Google Analytics – basically, there’s only one webpage on my site that people view…

After responding to a few comments on a really old blog post, I figured I’d look at what pages on my site people are viewing on my site. The following is a brief summery of unique page views, but basically, everyone who comes here seems to gravitate towards or comes directly to read my post titled “Using rLiDAR and FUSION to delineate individual trees through canopy height model segmentation“. 

Guess I need to get to post more LiDAR tutorials if I want pageviews!


Fun with Leaflet in R

The above map was made entirely in R using leaflet, this script and the spatial data obtained from the USDA Forest Service Southwestern Regional Office. Fun times…!


!!-Closed-!! PhD GRA Opportunity at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ in the School of Forestry’s Quantitative Ecology Lab

 Update 2/12/2018 – The GRA has been awarded and I am no longer soliciting application materials.

Graduate Research Assistantship (PhD) Opportunity at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ

Data Fusion for Forest Planning and Implementation: Ecological Restoration, Remote Sensing, and Data Analytics

Are you interested in a PhD program that will provide you an opportunity to work in the frequent fire forests of the American Southwest and influence ecological restoration practices? These forests are in dire need of restoration, mainly due to a century of fire exclusion and subsequent, undesirable changes in forest structure and function. For example, the largest collaborative forest restoration project in the US, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), has a goal of implementing restoration treatments on approximately 1M ha of U.S. Forest Service lands in northern Arizona. Fundamental to these efforts are precise data on the amount and distribution of available resources, knowledge of how resources may change over time, and hazard assessments (e.g., wildfire potential); all of which require costly and resource intensive, spatially explicit data. As a result, managers are using more remote sensing data products (e.g., LiDAR), coupled with advanced forest inventory and data analysis techniques, to quantify existing conditions and support broad-scale analysis of forest ecosystems.

A PhD graduate research assistantship is available in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, focused on the development and assessment of data fusion techniques that will allow managers to better capitalize on major advancements in remote sensing to utilize more accurate data and enhance precision of landscape-scale analysis (e.g., >100,000 acres) project areas. Working alongside the Ecological Restoration Institute, the USDA Forest Service, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, and Campbell Global; the successful applicant will focus on developing and statistically validating an open source big data, remote sensing, and inventory data fusion platform. This platform will provide enhanced forest structural and compositional information in support of forest resource decision-making.

The selected student will:

  1. Assess and statistically validate algorithms for identifying individual trees and species from remote sensing data of Southwestern forests using new and/or existing stemmapped, area and tree based sample data.
  2. Using these algorithms and data, design and implement a platform that integrates multiple data sources (data fusion) that are typically too large to analyze using traditional methods (big data) to provide detailed forest resource information at the tree-,stand-, and landscape levels.
  3. Assess the accuracy, precision, and statistical properties of forest resource estimates such as bias, consistency, error, spatial uncertainty, and use these to provide improved information for land management decision making.
  4. Apply the platform to Southwestern landscape-scale case studies to; quantify existing conditions, assess low-value biomass product availability, facilitate watershed treatment implementation, and monitor forest restoration treatments.

The position includes a full stipend, tuition waiver, health benefits and field support for 4 years.

Applications from quantitatively minded individuals with a practical approach to solving complex problems are welcome. Experience processing large remote sensing and inventory datasets using C++, R, and/or Python is preferred.


  • Master’s degree in forestry, geography, ecology, computer science, or related fields.
  • Demonstrable research experience, collaboration abilities, and English (written and oral) communication skills.
  • Competitive GRE scores (top 40th percentile).

 Information about NAU’s graduate program, including eligibility requirements, is available at

NAU’s formal application deadline is for Fall 2018 is Feb 15 2018 and preferred start date is Summer 2018. However, interested candidates are encouraged to contact with Dr. Sanchez Meador as soon as possible using the information provided below or submit your CV, written statement of interest, and copies of unofficial degree transcripts to initiate a dialog via e-mail.

Contact Information:

Dr. Andrew Sánchez Meador 
School of Forestry 
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5018, USA 

Link to announcement PDF


Any media is good media!

Here’s a media piece from Phoenix’s KPNX TV, 12 News on the NAU School of Forestry’s Semester C (Ecosystem Assessment) course from Fall 2016. The piece was produced by Nancy Harrison and featured myself and now NAU alumni and President’s Prize winner, Gold Axe recipient, Cheyenne Adamonis. Fun times.

NAU School of Forestry – Semester C from Andrew Sánchez Meador on Vimeo.


