Field Season Training

Ecological Monitoring crews prep for summer season

Ecological monitoring crews with the New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute have spent the last three weeks preparing for the summer field season.  

Along with ensuring everyone on the crews know how to gather and enter data from forested plots, they have trained in wilderness first aid, vehicle maintenance, chainsaw operation, and outdoor leadership. While summer field season is fun, it’s also challenging. Crews have to be prepared for inclement weather, no cell service, and rough roads as they travel some of New Mexico’s rugged backcountry to their monitoring projects. 

The crews will travel a few thousand miles and gather data on tree height, health, regeneration, ground cover, and more on hundreds of plots across the state while meeting rigorous measurement quality standards. 

The data and photos they gather and analyze in the Fall will be added to the extensive collection of forested plot data housed at NMFWRI. Over time, this data builds a picture of how forests respond to treatments, wildfire, and disease. This information can assist land managers in determining actions to help forests be more fire and drought resilient.