AiS Challenge Team Abstract

Team Number: 007

School name: Albuquerque Academy

Area of Scence: Forestry

Project Title: Modeling Southwestern Silviculture



Meghan McHenry
Alex MacLennan
Laura Nellums

Project Abstract - Modeling Southwestern Silviculture

Forestry, the growth, harvest, and sale of trees, is one of the largest industries in the United States; it is also a delicate science. Silviculture is the agriculture of forests. A great deal of planning is involved in the planting and care of trees. When the time comes for trees to be harvested and sold, most farmers hire scientists or forestry specialists to plan the harvests of their forests. Forests must be harvested to promote growth, while still producing a profit through the sale of timber. Often forests are cut to simulate their natural destruction trough fire, wind, or insect damage. We believe that farmers would be able to more effectively and efficiently harvest their forests if they had resource in addition to specialists.

The primary goal of this project is to develop a way of generating forest models that will project the optimal harvest of southwestern forests. We hope to accomplish this goal by developing a program that will utilize algorithms factoring in information about a forest, such as average tree size, plot elevation and slope, sunlight percentage, and plot size, and output a pattern. Ideally this pattern will consist of trees to harvest and trees to retain, and can be applied to a grid to create a model of recommended tree harvest. Our hope is that we will eventually be able to develop a program that will display a reasonably accurate model for a variety of forest scenarios.

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