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Scientists & Staff

Rachel Riemann

Rachel Riemann

Research Forester / Geographer
Forest Inventory & Analysis
c/o USGS, 425 Jordan Road
Troy, 12180
Phone: 518-285-5607

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Current Research

  • Fragmentation and urbanization of forest land:  We are interested in continually improving our ability to monitor frag/urban via metrics that are accurate, robust, relevant to known issues, and together completely describe the different characteristics – e.g. edges, patch size, interior forest conditions, land use context, proximity to roads, houses and population -- that are known to affect forest ecosystems.  Research includes development of a suite of metrics from several sources to maintain over time, integrating it with existing forest inventory data, and collaborating on research to identify important thresholds and further understand the impact of each on forested ecosystems. 
  • Geospatial modeling of forest characteristics:  We are continuing to develop methods to generate geospatial datasets (digital maps) of forest characteristics with known uncertainties and increasing accuracies. 
  • Accuracy assessment of geospatial data:  We have developed an assessment protocol for continuous geospatial data that can take advantage of the wealth of FIA plot data to characterize accuracy in terms of the magnitude, extent, type, and location of error in the datasets. 
  • Improving estimates of tree canopy cover:  We are continuing research to understand the accuracy of GEOBIA vs. current FIA photointerpreted and field estimates of tree canopy cover and find ways to improve those estimates.     
  • Science dissemination and communication:  We are developing online and hardcopy products and approaches for making all online geospatial data we develop more accessible to educational communities.

Research Interests

I am interested in continuing research in each of these areas, and look forward to increasing my research involvement as an FIA-Tribal liaison, and supporting efforts in community engagement and ecosystem services. 

Past Research

  • Developed an airphoto guide to identifying New England forest cover types
  • Investigated inventory protocols and assessed the amount of tree cover occurring in nonforest areas and thus being missed in an inventory of forest areas only.  The advent of the Urban FIA will gradually and formally add the inventory of trees in urban areas to the FIA database. 

Why This Research is Important

  • Forest fragmentation and urbanization affects sustainability of forest interior habitats, the ability of species to move through the landscape, the ease with which exotic, invasive or generalist species can gain a foothold, the ability of the forest to protect the quality and quantity of surface and ground water supplies, and sensitivity to pressures associated with climate change.  It also affects outdoor recreation oppotunities, types of forest management employed, forest products harvested, and local culture.
  • Maps and geospatial datasets of forest characteristics make forest inventory information more accessible without confidentiality issues and provide modeled estimates of forest characteristics in areas where ground inventory information is non-existent or sparse.
  • Accuracy and uncertainty measures associated with geospatial datasets (digital maps) substantially increase their utility.  Knowing the type, magnitude, and location of errors makes it easier to determine sufficient accuracy for a particular use or incorporate uncertainty into subsequent modeling.  
  • Tree canopy cover is an important factor for mitigating the effects of urbanization on water quality and quantity, characterizing potential wildlife habitat, supporting biomass and carbon stock estimates, and contributing to the calculation of ecosystem services provided by urban trees.  Accurate canopy cover information could also screening and stratification procedures used to implement forest inventories in urban and other nonforest areas, improving cost-effectiveness and resulting estimates of tree resources in these highly spatially variable areas.  
  • Science dissemination and communication: All of the above is of interest to a broader audience and wider range of uses than can currently readily access it.  E.g. Maps of forest characteristics and associated summary information can be used by Extension and schools for education if packaged in accessible pieces.  Access to this information, via both hardcopy and online products, facilitates both extension education and classroom studies in topics including invasive species, water quality, and climate change impacts. 

 

Education

  • University of New Hampshire, M.S. Forestry, 1987
  • Middlebury College, B.A. Ecology, 1985

Professional Experience

  • Research Forester/Geographer USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis
    1997 - Current
  • Forester/Geographer USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis
    1993 - 1997