SJR for where I have published in the last decade…

SCImago Journal & Country Rank SCImago Journal & Country Rank SCImago Journal & Country Rank SCImago Journal & Country Rank SCImago Journal & Country Rank
SCImago Journal & Country Rank SCImago Journal & Country Rank SCImago Journal & Country Rank SCImago Journal & Country Rank SCImago Journal & Country Rank


Sampling trip to the North Kaibab RD

In my last post, I put up a time lapse video from the Centennial Forest here near Flagstaff where my crew was sampling ponderosa pine for biomass and volume as part of a larger, national FIA-funded project where NAU’s Wood Science and Forest Biometrics lab is working with Federal and State cooperators to collect tree information for national scale biomass and carbon stock estimators for forests of the United States.

Anyway, later that same week, Phil Radtke and a crew from Virginia Tech’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation arrived and after working a day here in town we all headed up to the North Kaibab to do some serious sampling. The crew visited Fire Point, had milkshkaes at Jacob Lake, and sampled 18 trees of various species. More information on this protect can be found here:

So here’s the time lapse of Phil and crew processing a couple trees…about five hours worth of work in just under two minutes!

Andrew Sánchez Meador on Vimeo.


Time lapse video of whole tree destructive sampling

Through a 1-min time-lapse of 5 hrs of work, this video shows what the process of felling, processing, scaling and weighing a tree looks like …

Video from Andrew Sanchez Meador on Vimeo.


Flagstaff – Then and Now

I’ve been working on a repeat aerial photography project with NAU’s Cline Library (this is the second part, the first part was (here) and below is an additional proof of concept element for a proposed Hanks Internship that I’m hoping to find a student to work on this fall. The images on the left are based off 0.5m resampled orthoimages for Flagstaff taken in 1959 by Andre M. Faure. The images on the right are corresponding (same resolution, same location) but from 2014. The viewer is based off of Jan Pieter Waagmeester’s Leaflet.Sync plugin and the images (1959 & 2014) are served up by Mapbox.

1959 2014

Click here to open the display as fullscreen!


Flagstaff in 3D – circa 1959 via A.M. Faure and Cline Library

The following is something I produced as a proof of concept for a proposed Hanks Internship with Cline Library this fall (if you know of any students, please send them my way!). The scene was produced from 122 aerial photographs take by Andre M. Faure in 1959 and covers the majority of Flagstaff, AZ. Faure was a city planner for Tucson from 1941 to 1968. Prior to his arrival in Tucson, Faure served as a planning consultant in Connecticut and a town planner in New Jersey. He worked with the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County on various projects in the 1940s and 1950s. Some of which are aerial photographs of Flagstaff, Williams and Sedona used by Faure for city planning in 1959, and they are available for online viewing in the Colorado Plateau Digital Archives.

Flagstaff – 1959

The Dorothy T. and James J. Hanks Cline Library Endowment supports Northern Arizona University students for research in repeat photography. A primary goal is to locate and document camera stations of photographs held by Special Collections and Archives, with emphasis on images from the Colorado Plateau. Cline Library Hanks Scholars enhance the library’s photographic collections by increasing knowledge and discovery in the natural or social sciences. Hanks Scholars are given a unique opportunity to develop an appreciation of the value of historic photographs and repeat photography. NAU’s Special Collections and Archives is the official repository for the James J. Hanks Collection.


“Early View” is like Christmas!

I’m extremely happy to say that the following papers are now out in early view – the first two papers are the results of Eryn Schineder’s and Kyle Rodman’s thesis work. For those who may not know, Eryn’s work focused on spatial patterns and reference conditions at the Barney Springs site south of Flagstaff, a pure ponderosa pine site on limestone soils that has managed to avoid being harvested. Truly a unique system to study… Kyle’s work also focused on spatial patterns and reference conditions, but in dry mixed-conifer sites along the Mogollon Rim. He presents a variety of reference attributes that will be interesting and applicable to many of you currently working in dry mixed-conifer forests (especially this findings regarding long-term changes in species composition). I’m am really proud of these two and both works are significant contributions to our knowledge regarding HRV and long-term vegetation dynamics. In case you’re wondering, Eryn and Kyle are both currently pursuing PhDs – Eryn with Andrew Larson at Univ. of Montana and Kyle at Univ. of Colorado at Boulder with Tom Veblen.

Lastly, the third paper presents an idea that Daniel Laughlin, Rob Strahan, Dave Huffman and I have been developing for a while now. In this paper we present a functional (species trait-based) approach to restoring resilient ecosystems in light of changing environmental conditions and explore it’s application in dry mixed-conifer forests (study sites at Black Mesa and on the north rim of Grand Canyon NP). Really exciting work that I’m happy to have been a part of!!!