Danielle Laflower '12

Biomass Estimates Using AIMS-1 Profiling Lidar and Imagery - South Hadley, MA

Major: Environmental Studies

The Mount Holyoke GeoProcessing Lab has developed the Airborne Imaging Multispectral System (AIMS-1) as a tool that would facilitate expeditious remote data collection at a lower financial burden than traditional carbon estimation methods offer.  My research goal was to analyze the data gathered by AIMS-1 and determine its effectiveness in estimating biomass by obtaining ground metrics and comparing these to remotely gathered data.

This valuable experience encompassed field work, research, and GIS and statistical analysis.  The project challenged me.  Although sometimes setbacks discouraged me, I was encouraged by the understanding I eventually obtained.  Even though I was responsible for determining all aspects of the project, both Professor Millette and Eugenio Marcano always took time to help me test my ideas and consider alternatives.  For a tree-hugging Environmental Studies Major, what better way to spend a summer than in the field and lab examining alternate ways of estimating forest carbon levels.