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

  • Johnson, Kristofer D.; Birdsey, Richard; O Finley, Andrew; Swantaran, Anu; Dubayah, Ralph; Wayson, Craig; Riemann, Rachel. 2014. Integrating forest inventory and analysis data into a LIDAR-based carbon monitoring system. Carbon Balance and Management. 9(3): 3.
  • Widmann, Richard H; Randall, Cotton K.; Butler, Brett J.; Domke, Grant M.; Griffith, Douglas M.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Moser, W. Keith; Morin, Randall S.; Nelson, Mark D.; Riemann, Rachel; Woodall, Christopher W. 2014. Ohio's Forests 2011. Resour. Bull. NRS-90. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 68 p.
  • McCaskill, George L.; McWilliams, William H.; Alerich, Carol A.; Butler, Brett J.; Crocker, Susan J.; Domke, Grant M.; Griffith, Doug; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Lehman, Shawn; Lister, Tonya W.; Morin, Randall S.; Moser, W. Keith; Roth, Paul; Riemann, Rachel; Westfall, James A. 2013. Pennsylvania's Forests, 2009. Resour. Bull. NRS-82. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 52 p.
  • Riemann, Rachel; Wilson, Ty; Lister, Andrew. 2012. Application of an assessment protocol to extensive species and total basal area per acre datasets for the eastern coterminous United States. In: McWilliams, Will; Roesch, Francis A. eds. 2012. Monitoring Across Borders: 2010 Joint Meeting of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium and the Southern Mensurationists. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-157. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 161-174.
  • Lister, Tonya W.; Gladders, Glenn; Barnett, Charles J.; Brand, Gary J.; Butler, Brett J.; Crocker, Susan J.; Domke, Grant M.; Griffith, Douglas M.; Hatfield, Mark A.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Lister, Andrew J.; Morin, Randall S.; Moser, W. Keith; Nelson, Mark D.; Perry, Charles H.; Piva, Ronald J.; Riemann, Rachel; Woodall, Christopher W. 2012. Delaware's Forests 2008. Resour. Bull. NRS-62. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 56 p. [DVD included].
  • Widmann, Richard H.; Crawford, Sloane; Barnett, Charles; Butler, Brett J.; Domke, Grant M.; Griffith, Douglas M.; Hatfield, Mark A.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Lister, Tonya W.; Morin, Randall S.; Moser, W. Keith; Perry, Charles H.; Riemann, Rachel; Woodall, Christopher W. 2012. New York's Forests 2007. New York's Forests 2007. Resour. Bull. NRS-65. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 64 p. [DVD included].
  • Widmann, Richard H.; Cook, Gregory W.; Barnett, Charles J.; Butler, Brett J.; Griffith, Douglas M.; Hatfield, Mark A.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Morin, Randall S.; Moser, W. Keith; Perry, Charles H.; Piva, Ronald J.; Riemann, Rachel; Woodall, Christopher W. 2012. West Virginia's Forests 2008. Resour. Bull. NRS-61 Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 64 p. [DVD included].
  • Lister, T.W.; Perdue, J.L.; Barnett, C.J.; Butler, B.J.; Crocker, S.J.; Domke, G.M.; Griffith, D.; Hatfield, M.A.; Kurtz, C.M.; Lister, A.J.; Morin, R.S.; Moser, W.K.; Nelson, M.D.; Perry, C.H.; Piva, R.J.; Riemann, R.; Widmann, R.; Woodall, C.W. 2011. Maryland's Forests 2008. Resour. Bull. NRS-58. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 60 p. [DVD included].
  • Morin, Randall S.; Barnett, Chuck J.; Brand, Gary J.; Butler, Brett J.; Domke, Grant M.; Francher, Susan; Hansen, Mark H.; Hatfield, Mark A.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Moser, W. Keith; Perry, Charles H.; Piva, Ron; Riemann, Rachel; Woodall, Chris W. 2011. New Hampshire's Forests 2007. Resour. Bull. NRS-53. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 56 p. [DVD included].
  • Butler, Brett J.; Barnett, Charles J.; Crocker, Susan J.; Domke, Grant M.; Gormanson, Dale ; Hill, William N.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Lister, Tonya; Martin, Christopher; Miles, Patrick D.; Morin, Randall; Moser, W. Keith; Nelson, Mark D.; O'Connell, Barbara; Payton, Bruce; Perry, Charles H.; Piva, Ronald J.; Riemann, Rachel; Woodall, Christopher W. 2011. The Forests of Southern New England, 2007: A report on the forest resources of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Resour. Bull. NRS-55. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 48 p. [DVD included].
  • Morin, Randall S.; Barnett, Chuck J.; Brand, Gary J.; Butler, Brett J.; De Geus, Robert; Hansen, Mark H.; Hatfield, Mark A.; Kurtz, Cassandra M.; Moser, W. Keith; Perry, Charles H.; Piva, Ron; Riemann, Rachel; Widmann, Richard; Wilmot, Sandy; Woodall, Chris W. 2011. Vermont's Forests 2007. Resour. Bull. NRS-51. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 56 p. [DVD included].
  • Widmann, Richard H.; Balser, Dan; Barnett, Charles; Butler, Brett J.; Griffith, Douglas M.; Lister, Tonya W.; Moser, W. Keith; Perry, Charles H.; Riemann, Rachel; Woodall, Christopher W. 2009. Ohio forests: 2006. Resour. Bull. NRS-36. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 119 p.
  • Riemann, Rachel; Riva-Murray, Karen; Murdoch, Peter S. 2008. 7.0 Monitoring the status and impacts of forest fragmentation and urbanization. In: Murdoch, Peter S.; Jenkins, Jennifer C.; Birdsey, Richard A. The Delaware River Basin Collaborative Environmental Monitoring and Research Initiative. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-25. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 63-73.
  • Lister, Tonya; Lister, Andrew; McWilliams, William; Riemann, Rachel. 2007. Identifying areas of relative change in forest fragmentation in New Hampshire between 1990 and 2000. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H., eds. Proceedings of the seventh annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; October 3-6, 2005; Portland, ME. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-77. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 89-95.
