Our faculty and affiliates engage in a broad range of collaborative research projects with our academic, government, and industry partners. While most of our projects expand beyond traditional disciplinary divides, we broadly categorize our work into the following areas:Cyber and Software SystemsEcological and Environmental InformaticsHealth and Bioinformatics
Keywords: habitat fragmentation, forest integrity, connectivity, biodiversity, united nations development program, remote sensing
Human activities are increasingly fragmenting intact habitats and reducing connectivity among protected areas. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is working with 135 countries to implement National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plans (NBSAPs) to minimize and mitigate impacts of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. We are working closely with the UNDP to (1) develop satellite-based products that are global in extent, but also relevant at the regional level for mapping forest integrity and assessing habitat fragmentation and connectivity; and (2) use the products to inform a decision support system (DSS) hosted by the UN Global Pulse Lab that includes tools for summarizing regional data, evaluating forest condition and trends, and communicating results to stakeholders. These products and tools have the potential to improve the transparency, consistency and sustainability of land use decisions in developing countries.
Keywords: vulnerability, resilience, remote sensing, tree-ring studies, greening, browning, biome shift
This project’s integration of remote sensing and tree-ring studies of vegetation will yield a comprehensive assessment of the impact of climatic and environmental change on tree and shrub growth across the taiga and tundra ecosystems of northwestern North America, provide insight into their vulnerability and resilience, and allow inferences to be made on how they are likely to be altered in the future. Tree and shrub growth in the Arctic is important because it regulates climate through a range of feedback mechanisms that are not only complex but also rapidly changing with climate warming.
Keywords: CO2 flux, climate change, productivity, respiration, process model, boreal, arctic
During the last half century, the magnitude of seasonal variability in CO2 exchange has increased by 30-50% in high latitude environments, with two thirds of this change attributed to increased CO2 flux in boreal forest and arctic tundra. Mechanisms for this change have been identified but the relative contributions of each of these mechanisms are not well understood. Given that these increases in seasonal CO2 flux impact carbon cycling and climate feedback in boreal forest and tundra ecosystems, it is important to fully understand the underlying mechanisms.
Keywords: LiDAR, canopy height, canopy structure, aboveground biomass, surface topography, international space station, carbon cycle, biodiversity
GEDI is a NASA Earth Venture mission designed to build, launch and install a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) instrument on the International Space Station, and derive a suite of forest canopy structure and biomass products. The GEDI LiDAR will fire billions of laser shots at the surface over the earth over its 2-year operational period (2019-2020) that will allow the science team to map forest canopy heights, canopy three-dimensional structure, aboveground biomass and surface topography with unprecedented accuracy. GEDI data products will be useful for a range of science applications with societal benefits, including informing models of carbon and water cycling processes, biodiversity and habitat mapping, weather forecasting, forest management, glacier and snowpack monitoring, and more accurate elevation models of the earth's surface. NAU Professor Scott Goetz is the GEDI Deputy Principal Investigator for Science, and NAU Research Associate Professor Patrick Jantz is a co-investigator.
Keywords: arctic tundra, boreal forest, remote sensing, climate change, modeling, vegetation, mapping, shrub, lichen
This project, part of the Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), is designed to assess the evidence for vegetation changes and transitions consistent with expectations of a biome shift resulting from changing climate in the high latitudes of North America. We are investigating the implications of such a shift on both flora and fauna, and exploring options for resource management adaptation to change.
Keywords: environmental change, climate change, resilience, ecosystem ecology, ecosystem dynamics, arctic, boreal
ABoVE is a large-scale NASA-led study of environmental change, including climate change, in Arctic & boreal regions and the implications for ecological systems and society. The overarching ABoVE Science Question is "How vulnerable or resilient are ecosystems and society to environmental change in the Arctic and boreal region of western North America?" NAU Professor Goetz is the Lead of the ABoVE Science Team.
High-Level Parallel Programming
UAV Tracking System for Monitoring Wildlife
Analysis and Certification of Parallel Programs
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Expand Geoinformatics Research at NAU
Role of Animals in Distributing Nutrients
Microbial Forensics via Minority and Rare Variant Profiles
Cybersecurity with Secure Elements
Detecting an Invasive Species in the Grand Canyon
Runtime Architectural Visualization
Climate Change and Plant Community Composition in the Southwestern US
Pathogen Detection and Transmission in Wildlife Reservoirs
Design Challenges and Stories: Reflective Design Learning