UMD-NASA Carbon Mapping /Sonoma County Vegetation Mapping and Lidar Program

This survey covers all of Sonoma County as well as two small portions of southern Mendocino County. Data were provided by the University of Maryland and the Sonoma County Vegetation Mapping and Lidar Program under grant NNX13AP69G from NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (Dr. Ralph Dubayah, PI). The Sonoma County Vegetation Mapping and Lidar Program is NASA/UMD's local partner in this project- its members are as follows: the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the Sonoma County Water Agency, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the United States Geological Survey, the Sonoma County Information Systems Department, the Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Department, the Nature Conservancy, and the City of Petaluma.

These data will be used for various research projects throughout Sonoma County. They are critical to assessing climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and benefits provided by the landscape, such as the amount of carbon sequestration in forests or the degree to which riparian areas, floodplains, and coastal habitats may buffer extreme weather events. Other research applications include groundwater, ecosystem services valuation, ecosystem resiliency, and wildlife habitat connectivity. Finally, these data sets are key to facilitating good planning and management for watershed protection, flood control, fire and fuels management and wildlife habitat conservation.

The data was collected between September 28 and November 26, 2013 by Watershed Sciences, Inc. (WSI). Lidar was collected at high density greater than 8 pulses per square meter. WSI used two airplanes, one carrying a Leica ALS50 and the other a Leica ALS70; systems were flown at 900 meters above ground level, capturing a scan angle of 15 degrees from nadir (30 degree field of view). 4-band, 6-inch resolution aerial photography was collected simultaneously with the Lidar data.

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