Each AWARE research theme has a research leader, who is a leading remote sensing, forestry, and/or ecological researcher. These leaders will manage the research at selected regional focus sites across Canada in collaboration with other university, government, and industry researchers. All key university researchers participating in AWARE have extensive experience in one or more areas related to remote sensing and geomatics research and its application to forestry issues and management. As a research team, training of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) remains their highest priority. Each researcher has a well-established research lab and brings a range of collaborators from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines to AWARE, thereby providing an interdisciplinary forum for education.

Professor Nicholas Coops holds a Canada Research Chair at UBC. His research aims to increase our understanding of the interaction between vegetation reflectance and stand structure, coupled with developing applications of remote sensing imagery to forestry conservation and production issues. Coops is dedicated to scientific excellence. He has published > 300 refereed peer-reviewed publications and has provided keynote presentations to conferences in Japan, Brazil, Australia, the UK and Chile. In 2007 he was awarded the UBC Forestry mentoring award. He was awarded a Killam research scholarship in 2012 and the Canadian Remote Sensing Society Silver Medal for his teaching and service to the Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, of which he is editor-in-chief.
Richard Fournier’s research focuses on the development of methods to map forest stand attributes and also on the application of TLS and ALS in forestry. His work with the TLS provides new tools to measure individual tree and stand structure at a fine scale. He developed a tree-level architectural model, driven by TLS data, to improve structural measurements and also generalize TLS data in support of mapping large area with ALS and optical imagery. Overall, his work with TLS will gradually bring it to operational use for forest inventory to measure stand structure and also to validate mapping methods. USSquareLogoThumb
Paul Treitz’s research focus is on the application of remote sensing data for estimating biophysical variables of arctic and boreal ecosystems. His current research includes the examination of tolerant hardwood and boreal forests using LiDAR data to characterize forest stand structure and estimate forest resource inventory variables. He has also examined LiDAR data acquisition standards for forest inventory applications and forest ecosite classification.
Benoît St-Onge was an original pioneer analyzing LiDAR data of forests in 1998 and was among the first researchers in that field in Canada. He has since worked on forest height, volume and biomass estimation using LiDAR, the study of growth and gap dynamics using multitemporal LiDAR data, the fusion of image and LiDAR data, individual tree delineation, full-waveform LiDAR, characterization of understory vegetation, and the combination of LiDAR and photogrammetric data, including stereomatching of satellite imagery. UQAMlogoThumb
Jeff Dech’s research focuses on the use of ecological land-classification variables and new techniques in ecological modelling to develop novel predictive models of various response variables that capture resource quantity and quality on forest landscapes. This work has included outlining a new approach to modeling growth of boreal tree species, producing new basal area increment models, developing predictive spatial models of wood quality attributes as well as predictive spatial models of important understorey species suitable for producing inventory maps of potential bio product resources. NipissingLogoThumb
David MacLean is a professor in the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management at UNB. He is a forest ecologist specializing in modeling impacts of natural disturbance (insects, fire, wind) on forests. He has researched effects of spruce budworm and other natural disturbances on forest development and management for over 30 years. MacLean has conducted many studies in collaboration with JDI and other forest industry, has led large national and regional science teams, and has previously collaborated on remote sensing (MEIS, Landsat TM) projects. UNBLogoThumb
Alexis Achim is a professor in the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics at Laval University. His research interests are at the interface between forest management and wood science. He specializes in modelling the effects of forest management practices on wood fibre attributes. He was the scientific leader of the research theme on wood properties modelling within ForValueNet, the NSERC strategic Network on forest management for value-added products. LavalThumb
Peter Marshall is a professor in the Forestry Resources Management Department and an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia. His expertise lies in the areas of sampling design, stand dynamics modelling, and forest mensuration. He has published broadly across his areas of expertise and has participated in a number of provincial and national technical advisory committees over a 30 plus year career.
John Caspersen is an associate professor in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto.  As a forest ecologist, he studies how forest management influences the structure, composition, and function of forest ecosystems, as well as interactions between forest ecosystems, the global carbon cycle, and climate. The goal of his research is to understand how the production of wood, fibre and fuel can be balanced with the continued provision of other ecosystem services, including the maintenance of biodiversity, storage of carbon, and mitigation of climate change. Most of his research employs some combination of field work, forest inventory data, remote sensing, modeling, and life cycle analysis. utoronto-logoThumb
Paul Arp is a professor in the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management at UNB, where he is teaching forest soils and forest watershed management for almost 40 years. He has specialized in modeling and verifying hydrological and silvicultural impacts on forest soils, forest biomass productivity, and watersheds. He has conducted many studies in collaboration with JDI, other forest industries across Canada, several provincial and federal  government departments, and has pioneered and researched the wet-area mapping process.  He directs the Laboratory for Forest Soils and Env. Quality, and the Forest Watershed Research Centre at UNB. UNBLogoThumb

Chris Hennigar is a research scientist in the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management at UNB. Within this role, he supervises graduate students and has taught courses in forest management design, forest mensuration, and stand growth and yield modeling. Areas of expertise include life-cycle carbon accounting, spruce budworm impact planning, operations research, forest management optimization, and stand growth modeling. Hennigar is currently co-leading a research team to develop a new stand growth simulator for the Acadian Forest Region. He is also the growth and yield coordinator for the New Brunswick Growth and Yield Unit.