Memorandum of Understanding Between USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and USDA ARS Ba
Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Specific goals of this agreement includes the development of tools for forested wetland monitoring and mapping that support ongoing forest inventory assessments within the FS. To improve assessment of wetland conservation practices on agricultural and other managed lands (e.g., NRCS implemented conservation practices) and provide accomplishment metrics, such as wetland acres restored and ecosystem service provision. To enable targeting of critical areas in landscapes for reducing non-point source pollutants originating from cropped, urban, and managed forest lands. To provide improved information on wetland location and function in order to develop and parameterize models of wetland functions and services within landscapes. To create enhanced maps of wetlands and establish robust metrics for wetland-stream connectivity to enhance conservation of wetland and stream ecosystems and the plant and animal species supported by them. To create a baseline wetland hydroperiod map in order to monitor hydrologic and functional changes resulting from climate and land use change. Leverage strong, relevant expertise that USDA currently has at the ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the FS Northern Research Station to enhance research on monitoring and characterizing wetlands in mixed cropland and forest landscapes using remote sensing approaches.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The location of a Forest Service scientist at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center will foster and strengthen collaborative research designed to assess the interaction of cropland and forest land within the Mid Atlantic region.
Efforts have been initiated to coordinate research between ARS and FS with focus on the Chesapeake Bay and the Secretary’s vision of a unified landscape (all lands) approach in addressing environmental issues. The recent response to the Executive Order for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay also defines a number of activities related to mapping and characterizing wetlands where increased interagency collaborations can be fruitful. Under this agreement the CEAP Mid Atlantic wetlands project is being coordinated and remote sensing approaches for measurement of wetlands are being tested. Progress on this project has been monitored through a series of conference calls, project meetings, as well as, email communications.