As spring begins to slowly creep into Anchorage, AK, so does the summer 2017 field season. New software installs for field PCs, digital and physical data clean-up/organization, equipment inventories and government training courses begin taking up a considerable chunk of time. Lucky for me, I already went through the wringer last season with government fieldwork-related training standard to RM positions in Alaska. So the training workload is much lighter this time around.
My recent worklife, among other projects, has been primarily focused on QA/QC of the past 4 years of Forest Vegetation Inventory Surveys (FORVIS) to assure it meets all of the requirements specified by the FORVIS protocol, and also compatibility with the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS), which has yet to be established in the state of Alaska. Consolidation of this data has proved tricky, and I am happy to have finally started wrapping up the project. Ironically, the entry of our data could not have had better timing, as the inventory system is soon to be decommissioned this month and plot data transferred to the Ecosurvey database and transferring to it everything collected with FORVIS and its associated protocol. I cannot say this is particularly saddening for AK, as we have yet to actually submit any data to the mother database, Informix, which will no longer be the final resting place of the forest inventory data. It’s both impressive and incredibly frustrating in realization of how quickly technology becomes outdated and must be replaced. I just hope that the FORVIS data collected in the past is properly integrated into the new system. In the meantime, I am producing ArcMap feature classes for all our existing data based on the lat longs I have been able to track down, and hoping this spatial data can be utilized for cross reference once everything has been migrated into Ecosurvey.
Looking forward to the next month, we have AIM training in Billings, MT, ATV/UTV training and bear safety coming up shortly. Before I know it, I’ll be getting dropped out of a helicopter to conduct ecological site descriptions in the boreal forest. Boo-ya!
Best of luck to all to all the new CLM interns soon to relocate all over US in the name of conservation! You are soon to become part of this exciting effort, and surrounded by the passionate individuals that facilitate its development.