skip to the main content area of this page

Current KEL Proejcts

FASIDS: Fire Ant Spatial Information and Decision Support

This application helps managers of large, multi-use landscapes to create and manage a successful Fire Ant Management program. The tool allows users to delineate multiple land-use types, select and prioritize treatments, develop a management budget and record applications and monitoring activities. The application is aimed towards managers of parks, school and university campuses, golf courses, military ranges, scout camps, home owner communities, and agricultural operations.
The Texas Crop Registry— An essential tool to combat pesticide drift

The purpose of the Texas Crop Registry is to assist pesticide applicators in eliminating or reducing off-target drift. The Registry is presented in the form of a website where farmers, ranchers, green house growers, bee keepers and others can enter the exact location and relevant information of their crop, or enterprise, on a computerized map. The type and location of their crop is then made available to pesticide applicators through this registry. Pesticide applicators can search the registry (by county, crop or geographic area of interest) to inform themselves on the location of nearby crops and their sensitivity to off-target drift. Plans can then be made to eliminate or minimize pesticide drift.
PIDSS: A Web-Based Forecasting and Decision Support system for Pecan Nut Casebearer

This project involves the development of a forecasting system to monitor Pecan Nut Casebearer (PNC) - an important pest of Pecans. Commercial Pecans are grown in a region that extends from New Mexico to Southern Iowa, leading to an annual crop worth approximately $450 million annually. Growers range from small, single orchard producers to large, commercial operations.
Mapping and Monitoring Impacts of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and Hemlock Mortality in the Southern Appalachian Forests

Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand, HWA) outbreaks are posing one of biggest threats to Eastern hemlock (T. canadensis L. Carr.) and Carolina hemlock (T. caroliniana Engelm.) in the eastern United States. Modern, cost-efficient monitoring methods for disturbance agents are urgently needed. The recent development of remote sensing technologies has provided new tools for forest damage inventory and monitoring. The target area is the Grandfather Ranger District, Southern Appalachian Mountains, NC, where both Eastern and Carolina hemlocks serve as a foundation species. The objectives of this project are 1) to detect Eastern and Carolina hemlock patches via high resolution aerial imagery, 2) to study extent of tree mortality by HWA and 3) to reveal spatial patterns of living and dead hemlocks patches. The results could be used e.g. to estimate impacts of HWA and to study potential of invasive plant species establishment in forest canopy gaps created after hemlock elimination by HWA.
An application of Geographic Information Systems to investigate the viability of the "New World" viticultural approach of matching grape variety to climatic and edaphic conditions when establishing vineyards in new regions

This study involves quantifying the correlation between environmental factors of climate, soils, and topography in areas that have historically grown grapes successfully. The goal of this research is to understand the environmental factors that drive grape variety selection and use this knowledge in the establishment of vineyards in the “New World”.
Estimating the Spatial Pattern and Extent of Hemlock Mortality after HWA Infestation in the Linville River Gorge via Aerial Imagery

The spatial pattern and extent of hemlock mortality due to Hemlock Woolly Adelgid herbivory is largely unknown. The goal of this study is to better understand the effects of this invasive species and obtain more data on its impact in the Linville River Gorge, North Carolina. Objectives of this study are to estimate the number and locations of dead trees in the study area, estimate the area covered by dead trees, and to study the spatial pattern of the dead trees. Remotely sensed imagery is used to estimate dead tree location and area data and a subsequent spatial analysis of the dead tree locations is conducted using statistical software to determine pattern.
Projecting Impacts of Tamarisk Beetles on Habitat of the Endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and the Potential of Mitigation through Riparian Restoration

Impacts of defoliation by introduced tamarisk beetles on habitat of the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and willow restoration scenarios to mitigate negative impacts of beetles are modeled using patch-scale species distribution models. Suitability of flycatcher habitats for introduced tamarisk beetles and timing of arrival of beetles into flycatcher habitat in the southwestern US are projected using continental-scale beetle species distribution models and landscape functional connectivity models linked to dispersal models.
Modeling Endemic Bark Beetle Populations in Southwestern Ponderosa Pine Forests

This study involves developing predictive models for endemic bark beetle attack rates on ponderosa pines, based on the tree/stand conditions, as well as attempting to understand how these populations can persist in a landscape through time. The data for developing bark beetle attack rates comes from 20 years of field collection in permanent plots established by Dr. Barbara Bentz of the Rocky Mountain Research Station. To obtain data about the condition and configuration of trees at the landscape level, we plan to use aerial imagery along with ground truth data.
A Web-based Geographic Information System Application for Description of American Viticultural Areas in Texas

This research focuses on using GIS technology and improved spatial environmental data to develop a publicly available web-based system for examining the viticulturally important characteristics of the winegrowing regions of Texas.
Examining the Impact of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Herbivory on Southern Appalachian Forest Landscapes

The Southern Appalachian Mountains are one of the most diverse forest landscapes in the United States. Invasive insect and plant species are one of the most immediate environmental threats to the structure, composition and utility of these forests