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John Gilbert, Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Longleaf Pine Stand Dynamics Laboratory, gilbejo@auburn.edu (Presenter)
John Kush, Auburn University School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences Longleaf Pine Stand Dynamics Lab, kushjoh@auburn.edu
Rebecca Barlow, Auburn University, becky.barlow@auburn.edu

 

In 1947, the US Forest Service established the Escambia Experimental Forest (EEF) near Brewton, AL to study the problem of naturally regenerating longleaf pine. Today, the EEF is a centerpiece of research and demonstration for natural longleaf pine management and fire effects. Over the years, detailed maps and records of seed crops, harvests, prescribed fire, timber stand improvements, research projects, field demonstrations, and photographs have been collected on this 3,000-acre forest. Until recently, these records existed only in paper form as hand-drawn maps, recorded data, notes, and photographs. To preserve these records and make them more available, a Geographical Information System (GIS) database is being developed using ESRI’s ArcGIS. Records have been compiled and converted into digital form. Maps have been scanned, georeferenced, and digitized. Photographs have been scanned and geospatially linked providing a temporal directory of photographs from 1947 to present day. Hand written records have been entered into the database providing an array of attribute data. Extensive sub-meter Global Positioning System (GPS) data have been collected for property corners, roads, firebreaks, streams, and research plots on the EEF. Additional layers including soils, slope, and aspect have been added to the database. The result is a structured, robust database to further assist with longleaf pine research, management, and demonstrations. To reach a broader audience, an online version of the database will be created for users not familiar with ArcGIS. This effort showcases the EEF and makes its vast longleaf pine database available to all.