Mapping and Modeling Individual Tree Mortality in California’s Sierra Nevada After the 2012- 2016 Drought

Speaker:  Nicole Hemming-Schroeder, Postdoctoral Associate, Earth Lab, University of Colorado Boulder

Severe droughts have become more frequent in the western United States over the last several decades, threatening forests no longer aligned with their current climate conditions. To better predict what will happen to these forests in the future, we need an improved understanding of the response of forests to severe drought.

Hemming-Schroeder will discuss research that used high-resolution lidar and multispectral surface reflectance from NEON to map tree mortality for more than 1 million individual trees after the 2012-2016 drought in California’s Sierra National Forest. This dataset was applied to investigate biophysical drivers of tree mortality using extreme gradient boosting and estimated tree mortality fraction from the Landsat time series using convolutional neural networks. These analyses may help to improve our understanding of forest dynamics after severe drought to improve projections of forest structure and carbon cycling in the Anthropocene.



Feb 13 2024


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


811 Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences
1225 W. Dayton St.