Date(s) - 04/14/2021
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Please use this zoom link for the event.

Please join us for a UW Data Science Seminar event on Wednesday, April 14th from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The seminar is the last of three seminars that feature projects from this year’s Winter Incubator program.

2021 Winter Incubator projects

The goal of our Winter Incubator program is to enable new science by bringing together data scientists and domain scientists to work on focused, intensive, collaborative projects. Our team of data scientists provides expertise in state-of-the-art technology and methods in statistics and machine learning, data manipulation and analytics at all scales, cloud and cluster computing, software design and engineering, visualization, and other topics. Read more about the 2021 projects here.

“Learning to See the Forest and the Trees: Using Computer Vision to Make Forest Stewardship More Accessible” – David Diaz, Environmental & Forest Sciences Engineering

Abstract: Maps that delineate and classify forest conditions remain indispensable prerequisites for forest stewardship planning. By developing new reproducible and open-source methods to automate forest mapping, our effort is designed to facilitate conservation and management planning among the 40,000+ non-industrial forest landowners in Oregon and Washington who control over 3 million acres of land. Social science research suggests more than 70% of these owners have strong stewardship attitudes, but are not (yet) engaged in any conservation or management activities. Developing a written stewardship plan is a critical bottleneck for many of these landowners before they can adopt new practices or access state and federal cost-share and incentive programs for implementing new conservation practices.

Through public records requests, forest stand boundaries hand-drawn by state and federal foresters across several million acres covering the Pacific Northwest’s diverse ecoregions have been gathered. These data provide the targets we will use to train modern computer vision models to delineate and classify forest conditions from publicly-available aerial and satellite imagery. The maps we generate will be served to landowners and forest managers across Oregon and Washington through an open-source web app designed to auto-populate Forest Management Plans following widely-used state and federal templates.

The UW Data Science Seminar is an annual lecture series at the University of Washington that hosts scholars working across applied areas of data science, such as the sciences, engineering, humanities and arts along with methodological areas in data science, such as computer science, applied math and statistics. Our presenters come from all domain fields and include occasional external speakers from regional partners, governmental agencies and industry.

All seminars will be hosted virtually for the 2020-2021 academic year, and are free and open to the public.