My research proposes to use historical vegetation maps and field data from the Wieslander Vegetation Type Mapping project in concert with modern resurveys and remotely sensed classified vegetation maps. Using this collection as the foundation of my research I seek to leverage largely unexplored themes of the dataset in relation to California’s landscapes, 1. The utility of using historical plots to understand change over time. 2. The role of differing management on the structure and composition of California forests. 3. Changes in forest composition and distribution over time, with a concentration native conifer encroachment into oak woodlands. 4. The role of climate water deficit in controlling patterns of fire extent, severity, and regeneration in California forest. All of these themes confront the challenges of managing California’s natural resources in the face of a myriad of challenges including a rapidly changing climate and concurrent pressures of increasing populations and development. Critical research is needed to understand how the matrix of these challenges will shape the future of California forests and woodlands and our future as stewards of that land. Reinvigorating historical datasets such as the VTM will lend a welcomed guiding hand in understanding the role of climate, management, and disturbance in the landscapes of today and tomorrow.
ESPM 233 - Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Science and Managment ESPM 164 - GIS and the Enviornment