering the full range of weather variables, the density of a tree that shades a person, and other features of the surrounding neighborhood.
Please visit the Syracuse Research Unit or the i-Tree websites for detailed information on the scope of these tools and technology that are currently being developed by the members of the UNRI research team, and their cooperating partners, for urban natural resources management.