Dr. Andrew Reinmann, an Institute for Sustainable Cities affiliated researcher, has been awarded a grant from the Hudson River Estuary Program for the project titled “Westchester County Forest Inventory: Mapping and Ecosystem Services Assessment” that will study the extent, density, and change over time of forested areas of Westchester County within the Hudson River watershed. The project will use remote sensing and spatial data to explore the study area, looking at land use, density of urban development, drainage basins of waterways, and surface temperatures. The goals of the project are to estimate ecosystem services provided by forests of the study area, including carbon sequestration in trees, and stormwater diversion; to understand changes in forest area over time; to provide feedback on the effectiveness of municipal tree planting programs at work in the study area; and to identify locations where tree planting can be most effective in addressing urban heat island effect, riverine flooding, and combined sewer overflows.

Additional goals of the project are to develop a methodology and tool set that can be used to study other locations in New York State and the NYC metropolitan area; and to provide the base for more detailed study of forest species distribution, health, and vulnerability to climate change and invasive species.

The project is supported by local partners including the Westchester County Department of Planning and the Westchester Land Trust.  The project began in December 2018 and will run for two years.

Dr. Reinmann is an ecologist and geochemist who focuses on plant ecophysiology and the terrestrial carbon cycle. He holds a joint appointment with the Hunter College Department of Geography and the Environmental Sciences Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center.

Photo credit: “Winter’s Sunset” by george.bremer is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0


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