Point Cloud V2 Issue 1 (May 2016)



The Point Cloud, AWARE’s Electronic Newsletter
Vol. 1, Issue 3. Date: 10/03/2016
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Welcome to the Point Cloud. In this edition:

For anyone interested in going to South America, ForestSAT 2016 is having a call for papers for their conference in Santiago, Chile in November. The deadline is May, 8, 2016.

Finally, congratulations to our Principal Investigator, Dr. Nicholas Coops, for winning the 2015/2016 Killam Teaching Prize!

Featured Researcher: Melodie Bujold

Mélodie Bujold is currently doing a master’s degree in geographic sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke under the supervision of Richard Fournier and Joan Luther. She is working on Question 3 of Theme 1 within the AWARE research project.

Since she was young, Melody enjoyed exploring the world and doing outdoor activities. Her first experience travelling was when she was only fifteen. She went to British Columbia for three months, where she picked cherries in the Okanagan Valley. She fell in love with this mountainous region and came back each summer for many years. It was a very enriching experience for her and she has not stopped traveling since then. She has traveled throughout North and Central America and visited Brazil, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.
To satisfy her curiosity and desire to help others, Melody began studying to be an elementary school teacher. However, after two years of study, she decided that this was not the right career for her and took a break from studying.
After three years working as a waitress in gastronomic restaurants to provide for the needs of her son, she returned to university, choosing the applied geomatics program at the Université de Sherbrooke. This program fit both her professional interest and her passion for multi-disciplinary projects.
As part of her undergraduate co-op program, she did three internships in geomatics. In her first co-op term, she worked as a geomatics analyst integrating and updating spatial databases in a municipality. In her second co-op term, she worked on procedures for developing the strategic framework for standardization of the geographic information at Natural Resource Canada (NRCan). While there, she learned about ontology and web semantics. For her last co-op term, she worked as remote sensing research assistant for Sherbrooke University, in collaboration with the Canadian Forest Services of NRCan in Newfoundland. She compared various options of imputation methods (k-NN) in the R statistical software tailored to a multi-level approach to map forest structure and wood attributes.
In 2014, she completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Geomatics. She started her MSc studies soon after but continues to travel and do outdoor activities when she can find the time.

Research Snapshot : Q10 – Productivity and Site Classification Schemes
Shane Furze is a PhD student working with Dr. Paul Arp at the University of New Brunswick. Shane’s research focuses on Q10 of theme 2, the application of LiDAR-derived terrain indices with climatic and soils datasets in deriving new productivity and site classification schemes.
With the growing precision of LiDAR-derived digital elevation and forest metric data sets, the relationships between vegetation productivity and terrain attributes are becoming more apparent. It is well understood that specific species require certain environmental (including topographic) settings for which optimal growing conditions can be achieved. The objective of this work is to better understand and predict plantation productivity by way of LiDAR-derived topographic derivatives, soil attributes, and climatic information as it varies across the landscape. In order to fully understand productivity and achieve optimal growing conditions, topography, hydrology and soil attributes must be correctly delineated. Therefore, through the application of high resolution LiDAR-derived topographic data sets as well as climatic and existing soils information, landform-specific relationships between topography and soil attributes, both physical and chemical, can be determined at a continuous extent. This information will be compared to the LiDAR-derived forest metrics to better understand the specific conditions required to maximize species height growth over age. From this information, site indices and classification schemes can be derived to spatially locate sites with optimal conditions and predict species productivity.

Summer Field Season Activities

We’ve got a big field season ahead of us this summer. We’ll be collecting data at three of our four core sites, including two LiDAR surveys.

Last year, AWARE was officially approved in mid-April but did not fully begin operating until the late summer. Due to the late start, we were only able to complete 30% of our LiDAR survey in Newfoundland before leaf fall and bad weather stopped our flights. This year, we will complete the rest of the LiDAR survey and embark on data collection at the Corner Brook Test Forest. Data collection is slated for the month of June. This will include TLS and if possible, photogrammetry by UAV.

In Ontario, we will fly a LiDAR survey in June or July. We will be using a multi-spectral LiDAR system in the Petawawa Research Forest. We are very excited to be able to use such a cutting-edge piece of equipment and would like to thank Teledyne-Optech for making this possible. We’ll be expanding existing sample plots in Petawawa and plan to collect data at 50 plots this July.

In Alberta, our research is just beginning. We are still evaluating our data needs and will plan our field season once that is done. We’ve just about completed our data collection for our current research in New Brunswick and do not expect we’ll need to out to Black Brook Forest this summer.

