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Fei Shares About Alien Forest Pest Explorer on U.S. Forest Service Webinar

Dr. Songlin Fei, professor of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue, spoke about Alien Forest PestSonglin Fei with a drone Explorer: Forest Health Applications, as part of the U.S. Forest Service’s Rooted in Research webinar series “There’s An App(lication) for That” in April.

The Alien Forest Pest Explorer (AFPE) is an interactive tool that compiles data from many sources to visualize the current range of invasive pests and provides inventory statistics about status and trends of their hosts.

On the webinar, Fei, along with Sue Crocker and Randy Morin of the USFS Northern Research Station and Shirley Li of Purdue Libraries, provided an overview of the research and development of this tool, and then demonstrated how it can be used to inform forest health planning at state and regional levels.

Fei, who is the Chair of Remote Sensing and the Director of the Institute for Digital Forestry, spoke about future projects relating to regional invasion detection.

“Given that there is more ongoing global trading and new species constantly emerging, we need a tool that facilitates these new detections and does a better job of managing the existing ones,” Fei explained. “We came up with a new project, which expands the AFPE, an online database that can synthesize the forest invasive pests across the eastern region, specifically Region 9.”

This new online database will facilitate standardized and timely reporting across state and federal agencies. It is also hoped that the database, which will incorporate information from several sources, will not only be informative on the topics of pest discovery and distribution but also their impacts.

The webinar also includes information on how to provide feedback about the new database including desired reporting methods and needed tools for application.

“These efforts require the whole community to contribute,” Fei said. “We need everyone to fight invasives whether through database building or through management efforts.”

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