EFETAC and its sister Center, the Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center, are collaborating with federal and university partners to develop strategic research components for the National Early Warning System. These new tools help forest and natural resource managers rapidly detect, identify, and respond to unexpected changes in the nation’s forests impacted by insects, diseases, wildfires, extreme weather, or other natural or human-caused events.
Among these new Early Warning System components is ForWarn, a satellite-based monitoring and assessment tool that provides a near-real-time national overview of potential forest disturbances to direct attention and resources to locations where forest behavior seems unusual or abnormal. A prototype ForWarn has produced national maps every eight days since January 2010, identifying locations that may require further investigation. The satellite imagery is interpreted and delivered through a suite of products, including the web-based Forest Change Assessment Viewer, a tool that provides an 8-day coast-to-coast snapshot of the US landscape and produces geographically relevant maps. ForWarn is intended to complement and focus efforts of existing forest monitoring programs.
ForWarn is being developed in partnership with NASA Stennis Space Center, US Geological Survey, the US Department of Energy, and the University of North Carolina Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center.
Visit www.forwarn.forestthreats.org to begin exploring ForWarn. Training and support materials are available. For more information, please contact Bill Hargrove, EFETAC ForWarn lead researcher, at (828) 257-4846, email .