Post-Doctoral Research Opportunity


Location: Applied Geomatics Department, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Timeframe: Up to two years starting between April 2016 and September 2016

The Terrestrial LiDAR research group at the Applied Geomatics Department of the Université de Sherbrooke is seeking to hire a post-doctoral candidate. The research will be focussed on the development of methods to estimate tree and stand structural attributes from point cloud data acquired with terrestrial scanners in forested environments. These new methods will take advantage of architectural models to describe detailed branching structure and foliage distribution in trees. The candidate should have a strong background in programming and LiDAR. The ideal candidate will:
  1. be experienced with developing algorithms to deal with point clouds and able to implement them in C++ on an open source platform for use and distribution (e.g. Computree)
  2. have demonstrated practical experience to process terrestrial LiDAR data
  3. have knowledge of architectural models to simulate detailed tree structure
The post-doctoral candidate will work on methods to improve the current processing of terrestrial LiDAR data to simulate tree structure with the objective to publish these methods in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The post-doctoral candidate will be integrated in a team of 3 PhD and 3 MSc. students working on research projects involving the use of terrestrial LiDAR in forestry. The department offers a stimulating scientific environment for learning, with approximately 60 active graduate students and post-doctoral candidates. The research project proposed for this post-doctoral position is part of a large Canadian research initiative called AWARE (aware.forestry.ubc.ca) encompassing 25 research projects devoted to the development of methods for using LiDAR in forestry. This project is associated with a wide range of partners including the Canadian Forest Service, the Office National des Forêts in France, several forest companies in Canada and a network of university researchers worldwide, offering excellent opportunities to collaborate with leading researchers both in Canada and around the world.
The Applied Geomatics Department is the largest research centre dedicated to remote sensing in Canada. It is located at the Université de Sherbrooke, a French speaking university with about 15,000 students. Knowledge of French is helpful but not mandatory for this position. Sherbrooke, a city of about 160,000 people, is a dynamic regional pole offering a rich city life and surrounded by a vast choice of outdoor activities for all seasons. The city offers a bilingual experience, as it is home to both French and English universities.

Review of applications will begin on April. 1, 2016 and continue until the position is filled. Interested parties should send their CV and two letters of reference to:

Dr. Richard Fournier
Department of Applied Geomatics (FLSH)
Université de Sherbrooke
2500 boul de l’Université, Sherbrooke (Quebec) Canada J1K 2R1
E-mail: Richard.Fournier@USherbrooke.ca
Tel.: 1-819-821-8000 ext 63209

Upcoming Conference – WOOD QC 2016

The 8th international conference of IUFRO Working Parties 5.01.04 and 3.02.04: ‘Modelling Wood Quality, Supply and Value Chain Networks’ will take place from 12 – 17 June 2016 in Baie-St-Paul, Quebec.
Laval University, the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre and FPInnovations will host this 8th meeting of Working Party 5.01.04 – Wood Quality Modelling which is being held for the first time in Eastern Canada. Past meetings have taken place in Sweden (1994), South Africa (1996), France (1999), Canada (2002), New Zealand (2005), Finland (2008) and France (2013). In an effort to stimulate collaboration and knowledge transfer across IUFRO divisions, the 2016 edition will be held in conjunction with Working Party 3.04.02 – Supply Chain Management. The conference brings together scientists from around the world to share ideas and innovations in the fields of forest growth and wood quality modelling, and wood supply and value chain network optimisation. A key objective of the conference is to foster international partnerships aimed at improving data acquisition and sharing, modelling methods, model integration and the development of management tools that can ultimately increase the value of the forest resource. The conference will be a forum for presenting new technologies and approaches demonstrating how detailed knowledge of wood fibre characteristics is an essential component of efficient wood value chain networks.

Conference Themes

  • Understanding links between silviculture and wood fibre properties
  • Building integrated model chains for predicting forest growth, wood quality and value in a changing environment
  • Multi-scale modelling of wood properties: from the cell wall to end-products
  • Wood supply and value chain modelling and optimisation
  • Efficient segregation of fiber supplies
  • Enhanced inventory methods for mapping wood quality
  • Integration of genetic selection and genomics with tree and wood quality models
  • Development and application of simulation tools for the forest sector

AWARE First Annual General Meeting

Our AGM will be held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland from May 24-26th, 2016. During this three day meeting, researchers will present the progress and findings of their research for the first year of AWARE’s research efforts. There will be plenty of opportunity to meet AWARE researchers and network with researchers, government and industry professionals. Attendance is limited and we are nearing capacity. If you’d like to attend, please contact Curtis Marr.

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Nicholas Coops, AWARE Research Leader
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel 604 822 6452

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