Mapping Alaska's Forests

Narration: Joy Ng


NASA has taken to the skies of Alaska

An airborne study conducted in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service aims to complete a detailed survey of the Tanana Valley Forests

The 115 million acres of forest in Interior Alaska is particularly prone to wild fires and represents 15% of all forested land in the US.

Since the 1950s, 40 to 50 percent of the landscape has been burned.

The study will sample more than 80 percent of the burned areas by plane.

Live trees can be distinguished from standing dead trees using an instrument that maps the composition and 3d structure of the wilderness.

The measurements will enable scientists to see patterns of fire recovery and provide a benchmark for assessing future changes to the region.