This August: Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources

This summer, from August 27 to 31, Professor Sándor Tóth is organizing the Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR), an international gathering that has been held every couple years since 1975. Co-sponsored by the Precision Forestry Cooperative, this symposium will be held at the Clearwater Resort in Suquamish, Wash., about an hour outside of Seattle.

Past symposiums have brought together decision scientists from around the world who study forest systems with the goal of making better management and policy decisions. Common topics have included harvest scheduling, spatial reserve design, wildfire management, wildlife management, invasive pest detection and control, forest ecosystem services, supply chain optimization for biofuel and timber and non-timber forest economics. The overarching link across these topics has been the use of operations research and decision theory to inform on-the-ground management as well as forest policy.

The 2017 SSAFR will be unique in that it will bring together two traditionally disconnected disciplines both working on forest decision support systems: the remote sensing/geospatial informatics community, and operations researchers. The former group is concerned with how to best collect and process data on forests and other resources, whereas the latter tries to optimize resource management given whatever data is available. Despite the obvious feedback and connections between the two groups, so far they have generally operated separately from each other. Working together in this symposium, the two groups will seek to study such questions as how to streamline data collection protocols of competing forest management objectives.

The deadline to submit abstracts has been extended to this coming Friday, February 10, so learn more about the symposium and get involved!

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