Trail walks on the Menominee Indian Reservation and through Pennsylvania Forestlands around the CZO (Penn State Stone Valley Forest, Rothrock State Forest, Alan Seeger Natural Area, and Scotia Pine Barrens) are how the 2018 Visualizing Forest Futures (ViFF) REUs are getting to know forest ecosystems. Curtis Wilhelmi (College of Menominee Nation, Social Science), Nicholas Schwitzer (U Wisconsin – Stout, Entertainment Design), and Jacob Schwitzer (U Wisconsin – Stout, Computer Science) are the 2018 summer students with the Sustainability Development Institute at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, WI. In a one-day field trip, CZO team members Warren Reed, PhD Candidate Ecology, and Benjamin Dillner, MS Candidate Ecology, explored Shale Hills and Garner Run catenas with the REUs, introducing the CZO and the diverse research occurring within the forests. Using new technologies such as PhotoScan and 360⁰ cameras (Ricoh Theta S and Panono), the REU student team is learning how to create and animate 3-D models of forest ecosystems. Building upon the Menominee model of sustainability, virtual reality stories will be created which aim to link traditional knowledge with cutting-edge modeling and visualization to shape decision making and management practices.
For additional information on this collaboration between the Sustainability Development Institute at the College of Menominee Nation and Penn State University: https://sites.google.com/a/pdx.edu/visualizing-forest-futures/home