UMaine receives $2.7 million grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $10 million grant to research teams from New England Council member, University of Maine, and two other Universities in order to develop technology that would use drones to monitor forests.
The main goal of this research project is to help landowners and stakeholders better adapt forests to complicated economic and climate conditions in the Eastern region of the United States, aiming to improve the management of 15 million acres of those forests. With this, the University of Maine will be receiving $2.7 million of the overall $10 million for its efforts on “PERSEUS,” or “promoting economic resilience and sustainability of the eastern United States forests.” This project will utilize digital technology including drones, piloted aircraft, and satellite-based sensors which will provide real-time, accurate measurements of the forests. The information collected from this project will be extremely influential to forest policy and the lawmaking of the region.
“Forestry generally prides itself as a boots-on-the-ground business, while technology is rapidly changing access to information, [but] PERSEUS will provide the necessary training to help both students and landowners alike leverage these new tools,” said Aaron Weiskittel, Professor of forest biometrics and modeling, and Director of the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests at UMaine.
The New England Council commends the University of Maine for its commitment to environmental sustainability.
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