October 28, 2014
Presented by Cary Chadwick and Emily Wilson, UConn CLEAR
Lidar is a detection system that uses light from a laser on an airplane to collect very accurate and dense elevation values with many different applications (and it looks really cool!). Connecticut is (partially) covered by a patchwork of Lidar datasets captured at different times by different companies with different specs. Most of the data sets are now available on the Connecticut Environmental Conditions Online (CT ECO) website in an interactive format (that means you can zoom in). This webinar will highlight what is available including elevation, hillshade, shaded relief, slope and aspect and how to access it. It will briefly discuss what is happening under the hood to get volumes of data out to you over the internet and will also discuss the missing areas of the state. CT ECO is a website that was designed to provide access Connecticut’s natural resource data layers. It is a partnership between the UConn CLEAR and CT DEEP.
September 23, 2014
Presented by Linda Powers Tomasso, Project Associate, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard University School of Public Health, and Emily Wilson, UConn CLEAR
Greenhouse inventories (GHG) estimate levels of emissions which are scientifically understood as the human-induced basis for climate change. GHG inventories ideally resemble balance sheets indicating both emissions sources and carbon “sinks” that remove atmospheric CO2 via long-term carbon storage in vegetation cover, soils, and forests. Like all New England states, Connecticut over the past decades has seen a loss of its beneficial carbon sinks due to land converted from forested and vegetated landscape to areas of sprawling regional development, to the detriment of state efforts to combat climate change. To date, carbon sinks have been omitted from GHG inventories due to insufficient accounting methods, leading policy-makers to undervalue Connecticut’s forests and open spaces as agents of regional climate stabilization.
Linda Powers Tomasso explored the problem of carbon sink accounting in her graduate thesis research using CLEAR’s twenty-five years of satellite monitored land use data. In this webinar, Linda will walk us through her research findings, explaining state land cover change and its relation to the loss of carbon storage and sequestration which help keep emissions rises in check. Her accounting methods propose a new use for CLEAR land cover data, with surprisingly robust results, leaving us with the question: should forest conservation garner greater attention and public funding as a cost effective mitigator against climate change?
July 23, 2014
Presented by Mark Rudnicki, UConn Associate Professor, Forest Ecology, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Connecticut is a state with magnificent and plentiful forest cover, but we have a continuing problem with trees causing power outages. The STORMWISE initiative, developed at the University of Connecticut, seeks to integrate outreach, education, research and economic feasibility to provide practicable solutions to mitigate tree-related power outages.
This webinar will show how trees acclimate to wind forces and how this knowledge is being used to design solutions to enhance tree strength along power line (distribution) corridors in Connecticut. We will also discuss how these forest management solutions can also promote local wood production and use in everything from flooring and cabinets to biofuel or firewood.
This webinar will also highlight the ongoing efforts in education/outreach to gain public acceptance and adoption of Stormwise practices. This effort is closely aligned with social science research to better understand attitudes and perceptions regarding trees and their management for increased power resilience.
May 13, 2014
Presented by Michael Dietz & Chet Arnold, UConn CLEAR
The main campus of the University of Connecticut is rapidly becoming a showcase for the innovative stormwater practices known as green infrastructure (GI), or low impact development (LID). Green roofs, rain gardens, pervious parking lots and walkways, bioretention cells, and other GI features now dot the campus landscape. This webinar will show what they look like, discuss how are they working, and explore whether there are lessons to be learned. We will:
- take you on a virtual tour of campus GI practices using photos, video, and interactive mapping;
- review monitoring and research results;
- explain the GI tracking system that CLEAR’s NEMO Program is using to quantify the impacts of these practices, and;
- introduce a new multi-media website dedicated to teaching others how to approach using GI to reduce the runoff from their impervious surfaces.
April 1, 2014
Presented by Joel Stocker, UConn CLEAR & Sea Grant and Kevin O’Brien, CT DEEP
Recent storms have focused interest on the dynamics of the shoreline. Receiving attention is the question, “What has it done in the past?” In 2010 the USGS released a report on historical shoreline change along the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts from Virginia to Maine. Connecticut, behind Long Island and Long Island Sound, was not analyzed. With funding from NOAA and National Sea Grant, our team from Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn Extension, and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has taken on an ambitious project designed to fill the gap. Our goal is to highlight and quantify the changes to Connecticut’s shoreline over the last 100 years. Using maps dating from the 1880’s, more recent GIS datasets, and a USGS software program shoreline features were analyzed along the entire length of the State using geologic and political boundaries. Results identify areas of change (both eroding and accreting), by quantifying not only how much the shoreline has moved, but also the rate of change. A summary of overall trends is also provided.