Research Brief: New Satellite Sensors for Wildfire Mapping and Monitoring

UNIversity FORmation Mission 1--microsatellite designed by Hokkaido University for wildfire management (photo:  Koji Nakau)

UNIversity FORmation Mission 1–microsatellite designed by Hokkaido University for wildfire management (photo: Koji Nakau)

Hokkaido University (HU) is one of the world leaders in developing new earth-observing space technology. Dr. Koji Nakau leads their wildfire remote sensing applications team. He’s working with various partners—including UAF—on new satellite-derived products delivered to wildland fire managers in Alaska and around the world.  They are especially excited about the May 24th (2014) launch of a rocket carrying ALOS-2 (Advanced Land Observing Satellite) which is also carrying a couple microsatellites with sensors specifically designed by his team to detect wildfire signatures. In addition to improving real-time operational support, satellite data is analyzed in support of wildfire propagation modeling, smoke transport, fuels estimates, and post-fire ecology.

Read About the New Satellites>>  |  Download Research Brief PDF (744 kb)

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Research Brief: Fire Severity Filters Regeneration Traits to Shape Community Assembly in Alaska’s Boreal Forest

 Fire Severity Filters Regeneration Traits RB-2014-1thumbto Shape Community Assembly in Alaska’s Boreal Forest:  A recent paper by Hollingsworth et al. (2013) proposes that fire severity and a plant’s intrinsic regeneration strategy are key determinants in post-fire community recovery.  The authors identify species that may fare better or worse with predicted changes in Alaska’s fire regime. Hollingsworth–who is based at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks–bases her findings on a large (n = 87) and geographically diverse set of post-fire plots in interior Alaska boreal forest.   Read More >>  |  Download Research Brief PDF (850 kb)

Do Bark Beetles Affect Fire Occurrence/Property Value on the Kenai? Watch the Video.

Hansen Thesis DefenseIf you weren’t able to hear this talk in person, watch the video posted on Alaska Fire Science Consortium website: Linked Disturbance Interactions in South-Central Alaska:  Implications for Ecosystems and People.
For his MS Thesis, Winslow explored the social and ecological implications of changing boreal forest natural disturbance regimes. He analyzed how the occurrence of spruce bark beetle outbreak has altered the probability of subsequent wildfire activity between 2001 and 2009 on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska as well as the economic impact of fire and insect disturbances to private property values.    (By permission– Thanks Winston!)