  • Lister, Andrew; Riemann, Rachel; Lister, Tonya; McWilliams, Will. 2005. Northeastern Regional Forest Fragmentation Assessment: Rationale, Methods, and Comparisons With Other Studies. In: Proceedings of the fifth annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; 2003 November 18-20; New Orleans, LA. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-69. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. 222p.
  • Riemann, Rachel; Lister, Andrew. 2005. Regression and Geostatistical Techniques: Considerations and Observations from Experiences in NE-FIA. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H.; Cieszewski, Chris J., eds. Proceedings of the fourth annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-252. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 231-239.
  • Lister, Andrew; Riemann, Rachel; Westfall, James; Hoppus, Mike. 2005. Variable Selection Strategies for Small-area Estimation Using FIA Plots and Remotely Sensed Data. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H.; Cieszewski, Chris J., eds. Proceedings of the fourth annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-252. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 105-109.
  • Riemann, Rachel; Murry-Riva, Karen; Murdoch, Peter. 2004. Effects of forest fragmentation and urbanization on stream conditions--the development of relevant landscape parameters and source datasets for effective monitoring. In: Proceedings, Society of American Foresters 2003 national convention; 2003 October 25-29; Buffalo, NY. Bethesda, MD: Society of American Foresters: 234-235.
  • Lister, Andrew; Hoppus, Mike; Riemann, Rachel. 2004. Technique for ranking potential predictor layers for use in remote sensing analysis. In: Proceedings, Society of American Foresters 2003 national convention; 2003 October 25-29; Buffalo, NY. Beshesda, MD: Society of American Foresters: 402-409.
  • Riemann, Rachel; Lister, Andrew; Hoppus, Michael; Lister, Tonya. 2002. Fragmentation statistics for FIA: designing an approach. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; Moser, John W., eds. Proceedings of the Thrid Annual Forest Inventory and Analysis Symposium; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-230. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station: 146-155.
  • Lister, Andrew J.; Lister, Tonya W.; Riemann, Rachel; Hoppus, Mike. 2002. Techniques and Considerations for FIA forest fragmentation analysis. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; Moser, John W., eds. Proceedings of the Thrid Annual Forest Inventory and Analysis Symposium; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-230. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station: 156-161.
  • Hoppus, Michael L.; Riemann, Rachel I.; Lister, Andrew J.; Finco, Mark V. 2002. The effectiveness of texture analysis for mapping forest land using the panchromatic bands of Landsat 7, SPOT, and IRS imagery. In: Greer, Jerry Dean, ed. Rapid delivery of remote sensing products, Proceedings of the ninth forest service remote sensing applications conference; San Diego, CA; April 8-12, 2002: The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. .
  • Jenkins, Jennifer C.; Riemann, Rachel. 2002. What does nonforest land contribute to the global carbon balance?. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; Moser, John W., eds. Proceedings of the Thrid Annual Forest Inventory and Analysis Symposium; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-230. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station: 173-179.
  • Lister, Andrew J.; Riemann, Rachel; Hoppus, Michael. 2001. A Nonparametric Geostatistical Method For Estimating Species Importance. In: Reams, Gregory A.; McRoberts, Ronald E.; Van Deusen, Paul C., eds. 2001. Proceedings of the second annual Forest Inventory and Analysis symposium; 2000 October 17-18; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-47. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 52-59.
  • Riemann, Rachel; Tillman, Kathy. 1999. FIA photointerpretation in Southern New England: a tool to determine forest fragmantation and proximity to human development. . Res. Pap. NE-709. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 12 p.
  • Birch, Thomas W.; Riemann Hershey, Rachel; Kern, Philip. 1997. Identifying forest lands in urban areas in the Central Hardwood Region. In: Pallardy, Stephen G.; Cecich, Robert A.; Garrett, H. Gene; Johnson, Paul S., eds. Proceedings of the 11th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-188. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 98-116.
  • McWilliams, W. H.; Riemann Hershey, R.; Drake, D. A.; Alerich, C. L. 1993. Characterizing forest composition of the Allegheny Mountains using extensive forest inventory data. In: Gillespie, Andrew R.; Parker, George R.; Pope, Phillip E.; Rink, George: eds. Proceedings of the 9th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-161. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 490.
  • Gansner, David A.; Arner, Stanford L.; Riemann Hershey, Rachel; King, Susan L. 1993. Mapping the defoliation potential of gypsy moth. In: Gillespie, Andrew R.; Parker, George R.; Pope, Phillip E.; Rink, George: eds. Proceedings of the 9th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-161. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 172-184.

National Research Highlights

Nationwide Datasets of Tree Species Distributions Created (2014)
Geospatial datasets of the relative abundance and distribution of individual tree species have been created by Forest Service scientists for 323 species across the lower 48 United States using an efficient modeling approach that maintains realistic relationships between species at each location. These datasets have been fully documented, assessed for accuracy using a variety of metrics at a range of scales, and officially archived with their accuracy results to make them publicly available for download. Finally, attractive state-level tree species distribution posters have been created that provide both visual and numerical information at an appropriate technical level for both adults and students.


Last updated on : 08-May-2015